Lamar Consolidated High School head athletic trainer Dennis Fyke’s impact is felt on a nightly basis for the Mustangs during a regular school year.
Fyke manages students, staff, athletes, injures, equipment and schedules for double-digit varsity programs, not to mention the junior varsity, sophomore and freshmen levels.
Fyke is the backbone of the Mustangs’ program that he’s seen reach highest peaks including a state championship.
But Fyke’s work at Lamar Consolidated alone doesn’t show the full impact of his work in the athletic training field in Houston.
Fyke has been instrumental in helping developing the infrastructure of the Greater Houston Athletic Trainers’ Society and its annual convention for students.
Fyke was honored for that work by GHATS with his selection to the organization’s 2020 Hall of Honor class.
“I don’t know if this has totally sunk in,” Fyke said. “I was really excited to be nominated and then the pandemic put a different light on things.
“It is every important. It is one of the highlights of my life.”
It is the second year in a row that GHATS has honored Fyke.
Last year, Fyke received the Bobby Gunn award. The award honors the accomplishments of one of the first athletic trainers in Texas.
This award is presented to a GHATS member in good standing who has exemplified the professionalism and spirit of this true pioneer of athletic training.
“Last year, winning the Bobby Gunn Award was very special because Bobby (worked at Lamar),” Fyke said. “That award was very big. I’ve been trainer of th year up north (in Michigan) and being nominated for Region V trainer of the year.
“That was all neat. This was icing on the cake.
“There are different levels, but the greater Houston area is special.
The Hall of Honor recognizes individuals who have provided meritorious service to GHATS and the athletic training profession over the course of their careers, as well as other individuals whose generosity/service has profoundly benefited GHATS.
“The email that I got from the honors chair was one of the most humbling letter that I’ve ever received,” Fyke said.
Fyke helped consolidate the efforts of the three different athletic training conferences into GHATS and lay the foundations for the convention programs that have been going on for three decades now.
“It was hard to move around back in the day,” Fyke said. “You were the only athletic trainer and it got even more difficult with the sports we added.”
“One of the most rewarding and spine-tickling things for me is the fact that it has gone so long and students are learning from it.”
Right now, Fyke and the entire athletic training community is dealing with its toughest challenge with teams training during a pandemic.
“There will be time for recognition,” Fyke said. “Right now, we’re focused on the safety of everyone. Health and safety is the most important thing. We’re trying to return to play safely and that is the most important thing for an athletic trainer.”
“We have to do our best so these kids can do their best and represent their communities.”
Fyke thanked his family for all the support and student athletic trainers that have been under him for all their hard work. Fyke currently has two former trainers that are currently working in the Houston medical center on medical staffs tackling the coronavirus.