Hometown Hero | Helmet Heroes

Hometown Hero | Helmet Heroes
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:16 PM EDT
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PROCTORVILLE, Ohio (WSAZ) - Football practices got underway this week, but one youth program found themselves unsure whether they’d be able to start their season on time due to an equipment issue.

Steve Kenney, president of the Gallipolis youth football league, says they’d ordered 60 new helmets in December, but with a little more than a week before practices were to begin, he got a call from their distributer saying their helmets never came in.

Kenney says the call left him feeling scared and uncertain.

“I didn’t know where to turn next,” he said. “To buy helmets this age with COVID and the supply shortage, it’s difficult to find helmets anywhere.”

Kenney says their helmets from last season are too old to re-use.

“Last Monday and Tuesday, we didn’t really have a plan,” he said. “We struck out everywhere.”

He reached out to their conference, the Teen OVC.

The Fairland youth football president, Jeff McLain, was told about the dilemma and says fortunately they were in a position to help.

The Fairland and Rock Hill squads pitched in and donated extra helmets they had to the Gallipolis teams.

“We are all really committed to the kids in the OVC,” McLain said. “We all have a really good relationship with each other. The most important thing for us is that all kids are involved and are able to participate in the game.”

“We really appreciate everything they’ve done,” Kenney said. “We’re rivals on the field, but we’re family off it.”

Kenney says they’re in the process of getting the donated helmets painted, and they’re expected to be ready to use Monday.

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