The Competitive Edge Sports Performance Program
Faster...Stronger... Injury Free...
What is The Competitive EDGE?
It is a innovative sports performance program dedicated to educating athletes on how to increase their success on the field, ice or court. Success in athletics revolves around one's ability to integrate speed, agility , core strength, and muscle endurance to perform at the tip of one's game.
At The Competitive EDGE Sports Performance we use a combination of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) along with Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC) to design optimal workouts that help you achieve your highest level of performance.
Programs for Individuals and Teams
- Sports specific functional training for all athletes-beginners to elite
- Performance training camps and workshops
- Individual and team training available
- Dynamic warm-up and flexibility routines
- Explosive plyometric (power) training
- Techniques to improve multidirectional speed and agility
- Core strength and stability
Training Methods We'll Employ
- Agility Tools
- Sport Cord Training
- Medicine Balls
- Sport Specific Equipment
- Core Training
- Balance Equipment
NFMMC and UBMDOSM provide an ACL post-surgical bridge program for patients that are returning to athletics and are in need of additional sports specific rehabilitation. This program focuses on bridging athletes from traditional physical therapy to sports specific activities. This program helps prepare the athlete to return to the ice, court, or field.
At The Competitive EDGE Sports Performance we use a combination of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS), Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC), and Physical Therapists (PT) to design optimal workouts that help you achieve your highest level of performance.
Participants will leave the program faster, stronger, and injury free!
Programs for individuals & teams
- Functional Training for All Athletes Beginner to Elite
- Performance Training Camps and Workshops
- Individual and Team Training Available
- Sport and position specific training
ACL Bridge training is done at the Niagara Falls High School Field house. Address of complex is 3980 Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY Enter sports complex off Pine Avenue and follow the road to the field house.
What to Bring:
- Athletic shoes and attire
- Water bottle
- Positive attitude
What is the Return to Throw Program?
NFMMC and UBMDosm provide a Return to Throw post-surgical/Rehab program for patients who are returning to athletics and are in need of additional sports specific rehabilitation. This program focuses on gradually increasing throwing distances and intensities after traditional physical therapy is completed. It will prepare any overhead throwing athlete to return to their specific sport.
Participants will leave the program stronger with improved mechanics, more confident and injury free!
Heat Illness Prevention
Our Sports Medicine Program recently posted a video on how to prevent heat injuries during the summer season. View the video here.
Meet the Team
The staff are Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialists and Certified Athletic Trainers specially trained, regulated and registered with the State of New York.
Tony Surace, M.Ed., ATC: Director of Sports Medicine/Summit Rehab Manager
“Your Protection Is Our Priority” is the theme of this year’s National Athletic Training Month, which is sponsored by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA), a not-for-profit organization based in Dallas, Texas. Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center employs twenty certified athletic trainers who work at local schools in Niagara and Northern Erie Counties and provide coverage for other organizations such as the NEYSA youth football organization, Queen City Roller Girls, and the NFJVHA hockey league. Those high schools and colleges are: Niagara Falls High School, Niagara Catholic High School, Niagara Wheatfield High School, Lewiston-Porter High School, Niagara County Community College, North Tonawanda High School, Grand Island High School, Kenmore East High School , Kenmore West High School, Tonawanda High School, and CSAT (Charter School of Applied Technology). We partner with UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in their Niagara Falls location at the Summit Healthplex which provides services that include: physical therapy, athletic training, strength and conditioning, Orthopaedics, Primary Care sports medicine and a concussion management clinic. Athletic Trainers are involved in all of those components and are vital sports healthcare professionals to help in injury prevention, recognition and rehabilitation of injuries. Next time you see your Athletic Trainer, say Thank You! for all they do to keep your children and athletes safe and in the game. For more information regarding our sports medicine program or schedule an appointment at the office for care, call UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at 716-204-3200 or for athletic training services from NFMMC, call 716-215-0723. To recognize our staff, I have asked them to tell us a little about themselves in honor of National Athletic Training Month and to thank them for ALL that they do.
Paige Anderson, ATC
Paige is currently in her 2nd year on staff at NFMMC and is the athletic trainer at Niagara Falls High School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Canisius College in 2015. She is persuing her Master’s degree from Canisius College in Health and Human Performance as well as her certification as a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
Andrew Benzin MS, ATC
Andy is currently in his 3rd year with NFMMC. He graduated from Daemen College in 2012 and has worked as an athletic trainer in the high school and college setting. Currently works as an Orthotic fitter for East Coast Orthotics and Prosthetics. Andy is a per diem athletic trainer with NFMMC who covers primarily youth football and club hockey.
Cleon Clayton, MS, ATC
Cleon is currently in his 2nd year with NFMMC as a per diem athletic trainer. He graduated from Daemen College in 2015. Cleon is primarily covering hockey with the NFJVHA and youth football coverage for NEYSA. Cleon is FT with Brooks Memorial Hospital in Fredonia where he is an athletic trainer for their sports medicine outreach program.
Melissa A. Donato, MS, ATC
Melissa is currently in her 5th year on staff at NFMMC and is the athletic trainer at Tonawanda High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Elmira College and continued on to Central Connecticut State University where she completed her Master's degree while serving as a Graduate Assistant for their women's soccer team. Melissa has had the opportunity to work with high school, collegiate, professional, and recreational athletes during her career as an Athletic Trainer. When not on the field, Melissa can be found on the water in her kayak.
