Panama City Beach, FL---The Arnold Marlins are now in game prep mode coming off a big win over Bozeman in their kickoff classic Friday. Monday though the Marlins with something else on their minds. Adding to the overall safety of the game.
Thanks to the Taylor Haugen Foundation and a grant from the St. Joe Community Foundation, the Marlins fitted today EvoShield rib protector shirts.
Taylor Haugen you may recall the young player at Niceville who died after sustaining an internal injury during a jamboree a few years back. It's believed this kind of rib cage protection would have saved his life, and can prevent his kind of tragedy from happening again on the football field.
Brian Haugen, who helps run the foundation named after his son, talked to us about how this donation came about.
"We have had a great relationship with the St. Joe Community Foundation that has initiated grants for us to outfit teams, in the past, throughout South Walton county. They came to us recently, we had submitted a grant to them to outfit Bay county schools, and the first team they selected to assist them with the cost, was Arnold High School."
Arnold head coach Josh Wright says he's honored his program was the recipient of this added safety feature for his kids.
"We're just thrilled. It's a coincidence that they reached out to us because that's one of our booster club missions, to put the safest equipment on our players, here at Arnold. This is right in line with that mission. And to be supported by St. Joe Community Foundation, and the Taylor Haugen Foundation, along with Brian and Kathy, a true honor. It's humbling, very humanizing to be out here today and watch those kids get outfitted for a safer playing atmosphere. It was awesome."
Rutherford head coach Alvin Dempsey on hand for Monday's fitting. He's hoping his team might be next in receiving the EvoShield shirts.