From the Battlefields to the Football Fields


Photo Provided

RLHS athletic trainer Larry Scire on the right standing in front of a helicopter.

Megan Smith

Walking out onto the field with his trainers not far behind, Larry Scire and his staff are prepared and ready to evaluate the injured football player. Radios squeak with frequency as the other trainers try to see what supplies might be needed. Scire gets to business accessing the athlete. Scire moves deftly and skillfully. This scene is pretty routine, and Scire, an athletic trainer for many years, knows how to react.

Scire has worked at  Round Lake High School  for six years now. In that time, he has created a program called Panther Sports Medicine (PSM), for students to get a foot in the door to the medical field. In PSM, students can look forward to learning how to do an electrocardiogram and get hands-on experience helping athletes get stronger and overcome injuries. Scire hasn’t always done this for his work but has spent time in the military helping stabilize injured soldiers and transporting them to the hospital.

With his past, Larry has been through lots of challenges and has seen a lot, leading him to be the man he is today. “With three years of being in the military, you take that experience, and it sticks with you for the rest of your life,” he said. “Although my tour was only ten months long, I came back feeling ten years older than I actually was. Every month you are there it feels like a year you learn so much and also see so much in such a short time.”

Scire was a Combat Medical Specialist. He was the guy who picked up the injured soldiers in a helicopter, stabilized them, and provided them with transportation to hospitalization.

“I flew medical helicopters and also attack helicopters in Vietnam, crashed three times, [was] shot down twice and [had] one mechanical failure,” remembered Scire.

The one time he was shot down in the helicopter, it ended his military career. From the crash, he remembered nothing and ended up with 17 fractures. Today he still lives with all the damage caused.  “When I walk I can’t feel the floor,” said Scire, as he has no sensation from his knees down.

Photo Provided
One of the helicopters Scire flew in the military.

Scire has learned the importance of being reliable and supportive from his time in the military. “The camaraderie, the friendship, the loyalty,” said Larry. “Just as the guys would next to you, you would give your life to save theirs. Esprit de corps,” he said, using a French term to describe the feeling he had while serving. Scire defined the term as “loyalty and spirit to the core. There were so many times I thought I was gonna die.” Every day had an uncertain outcome for Larry, as he never knew if that day would be his last, or if he would live another.

Scire came away from his time in the military with an obvious appreciation for life and a drive to take advantage of every minute. He became an athletic trainer and filled the years with many memorable experiences. He’s worked with Olympians at Team USA’s Olympic Training Center in California and he’s also worked at more than 600 marathons, with 41 years with the Chicago Marathon.

Working at marathons, he’s seen many things and has helped many people; he sadly has even experienced someone pass after a race. With all his hard work at the marathons, he received an award, the Gregory Shaskan MD Award for outstanding medical service. Scire won the award in 2011, and was the second recipient since the award’s creation. The award is given out every year to a new outstanding person. Scire also has even met famous athletes through his career. He used to work at a podiatry office where he worked with many Chicago Bulls and White Sox players in his lifetime  He used to be a teaching instructor at UIC and helped teach athletic trainers. It was there that he discovered his love for teaching.

“I love teaching,” Scire said. With 13 people currently in PSM, he has a lot of fresh minds to teach. They are even taught how to use an electrocardiogram (EKG), which is a machine that records the electrical activity of the heart. Many of the people in the program will benefit from this program, as it is a great stepping stone into their futures of becoming nurses and maybe even doctors. It is quite funny that many people that are going into nursing school don’t even know how to use an EKG, but because of Scire many high-schoolers here will be prepared.

After all of this time in the military and working in all these different places, Scire chose to come to RLHS. Scire acquired the head athletic trainer position when working at Condell Hospital in Libertyville. The hospital had created a program providing athletic medical training to high schoolers. Through that program he learned the high school was looking for a trainer and decided to take the position. Scire already had all the equipment needed to start the program, so independently Larry decided to start Panther Sports Medicine at RLHS. With the program, he inspires many people to work in the medical field when they’re older, with many people to show for it. Out of this program have come two people who are now physicians, two dozen nurses, and four athletic trainers. And that’s only the beginning.

Photo Provided
Scire works on stabilizing a wrestler with a broken shoulder, and getting him ready to go to the hospital.

    “Showing people their future is what I do,” said Scire. He is very proud with all he has done at the high school, all the lives he has impacted, and all the future nurses and athletic trainers coming out of his program. With the number of lives he has impacted, the world has been positively influenced by Scire’s work. Though Larry does not have the biggest room for his program, he makes it work as does everyone else. From the hot, humid days in the summer to the cramped work days, everyone seems to make it work and help the athletes.

All of Larry’s trainers have learned so much from him. They take away so much from his teachings, more and more every day, and apply to their everyday lives, bettering themselves, their school, and their community. Nelly Cervantes, a junior here at RLHS in Larry’s program now for the past two years, said, “His program has taught me to be a better me, making me more confident while interacting with others and being provided to further my future.”