Danielle Dorchak, MS, ATC
Danielle is currently in her 2nd year on staff at NFMMC as a per diem athletic trainer. She primarily covers club hockey for the NFJVHA and youth football through the NEYSA. Danielle works FT for UBMDosm with the Buffalo public schools.
Jeff Green, MS, ATC
Jeff is currently in his 10th year on staff at NFMMC and is the athletic trainer at Grand Island High School. He graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2007. Jeff has also worked with the Empire State Games and USA Hockey. Enjoys spending time golfing and playing softball. Jeff is a new father as well to his daughter, Aurelia. Jeff is also on our Niagara EDGE 5K/10K race committee and is a vital part of our athletic training team.
Jason Hopkins, ATC, CSCS
Jason Hopkins is currently in his 4th year with NFMMC and is the athletic trainer at Lewiston-Porter High School. He has been a certified athletic trainer since July of 2000. Starting his career as the Head athletic trainer at St. Joe's Collegiate Institute from 2000-2001 then worked in the industrial setting at General Motors and Delphi from 2001-2005. He has been with the Lewiston Porter Lancers from 2005 to present. He enjoys amateur bodybuilding and spending time with his family and friends.
Henry Luczak, ATC, CSCS, CEAS
Henry is currently in his 12th year on staff at NFMMC and is the athletic trainer at Niagara County Community College. He graduated in 1992 from SUNY Plattsburgh. He has seen all facets of athletic training: High School, college, clinical and corporate. Henry loves hockey, spending time with his kids and his favorite food is pizza.
Megan Niblock, ATC
Megan is currently in her 2nd year on staff at NFMMC as a per diem athletic trainer. She has primarily covered club hockey through the NFJVHA and youth football through the NEYSA. Currently works as an Orthotic fitter for East Coast Orthotics and Prosthetics.
Fernando Pineda, ATC, CSCS
Fernando is currently in his 6th year on staff at NFMMC and is currently a per diem athletic trainer for youth football and Club hockey along with working at CSAT. He graduated from Canisius College in 2010. He worked has with the Men’s Iroquois National Lacrosse team during the 2014 World games. Enjoys spending time with his 4 year old son and is currently pursuing the Registered Dietitian credential at Buffalo state college. Fernando is also a member of our Niagara EDGE 5K/10K race committee and is a vital part of our athletic training team.
Laura Ranieri ATC, PES
Laura is currently in her 2nd year on staff at NFMMC and is the athletic trainer at Kenmore West High School. Laura is in her 6th year at Kenmore West. Laura graduated from The College at Brockport in 2006 with a degree in athletic training. Laura is also a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist.
Stephanie Swartzwelder, MS, ATC, CSCS
Stephanie is currently in her 2nd year on staff at NFMMC and is the athletic trainer at Kenmore East High School. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri Stephanie graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Missouri State University in 2013. She went on to complete a two year graduate assistantship and earn a Master of Science in Athletic Training degree from Western Michigan University in 2015. Stephanie is also a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist.
Ana Taylor, ATC, CAT
Ana is currently in her 12th year on staff at NFMMC and is the athletic trainer at Niagara Catholic High School. She graduated from Western University with a bachelors degree in kinesiology, she continued with her post graduate studies at Sheridan college where she majored in sports injury management. Ana is also a certified Pilates instructor.
Darren Vukovic, ATC
Darren is currently in his 5th year on staff at NFMMC and is the athletic trainer at North Tonawanda High School. He graduated from Brockport State college. He lives in Western New York with his wife and three children. He recently completed his master’s degree in Physical Education.
Vanessa Wacht, MS, ATC
Vanessa is currently in her 4th year on staff at NFMMC and is a per diem athletic trainer that covers club hockey and youth football for our sports medicine program. She graduated from University at Buffalo in 2010 with her Masters degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Athletic Training. She has been working with the Buffalo Public Schools for the past 5 years, currently with South Park, Middle Early College, and Hutchinson Central Technology High Schools.
Stephanie Woleben, MS, ATC
Stephanie is currently in her first year as a per diem certified athletic trainer for NFMMC. She grew up in Brocton, NY. She graduated from Daemen College with her BS in Healthcare Studies, continued, and received her MS degree in Athletic Training in 2016. She additionally serves as the head athletic trainer at Jamestown Community College (Jamestown, NY)."
Jessica Zehner, MS, ATC
Jessica is currently in her 1st year on staff at NFMMC. Jessica is the athletic trainer at Niagara Wheatfield High School. Jessie is from Massachusetts. She received her B.A. in athletic training from UNCW and M.S. in human performance from Lindenwood University in Missouri. She was a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Lindenwood-Belleville. She likes to travel, hike, and ski.
Rachel Reichert, MS, ATC
Rachel is a per diem Certified Athletic Trainer for Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center (NFMMC). Reichart earned her Master of Science degree in Athletic Training from Daemen College. In addition to NFMMC, Reichart is an Assistant Athletic Trainer for Buffalo State College working primarily with football and swimming.
Liz Aiello, MS, ATC
Liz Aiello joined the Niagara Falls Memorial Sports Medicine team in the summer 2016. Aiello is a graduate of Daemen College where she obtained her Master’s of Science in Athletic Training and Bachelor’s of Science in Health Care Studies with a concentration in Health and Fitness Training. Currently, she provides athletic training outreach coverage for NFJV and Club Ice Hockey and NEYSA Football. She works full time at Buffalo State College where she has provided care for football, soccer, ice hockey, and track and field.