January 29, 2015
Sean Ahonen, MEd, ATC, Foley (Ala.) High School
After leaving a 6-A high school in North Alabama to begin a new career of being a secondary educator and the female athletic trainer at Foley High School, I was exposed to one of the best Certified Athletic Trainer's I have ever been around. I spent 6 years solo working in outreach before working with another certified athletic trainer and thought I had gone above and beyond during those 6 years. I found that I was extremely wrong when I met the athletic trainer I would be working with at Foley High School, Sean Ahonen.
The first time to ever meet him was scheduled for 6:00 A.M. on a Monday Morning before summer workouts/practice. I arrived at the school 15 minutes prior to our meeting to find he probably had been there since 5:00 A.M. had already set up all water and all of the other needs for practice. I was stunned, but thought "maybe it is just because this was our first meeting, he wanted to impress me." I was wrong again. Sean is one of the most proactive people I have met in my entire life. He is dedicated to his job at every moment, and treats every person he encounters with the utmost respect.
Sean spends countless hours a day to do his job 100 percent every day and never "misses a beat." His average daily schedule consist of arriving at approximately 6:00 A.M. He prepares Gatorade and assures that it is set up in front of the football field house so that the student athletes will hydrate throughout the day. He orders chocolate milk for the team to drink post practice and delivers them to the weight room daily. He begins treatments at 6:45 A.M, evaluates, rehabilitates, logs all treatment, and updates the injury report daily. He teaches one sports medicine class, where he does a fantastic job mentoring and teaching student athletic trainers that are interested in our profession along with two health classes. He communicates non- stop with his coaches to assure that ALL student athletes are given the best treatment possible. He monitors every student athlete in their workouts, as well as progression on the field.
When Sean arrived at Foley High School, the sports medicine program was slim to none. The athletic training room was the size of a walk-in closet. Student athletic trainers were un-heard of and supplies slim to none. Since then, Foley has a 2,000 sq. foot athletic training room where he laid the flooring and mantled the shelves himself and an abundance of supplies. Foley now has one of the largest high school student athletic training programs in the state of Alabama with an average of 15 students yearly. I would say that Sean has made a SIGNIFICANT impact on Foley High School and continues to make a difference daily.
Along with doing a fantastic job at Foley high school Sean is also a family man. He has two children under the age of 5 and a baby on the way. When Sean does have free time he is often "caught" on the NATA website or other educational websites that keep him up to date. He reads the Journal of Athletic Training and The Training and Conditioning Magazine monthly. I am amazed at the consistency and dedication that Sean shows to his job. I without hesitation recommend Sean Ahonen for the Most Valuable Athletic Training Award.
Jeanne Willis, MAEd., ATC/L
Foley High School