LYNN HAVEN, FL (WJHG/WECP) Never give up. It's a common refrain in sports, no matter the score or situation.
Helmets just a part of the equipment haul Mosley is taking in this summer thanks to grants from the NFL and St. Joe Foundation, among other donors!
After hurricane Michael, the second half of last season and start of this one has been quite difficult for Mosley. Even at the start of practice last week, much of their gear wiped out by the storm had yet to be replaced.
There's definitely a "new normal," but last week's new normal is vastly different from this week's new normal.
Mosley parent Donnie Coker reached out to the NFL four months ago for financial assistance. They finally came through with a special delivery: an estimated $68,000 worth of gear from the league and its equipment partners.
"It gives you a sense of hope," head coach Jeremy Brown said. "We don't have the outside equipment. Our equipment shed got destroyed. For them to know that the NFL, USA Football, Riddell, and Gilman Gear, those guys cared enough about what the kids are doing and I think it's a testament of those organizations understanding what high school football means to kids. Not the Friday night part of it, but the relationships, the character building, the life skills that football teaches."
Helmets, pads, sleds, dummies and more—they line the outside walls, locker halls and even the showers—almost more than they can fit and more than enough to boost their confidence and gratitude.
"We've got equipment here now that a lot of colleges have," Brown added. "We've probably got more equipment than some small colleges have right now cause we have more now than we did before the hurricane."
Brown and boosters put together an inventory of items lost in the storm. Following fundraising efforts and the NFL's donation, they say all but three things have been replaced, with other new items added.
Not only is it an upgrade, is also changes the way the team will approach practices going forward.
"We had some equipment that was pretty old and they replaced it. I think any time you can get this equipment, especially in this day and age with concussions and safety being such a big concern, we're not having to do so much body on body contact now because we've got different sleds and different size dummies, tackling wheels, and things of that nature where we can get the same training without having to be body on body."
The St. Joe Foundation also made a donation to Mosley, as well as other area programs.
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