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Graduation Series 2014: St. Charles East senior plans to be athletic trainer

ST. CHARLES – No athlete wants to be confined to the sidelines, especially St. Charles East High School senior Nate Campana.

Campana had some strains and sprains his sophomore year that kept him from competing with the St. Charles East boys lacrosse team, the longest stretch going for about three weeks. The experience of having to sit and watch practices and games was enough for him to think about a career helping athletes recover from injuries.

“Having to work to get back on my feet, it kind of inspired me to want to do the same for others,” said Campana, 18.

This fall, Campana will study athletic training and continue playing lacrosse at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. His senior year internship also played a part when narrowing down his field of study.

The Kane County Chronicle this week is highlighting local high school graduating seniors. The St. Charles East High School graduation is set for 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

Campana worked with the ATI athletic trainers at Geneva High School. He shadowed the trainers during various sports, including football, gymnastics, basketball and wrestling.

Since Campana had his first aid, CPR and AED, or automated external defibrillator certification, he was able to help supervise minor wound treatments to student athletes. His time with the trainers was much more hands-on than his other shadow opportunity, which was at a physical therapy center, where patient consent was required for observation.

Campana also considered a career in business at one point, but he didn’t warm up to it while taking a semester course on the subject during his junior year.

“I’d much rather be outside watching a sport, and helping players stay in the game,” Campana said.

Campana was set on finding his own path after watching his brother Nick do the same thing five years earlier. The elder Campana brother introduced Nate to lacrosse when he was in first grade, and the rest is history.

Campana has been a boys lacrosse captain since his sophomore year, and he is a two-time Brine All-American National Lacrosse Classic pick. He hopes to become even better at the sport at the college level.

Ultimately, Campana would love to be an athletic trainer at a university or professional sports league. He also knows there are opportunities at ATI and Athletico.

First thing’s first, he’s got to start college classes.

“I want to get my diploma and hopefully get a good job afterwards,” he said.

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