Big man on campus: New trainer plans sports medicine program
Whether he’s called “Doc” or Coach, Cody Walls, the new athletic trainer for the Tigers, is looking forward to bringing his medical experience to the school. While competing competitively in high school and college, Coach Walls faced many obstacles, but nevertheless, he challenged himself to reach his full potential.
Becoming an athletic trainer was not Wall’s original choice for a career. It wasn’t until he experienced some medical problems that he considered it.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, other than play football,” Walls said. “But after some research, and a couple of shoulder injuries in high school, I met an athletic trainer who helped rehabilitate my shoulder, so I decided to pursue my bachelor degree in athletic training.”
After obtaining his degree, Walls became the head athletic trainer at Harmony & Overton and later head athletic trainer at Greenville High School, before coming to Texas High School. Walls is also a certified teacher in sports medicine.
“I’m hoping to start a sports medicine class next fall,” Walls said. “It will be a competitive entry class that will require students to meet a certain criteria to enroll, but it will have a major effect on the students’ future.”
Walls knows that starting the class off small will eventually allow it to grow on and off the field.
“I’m hoping to get more students involved,” Walls said. “I’m hoping to start off with 10-12 , and I hope that it will grow to 20 students in the future”.
This mindset has helped Walls in many ways, especially on the football field, as injuries this season have often occurred, he and his student athletic trainer have trotted on the field to evaluate the injury.
“When injury occurs, I have to assess and evaluate the injury,” Walls said. “I have to determine the severity, so I can refer to the appropriate resources and treat the injury carefully.”
All eyes are focused on him while he does what’s necessary for the injured athlete.
“All of this takes place under the scrutiny of hundreds of lookers,” Walls said. “And in some cases, one bad decision can be the difference whether the athlete lives or not; is paralyzed or not, but even through all the commotion I keep my attention and focus on the athlete.”
Even after the game, the work doesn’t stop there. He is on constant alert for all sports in the school district.
“No matter how much work I have,” Walls said. “I love being an athletic trainer, and Texarkana has offered me, my wife Jamie, and my daughter Lillee a chance to move closer to our family.”
No matter what obstacles have been set in front of Doc, he perseveres to achieve many of his goals.
“Years from now, I want to attend medical school and become a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon,” Walls said. “I want to build a sports medicine clinic in compliance with the SouthWest Athletic Association, and I want to engineer the power of sports medicine in the community.”