Transition of Athletic Training coverage for Waukon football through VMH begins this Friday: Brad Krambeer passes torch on after three decades of dedication

VMH Athletic Training transition for Waukon football ... This Friday night, August 27, will mark a transition in the Athletic Training services provided by Veterans Memorial Hospital at Waukon football games, as Brad Krambeer, ATC (left in above photo) will pass the torch of providing Athletic Training services for the football Indians to Austin Troendle, ATC, DPT (right in above photo). Both Krambeer and Troendle are Waukon High School graduates and former Indian football players themselves. Krambeer has attended the practices and games for the Waukon Indian football team for the past 29 years and will now provide even more care to the Kee High School football team while continuing his Athletic Training services for both Waukon and Kee student-athletes. These services are not just limited to the Waukon and Kee football teams, as both of these athletic trainers from the Veterans Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Department are available to assess and treat any sports injury from all area schools.

Final official game a memorable one ... Long-time Waukon football athletic trainer Brad Krambeer walks off the field of the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls carrying the State Championship trophy the Indians were awarded after their 28-14 triumph over Central Lyon/George-Little Rock November 20 of last year in the Class 2A State Championship game. That game marked the final official game that Krambeer served as the football Indians’ athletic trainer after 29 years of providing such a service to the Waukon football program through the Veterans Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Department, although he said he will still likely end up on the football sidelines when he is able while he continues his athletic training service to all area student-athletes. Making Krambeer’s final official game as the football Indians’ athletic trainer even more special is the fact that he got to share it with his son, Konnor, who helped the football Tribe win its second Class 2A State Championship as a senior starting defensive back on the team.

Brad Krambeer, ATC (Certified Athletic Trainer) of Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) in Waukon has been providing the athletic training coverage for the Waukon Indian football team for nearly 30 years. This season, he is turning over the team’s care to his co-worker, Austin Troendle, ATC and DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy).

Krambeer was Troendle’s athletic trainer when he was playing for the Indians in high school, before continuing his football career at Coe College. Now, the two of them work closely together in the Rehabilitation Department of the hospital, sharing insight and coordinating care for many young athletes throughout the area.

“It was a tough decision to leave the Indian sidelines, but with my son now playing college football (at Coe) and my daughter in all her sports, I need to be more free to watch them grow up,” states Krambeer. “The team will be in great hands with Austin. He is very knowledgeable and dedicated, and will do a super job.”

Troendle states, “I am excited to be able to be involved with and give back to the same school and sport teams that I once was a part of growing up. I have had a great mentor in Brad Krambeer, who not only helped me in many ways when I was a high school athlete, but also now working with him at VMH, and he has helped guide me to be in the position I am today. I am looking forward to bringing the same dedication and passion to Waukon athletics that Brad has provided over the past 29 years. Working in a similar position to him, I now know the time and commitment it takes to provide the quality of service he has over those 29 years. This area is very lucky to have had someone like Brad in that position for nearly three decades now.”

Krambeer is not stepping away from the profession by any means. He has always also provided athletic training coverage for the Eastern Allamakee Community School District, but will now have time to travel to Lansing to cover games for the Kee Hawks this fall as Troendle now oversees the Waukon Indians. When Kee is on the road, Krambeer says he will still be on the Indian sidelines.

“I truly enjoy my work with the kids at the schools and especially watching them compete,” states Krambeer. “I am looking forward to spending more time with the Kee Hawks. I will also be attending most all of my daughter’s Waukon Indian girls basketball and volleyball games and am always available for anyone who needs assistance. Even if we are not at an event, all area students can reach out to us at the hospital to be evaluated.”

Athletic trainers help treat and prevent injuries for people of all ages, from athletes to laborers. They specialize in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of physical injuries to the muscle, ligament and bone, as well as rehabilitation following surgery. Athletic trainers are also key in teaching injury prevention by explaining flexibility exercises, proper use of equipment and applying prevention devices such as tape, bandages and braces.

If a student has an injury that needs to be assessed, the student or parent should contact their coach or school office. Those administrators then contact Krambeer or Troendle to complete the assessment, which can be performed at the school or at the hospital’s rehab department. The Veterans Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Department works well with the Gundersen Sports Medicine Department, as well as both the Mayo Sport Medicine programs in La Crosse, WI and Rochester, MN.

“I had my fair share of injuries and setbacks during my sports career, and I was always amazed how the expertise and guidance the VMH Rehab Team provided me led me back to playing the sports I enjoyed,” continues Troendle. “Those experiences with Brad during my high school football career, and with other members of the VMH Rehab Team during my time spent in physical therapy rehabbing, were a huge influence in my decision to pursue both my Athletic Training and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees, and ultimately put me in this position to be able to give back to current and upcoming student-athletes.”

During Krambeer’s 29-year history, he was the 2005 recipient of the Iowa Sports Medicine Award, which made him the first Athletic Trainer to ever win this honor. These individuals are nominated by the schools and communities in which they devote endless hours to help safeguard the health and safety of student athletes. According to the Iowa High School Athletic Association, these award winners are the unsung heroes in the community who contribute significantly to A school’s athletic programs.

Troendle will take his post at the Waukon Indian home football game this Friday night, August 27, as Waukon hosts Waverly-Shell Rock to kick-off the 2021 season. “I feel 100% confident in Austin’s ability to cover for our athletes,” adds Krambeer. “He has the knowledge and passion to continue for the next 30 years, at which time I will be 82!”