Athletic Trainer Stefanie Mansfield Turner a Game-Changer for Flyers' Sports

Volleyball Player Jordan Ward with Athletic Trainer Stefanie Mansfield Turner
Volleyball Player Jordan Ward with Athletic Trainer Stefanie Mansfield Turner
Sandhills Community College is into the second year of a contract with Pinehurst Surgical Clinic to provide its athletic programs with the presence of a certified athletic trainer at practices and home games. 
 
Stefanie Mansfield Turner recently returned to the campus in that role when the volleyball team began practicing for the fall season.
 

"Getting Stefanie, and the relationship we have with Dr. Wohlrab at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic,has been a game-changer," Lady Flyers coach Alicia Riggan says. "The fact that she is at practices and games with us takes a little off my plate because sports injuries are her specialty. And the girls are building a relationship with another person they might be more open with about an injury concern than they would be with a coach. 

"The girls know she has the ability to get them back on the court faster than I would ever dream of. Her demeanor is so relaxed. I told her I don't know how she can be so calm when I'm freaking out that it's a worst case situation. She gives us lots of advice on things to do." 

Turner grew up in the Hampton Roads coastal area of southeastern Virginia. She played basketball and softball in high school. She became interested in a career as an athletic trainer after incurring an injury that required physical therapy.

"I learned about what they did and it sounded like a good way to stay in the field of sports," she says. "I really like working with athletes to bring them back from their injuries and to where they should be."

She went on to receive the first of two Bachelor's degrees in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Longwood University in 2009. In 2015 she received the second one in Athletic Training from Methodist University and was recognized as a Senior Scholar Athlete. 

She learned about Pinehurst Surgical from a classmate at Methodist who worked there with Dr. Wohlrab. Wohlrab has also been involved in a partnership between Pinehurst Surgical and Moore County high school athletic teams for a number of years. 

Turner enjoys wearing many hats in her job. In addition to carrying out the duties of an athletic trainer at the clinic's Pinehurst and Rockingham locations, she is also currently involved in working up patients, braces and casts. 

Prior to the Sandhills assignment, she served as the athletic trainer at Union Pines High School under the Pinehurst Surgical partnership and now also serves in a liaison role with the trainers at the high schools.

Lady Flyers' outside hitter Rachael Mashburn was a senior member of the team at Union Pines while Turner was there.

"She's great," Mashburn says. "She's very personable and she's always there to help when we need her."

Flyers' basketball coach Mike Apple says that it is a load off his mind when Turner is in the gym at practices and games. 

"She provides another level of protection and safety for our athletes. It is one of the things we are able to offer athletes at Sandhills. One of the big things she can help with is the detection of concussions which are always a serious thing." 

The number of hours allotted under the contract between Sandhills and Pinehurst Surgical are not sufficient for her to go to away games, but she attends many on her own time. Last season she hit the road for the regional basketball and volleyball tournaments. She also traveled to Pennsylvania for district volleyball and to Maryland for the district basketball championship. 

"It's fun to go and watch them and be a part of the team," she says. 

Turner's husband, Andrew, recently completed his stint in the army at Fort Bragg.  He has enrolled in the nursing program at Sandhills. She is looking forward to sharing the excitement of Flyers' sports and the overall Sandhills CC experience with him. 

"I like that it's a small close-knit community where everybody gets along," she says of the college. "Like at the basketball games you will have the volleyball players, cross country athletes and golfers cheering them on. All the coaches get along and are super-nice to the players and fans." 

She is also available to the men's and women's track, golf and cross country teams. 

 "We are just very fortunate to have her," Riggan says. "She has such a great relationship with our student athletes. We love her and feel like she has been a great addition to the college."

 

C.Bergmann