Emily Florek was thrilled by the news that Lyons Township athletic staff, along with her family, surprised her with after school on Tuesday: Florek had won the $2000 national Jack Cramer Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards out there for a student planning to study sports medicine, reportedly by a landslide.
But she couldn’t celebrate for long—after all, she had a softball team to look after as they traveled to Glenbard East.
This is part of the dedication that earned the scholarship for Florek, a La Grange senior, after she has spent a large portion of her time at LTHS as a student trainer for Lions teams, including the football and wrestling squads. Originally joining the training staff on a lark, she will now major in sports medicine at Hope College in Michigan.
“It’s fun to just help athletes do what they love to do and get them back in the game,” Florek said. “We’re kind of like a big dysfunctional family; we spend so much time together. It’s crazy.”
Trainer and teacher Guido Arquilla, who organized the surprise, said that Florek is a true star, known as “Mom” around the training and sports-medicine rooms at Lyons Township for her take-charge attitude.
“Emily is one of the best student trainers we’ve ever had,” Arquilla said. “She’s so conscientious, loves learning, loves being a part of it… She’s a leader to all the other student trainers.”
The Jack Cramer Scholarship is given by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and is named for its founder, who “dedicated a lifetime to the profession of athletic training.”