Sports Medicine Mission:

Walsh Jesuits' Sports Medicine program, in conjunction with Cleveland Clinic Akron General Sports Medicine, is designed to help Walsh Jesuit student athletes excel and be the best they can be, whether academic or athletic, as they go forward to become men and women for and with others.

Sports Medicine

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  • What is an Athletic Trainer?

    Athletic Trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who work with physicians and physical therapists to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical evaluation, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitative exercise for injuries and medical conditions. 
    Athletic trainers attend professional education programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. This educational process is a combination of clinical fieldwork and classroom base learning.   Athletic Trainers work under the direction of a physician as prescribed by state law and are certified by a national board upon passage of a national exam before becoming licensed by the state.
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  • How do the Athletic Trainers support the student athletes?

    Walsh Jesuit is currently staffed with two full time Cleveland Clinic Athletic Trainers. By working with the Cleveland Clinic, they have the ability to assist in scheduling of appointments and making things easier for you in most cases. When and injury occurs, please contact either Mark Herbele, Shelby Boyd, or you can contact one of our facilities directly using the links listed below.

Concussion Protocol & Policy

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  • Details

    Walsh Jesuit follows protocols mandated by both Cleveland Clinic as well as the OHSAA when dealing with concussion care. Although each concussion is different and is treated as such, some aspects remain constant.

    At any time, when a student is suffering or reports concussion like symptoms, they are immediately held out of activity. Signs and symptoms of concussion can be found at the Centers for Disease Control link here:
    Once removed from sport, our athletes may be placed in a ‘concussion protocol’ which is based on their individual symptoms. First goal is a reduction and then elimination of symptoms. In most cases, no activity or exercise will resume until resolution of symptoms or until exercise is prescribed by a physician after an evaluation is completed.

    Once symptoms resolve, or athlete has seen a doctor, return to play progression may begin. The return to play protocol may differ depending on doctor or hospital but will follow the same basic guidelines. At Walsh Jesuit, a general guideline of a protocol is as follows, although again, may be adjusted to meet the guidelines of the treating physician.

    Once the protocol is started, the athlete will complete each of these steps (see below). Depending on variables such as symptomology, history and treating physician, steps will be adjusted to progress or step back, to fit the individual’s needs. This step by step protocol is necessary to ensure that symptoms are not “triggered” and athlete is ready to progress to the next phase.

    Please remember that these steps are only a guideline. At any time, we reserve the right to alter this plan depending on what the physician or athletic trainers deem best for the athlete. For example, Step 4 could be adjusted to a full practice limiting contact and then the next day a full practice with contact before moving to step 5.

    Once entered in the Concussion Protocol, an athlete will not be allowed to return to activity before receiving clearance from a Physician.

    Walsh Jesuit does utilize the Impact Concussion Testing System. This is used as a tool to monitor the progression of the condition, but not as a “test” to ultimately determine the athlete’s ability to return to activity. It is but one tool in the process of evaluation.

    In all cases, we encourage parent involvement. At any time, if you have questions or feel that something is being missed, please feel free to contact us. More information on athletics and concussion can also be found on the Ohio High School Athletic Association website under the Sports Medicine Tab found at

    Under no circumstance will the athlete be allowed to return to activity without the approval of both the athletic trainer and treating physician.
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Return to Play

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  • Protocol

    Step 1:  Stationary Bike
    – designed to raise heart rate and start activity

    Step 2:  Jogging / Running
    – designed to increase activity level while adding a vestibular and ocular component to the testing

    Step 3:  Non-Contact Sport Specific Drills

    Step 4:  Return To Practice

    Step 5:  Return to Game / Contest

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  • Student Aid Program

    Walsh Jesuit has a long tradition of utilizing interested students in the implementation of our Sports Medicine Team. Over the years, we have had many student volunteers, who want to be involved for a multitude of reasons. Many students come to us and feel they already know that they want to get into the medical field. We have had students that have gone on into the fields of medicine, including MD’s, orthopedics, nursing, physical therapy or athletic training.
    Although this is always exciting for us, it is by no means a requirement for a student to enter our program.
    The student trainer / aid program has also had quite a few athletes that by either injury or team selection have found their athletic careers cut short. In those cases, where students are so used to their time being taken by athletics, some choose to come and work with us to continue their involvement with the athletic teams.

    Still another reason to join the sports medicine team is that a student may come to Walsh Jesuit and doesn’t know many other students. The student training / aid program is a great way for a new student to become immersed with larger 
    groups / teams and meet new people.

    Ultimately, we realize these are high school students. Our main goal is to promote involvement in athletics and make them part of the team. At no time will student trainer / aids be put in a position of decision making or anything else out of the realm of being a student athlete.

    Supervision will always be present through either a coach or athletic trainer and no responsibilities or expectations will be placed that are inappropriate.

    Interested students should contact either Mark Herbele or Shelby Boyd.  Involvement is limited by regulation of numbers of students which are allowed to be supervised.
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    • Walsh Jesuit State of the Art Facilities

Medical Staff

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  • Photo of Mark Herbele

    Mark Herbele MS, LAT, ATC 

    Head Athletic Trainer, Physical Education Teacher
    3309294205 x183
  • Photo of Shelby  Boyd

    Shelby  Boyd LAT, ATC 

    Assistant Athletic Trainer

Team Physicians

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  • Dr. John Pinkowski, MD

    Dr. John Pinkowski is a 1979 graduate of Walsh Jesuit and has been Walsh Jesuit’s primary team physician since 1989, giving countless amounts of his time and energy to the WJ athletic community.
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  • Dr. John Sassano, DO

    John M Sassano D.O. FAOASM has been a team physician for over 32 years, devoting his last 10 years as a team physician with the Warriors.  In 2014, Dr. Sassano was Inducted into the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame, receiving the Andy Palich Award for community service.  Dr Sassano is married to Kelley and has two sons Giovanni ('14) and Dante ('16).
    • Walsh Jesuit Trained and Certified

    • Walsh Jesuit Trained and Certified

    • Walsh Jesuit Trained and Certified

As a Christ-centered community, we strive to be Men and Women for and with Others.