Meet Orville Hernandez, Friends Select’s New Athletic Trainer


Giovanni Fornia

Orville Hernandez, Athletic Trainer

During a Friends Select varsity soccer game, a player is running down the field when he suddenly cramps up. He slows down and limps, grabbing at his leg. Orville rushes from the sideline to the player and helps him off the field for treatment.

Orville Hernandez, Friends Select’s new athletic trainer, grew up in Chester County and graduated from West Chester University in 2018. Sports have always played a big role in his life. His main sport growing up was soccer, but he also did track and field and tennis. He had the opportunity to play collegiate soccer but decided not to. 

“When I was going through the recruitment process, a lot of the colleges I was looking at (for soccer) didn’t offer what I wanted to study, which was athletic training,” Orville said. “I also had injuries, so I started thinking long term… if I get injured and can’t play, then I’d just be going to college for something I don’t want to study.” Knowing he could play club or intramural sports instead of the more intense commitment of varsity soccer, he decided to prioritize his studies and went to West Chester University to study athletic training.

Orville was a first-generation college student, which posed some difficulty for him. “I had my parents but they couldn’t relate to what I was going through, so that was the hardest thing for me, being the first kid to graduate,” he said. Orville almost left athletic training and only took gen-ed classes for a short period. Being away from it made him realize he wanted to stick with athletic training. “It was hard, but I stuck to it, and at the end of the day it paid off,” he explains.

After college, Orville began his career in athletic training. He worked at Berks Catholic, a high school in Reading, PA, as an athletic trainer. His next job was an internship with the Philadelphia Union, where he was able to work with professional soccer players. At that internship, he learned a lot and gained a new perspective on professional athletes. “At the end of the day, that’s their job, they’re athletes, but they’re still normal people… a lot of people think differently but when you get to know them they’re just people,” Orville said. After his internship with the Union, he worked for DonJoy, a company that makes supportive braces and sleeves for different body parts. Sometime later he started taking per diem work and got back into the setting of working directly with athletes. It was then that he heard about the position at FSS.

Orville was attracted to the job at FSS because everything was in the city. Middle school and high school are all in the same building and use the same facilities and fields. It’s not as spread out as a larger suburban school would be. Orville has been enjoying the school so far and admires the culture of the community. 

“All the sports teams try to build a solid foundation of having those kids start playing in middle school, so the coaches can get to know them,” Orville said. “It’s nice because you kind of already have an expectation for them. And that’s easier on an athletic trainer, being new I don’t know everyone, but a lot of your coaches have known you for a long time.”

Lucas Kim ‘22, a soccer player, says that Orville is helpful in keeping him on the field. “When I hurt my hip and he stretched me out a little, I was able to get back in the second half of the game,” he said. 

In the long term, Orville wishes to continue building his career and has ambitious goals he’d like to pursue. “I would want to have my own sports performance center where I can deal with athletes 1-on-1. Even in college, that was always a long-term goal, being able to run my own thing,” he said. His facility would offer a hybrid of strength and conditioning and athletic training. Another goal of his would be to go to Physician Assistant school. “That’s always been lingering with me, I think because I’ve worked with doctors and PAs in that type of setting,” Orville said.

Outside of his job, Orville stays active and still likes to play soccer when he can, even if it’s not at the most competitive level. He also enjoys snowboarding in the winter. His non-athletic hobbies include playing video games and investing in cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

As sports are returning in the same capacity as before the pandemic, it could be a busy year with lots of athletes needing help, and Orville will be prepared as he’s always been.