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Aim of NUMC’s sports medicine outreach: Keep local athletes healthy

For almost two decades, New Ulm Medical Center has provided sports medicine and athletic training to eight nearby high schools and colleges, including Martin Luther College (MLC). The NUMC care team includes athletic trainers Marcus Hopp, Max Pagel, Scott Mangen and Timothy Seifert, as well as access to Drs. Mario Desouza and Angela Honstad, the medical center’s orthopedic surgeons, physical and occupational therapists, and other physicians and specialists.

Marcus Hopp, ATC, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute – New Ulm, has been head athletic trainer for MLC since 2000. He received his BS degree in athletic training and a minor in health and exercise science in 1999 from North Dakota State University. He is the athletic trainer for MLC’s football and volleyball teams, as well as all winter and spring sports teams. At NUMC, he is the Sports Medicine coordinator, and specializes in physical therapy, occupational medicine, and cardiac rehabilitation/stress testing.

“The Athletic Training career incorporates two areas I am passionate about, sports and the medical field. I really enjoy the working with the athletes and coaches in the DIII college setting and Martin Luther College is a perfect fit for me, said Hopp”.

“Working with athletes during their injury and recovery is a highlight of the job. You are on the field or court with them when they get injured, seeing them through the many hours of rehabilitation and perseverance, and finally when they return to competition at full strength, is a very rewarding experience.”

Hoppe and his wife Michelle have three children. In his free time, he enjoys coaching his kid’s baseball and softball teams, golfing, fishing and deer hunting.

Max Pagel has served as assistant athletic trainer for MLC since 2016. He received his BS degree in athletic training from Minnesota State University – Mankato and his MS degree from North Dakota State University. He is the athletic trainer for MLC’s men’s and women’s soccer and cross country teams. At NUMC Pagel’s interests are injury prevention, strength and conditioning and post-operative rehabilitation.

“The best thing about being an athletic trainer is my ability to see an athlete at their lowest time dealing with an injury, then going to their highest point being able to perform with no pain or limitations,” said Pagel.

“I’ve always wanted to be an athletic trainer from early on as it provided me the two things I love: sports and how our bodies work and function. It truly fascinates me in that perspective and to say I get to wake up every day and do what I do is a blessing.”

When not working Pagel enjoys spending time with his wife Kari, fishing, hunting, lifting weights, outdoor activities, and slow pitch softball.