The stadium lights are shining down on the mist-covered turf of Andover High School’s Eugene Lovely Field. Behind a thin metal fence are fans roaring with excitement as the AHS football team is about to score the game-winning touchdown. The ball gets handed off and out of nowhere–BANG!!! There is silence throughout the stadium as the running back for Andover High is lying on the ground, unable to get up. This is where AHS athletic trainer Desiree Jubilee–or Dez, as the students call her–leaps into action. Sprinting from the sidelines, she gets out there as fast as she can to assess the situation. After evaluation, Dez helps the boy up and brings him to the sidelines as the stadium is filled with applause.
This is just another normal day for Dez.
‘I really care about these kids. One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing them grow up through the four years.’ – Desiree Jubilee
Although she is known for her work at AHS, she also works two more jobs. “My days are long,” Dez said. “I start out my day by going to Merrimack College to teach a course on athletic training and after that I do physical therapy before going to AHS.” Although Dez works three jobs she is proud to say that working at AHS is her “main job.”
Like many working Americans in the world today, Dez didn’t always know what she wanted to be. “Originally I thought I wanted to study textile design,” Dez said. “It wasn’t until I had an encounter with my high school trainer that I realized what I wanted to do.” After discovering her interest in the field, Dez had a long road in front of her. “First you have to find a college with the program, then I went through an internship program, then passed the National Athletic Training Board of Certification or the NATBC, then finally I got my athletic training license.”
Dez has a different relationship with the kids at AHS than most trainers at other schools. “When I was a freshmen, I was afraid of Dez; I was nervous to meet her because I heard she doesn’t take any s—- from anyone,” says AHS senior Kevin Chen. Dez has a reputation like no other: she is best known for getting on your case if you neglect instruction. “I always do what Dez says,” said AHS senior lacrosse player Steve Herman. “I do it to get better, but mostly because I don’t want to get yelled at.”
Dez is not like this for the sake of yelling at kids. “I really care about these kids,” Dez said. “ One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing them grow up through the four years.”
Once you meet Dez you can tell that her passion comes from her love to help others. Students at AHS also see this as they make their way through high school. “She’s intimidating, but very helpful,” said junior Matt Soares.
The seniors have the closest relationship with her as they have broken the intimidation barrier and have become friends with her. “Not only is Dez a great trainer, but she is a beautiful person inside and out,” said AHS senior tennis player Lynn Wang.
“Dez is a great trainer,” said senior Kevin Chen. “She revived my knee from a torn MCL in time for my track season. I am currently running faster than ever. I can’t imagine having another trainer as good as her.”
Dez is beloved in the AHS community for her outstanding medical care, for she has helped many students throughout her career at AHS. However, it is her tough love relationships with the AHS athletes that makes her cherished throughout the high school.
By Joe Vano