Springfield, FL---Yet another area high school football squad is feeling a bit safer as it heads into it's next game Friday night.
The Rutherford Rams joining the likes of South Walton and Arnold now who are sporting the EvoShield rib protectors.
The Rams outfitted with the extra safety equipment Monday afternoon in the school cafeteria.
EvoShield is designed to protect a player's internal organs from serious and even life threatening injuries from hard hits to the midsection.
These rib protectors come courtesy the Taylor Haugen Foundation and the St. Joe Foundation. Some 85 hundred bucks in all donated.
Taylor you may recall the j.v. player at Niceville who died a few years ago from internal bleeding after a hit to his midsection.
Rams head coach Alvin Dempsey says he's thrilled with the donation. "Safety is the biggest issue with these guys." says coach Dempsey. "And watching that video of Taylor Haugen it was heartbreaking, to know that those types of injuries do happen on the football field. And I want these guys to be safe in all aspects."
Brian Haugen is Taylor's father, and he runs the Taylor Haugen Foundation. He's thankful to have the folks with another foundation pitching in in such a big way. "And if it weren't for the St. Joe Community Foundation we wouldn't be able to cover 100 percent of these expenses. Once again they've come through for us to help better protect our kids. We're really excited about the relationship we have with the St. Joe Community Foundation and look forward to equipping more Bay county kids with this protection due to the St. Joe Community Foundation."
Coach Dempsey and his Rams hoping to put behind them the 70-54 loss to Escambia Friday and focus on this week's game at Arnold, the 5A district 1 opener. More on that match up later in the week.