It's not just the high school football teams getting going this fall. The youth teams are ready to kickoff as well.
But one group has suffered a loss before the season even began.
The Dougherty County Xtreme Pop Warner organization discovered up to 75 pairs of shoulder pads were stolen from the group's building earlier this week.
“I was just surprised,” says DCX President Jesse Breedlove.
Luckily, Breedlove says the pads stolen fit kids on teams that won't play for another week. Some of DCX’s teams will play Saturday.
Despite that, he says it’s a frustrating, disheartening thing to deal with.
“We’re in it for the kids. It’s all about them,” Breedlove says. “In essence, you’re not taking from us. It’s really taking from the kids.”
As for the kids, Breedlove says he’s proud of how they’ve handled the situation.
“They’re resilient,” he notes. “Kids these days are tougher than we realize. In their mind, as long as they can play on game day, they’re ready to go.”
Breedlove says many of the kids in the program come from underprivileged homes. Several of the players are on scholarships funded by businesses and individuals.
The organization has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to replace the stolen pads. They are also taking donations.
“It doesn’t have to be brand new stuff,” Breedlove says. “Used stuff works just as well.”
To lend a hand to Dougherty County Xtreme, go to http://www.gofundme.com/kyzedw.
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