FLEMING ISLAND - A recognizable face has been roaming the Fleming Island High football practice fields and it’s not a former gridiron great, but one of the school’s finest track and soccer female …
FLEMING ISLAND - A recognizable face has been roaming the Fleming Island High football practice fields and it’s not a former gridiron great, but one of the school’s finest track and soccer female athletes.
Emily Surgeoner, a 2016 400 meter, 200 meter and long jump specialist and a standout soccer player while a Golden Eagle, has completed her is now called by her professional name of Dr. Emily Katherine Surgeoner, DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy), CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist).
Surgeoner, 25, who recently completed her studies at Duke University and also University of Florida is on hand for the summer as an intern at Preferred Physical Therapy with Allen Weiss in Fleming Island.
“I’m doing a little coaching with speed and developement with coach Otero (FIHS football coach Chris Otero) while I study for my boards (exams),” said Surgeoner. “I’m not as fast as I was in high school. It all goes downhill after 22.”
Surgeoner’s journey to become Dr. Surgeoner, which her Dr. to Surgeoner last name has created some raised eyebrows, recently finished with graduation in just three years from Duke University’s doctoral physical therapy program.
“The program is year round so the three years is three years 365 days straight,” said Surgeoner.
Surgeoner started the journey with four years at University of Florida’s Kinesiology and Physiology program.
“I played club soccer at Florida and got to travel around a bit of the country with the team,” said Surgeoner. “At Duke, I worked with the football team. I used to kick field goals when I was on the field waiting for the team to start game warmups. I have a video of me kicking a field goal at Wake Forest (home to Ryan Smenda, another FIHS grad, now a Los Angeles Ram in the National Football League).”
Otero welcomed Surgeoner’s expertise at his side as he prepared the football team’s cardio vascular aspect of summer training.
“I’m learning a lot more from her than she is from me,” said Otero, who recently stepped down from track to return to the football sidelines.
“Her wealth of knowledge even back in high school was tremendous and now she’s even smarter.”
Surgeoner plans to start a new job at the Memorial Hermann Rockets Sports Medicine Institute in Katy, Texas.
“I will just say that my future is a TBD (to be determined) based on my experiences from here,” said Surgeoner, who luckily did not have any major injuries herself as an athlete except a few concussions from soccer. “I have an interest in concussions or ACL (knee tears), but I’m not ready to make that decision. My dream job would be with the Women’s National Soccer Team and possibly the Olympic team from there.”
Otero noted Surgeoner’s powerful athletic build aided her career in avoiding injuries.
“She was always working on the preparation for her sports,” said Otero. “She was a special athlete for this school. I’d hire her tomorrow is she wanted to come back.”