SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) The Sparks High School football program received some bad news last week. 17 of its helmets have been deemed unsuitable for play by the school district.
"It can be just wear and tear throughout the years, and that's the biggest hit we've taken. They've just gotten too old," said Railroaders head coach Brad Rose.
The program only has 90 helmets total for all three of its teams (freshman, JV and varsity), and have already been warned that 24 more will be good for just one more season. Even their current crop that's still usable are nearing an end.
"These are the same models I was wearing 13, 14 years ago," added Rose. "And our opponents are wearing the newest most up-to-date stuff. Technology has changed so much; the focus on concussions. We want our kids to be as safe in the game as possible."
So Sparks is asking for the help of their community. They are holding a fundraiser at Mummers on Victorian Avenue May 5 at 7pm. It will include a silent auction and a raffle. The goal is to raise $6,000 to acquire new helmets.
"We have to do it. It's not something we just want to do; we have to do it."
They are also accepting donations to ensure they can field all three teams this season.
"At this current point we'd be unable to uniform three levels of football," admitted Rose. "We'd have to turn kids away, and that's what we don't want to do."
Those interested in helping out can email Coach Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 775-353-5550 ext. 36178.