MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Hannan High School's football team is no stranger to adversity, but now they’re hoping for a Hail Mary to start their season in time.
The Hannan High School football team's helmets were stolen, forcing the team to adjust its practice routines.
"I said we'll have a football season. I said if I have to take out a bank loan or try to take out a bank loan to pay for helmets, we'll have helmets,” Hannan High School Football Head Coach Kellie Thomas said.
When Thomas came in to prepare for summer practice on July 29, the team’s helmets were missing.
"Went in and looked and boxes were gone, helmets were gone and we looked all over the athletic building,” Thomas said.
Surveillance footage shows a UTV pulling up to the athletic building, but the suspects and their vehicle were hidden in the dark.
"It’s pretty low thing to do. I hope their conscience gets the best of them because eventually I think we will find out who it was,” Thomas said.
The lack of helmets has limited their practice routines to running, strengthening and going through plays.
"It’s going to impact us whenever we can start hitting because if we don’t have them, of course that's going to put us behind other teams in the state,” Thomas said.
With football season right around the corner and their first scrimmage in less than two weeks, the team is in a hard place.
"We’re invited to go to that and we said yes and here we are with no helmets and a couple weeks away from scrimmage day,” she said. "So if our helmets don’t come till the 21st then we're that far behind."
But the Wildcats are not backing down.
"I give credit to these guys here that come out every day and bust their rears because were used to adversity and we overcome it so this is just one obstacle and we'll overcome it and we'll be better and be stronger by it,” Thomas said.
The estimated cost to replace the helmets is $7,000.
The Wildcats have their first scrimmage Aug. 24 in Point Pleasant.