Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
A generous donation from UAW-Ford has allowed the purchase of 168 brand new top-quality helmets to distribute among Detroit Public School League varsity football teams.
“We were just about to order helmets, and we really needed them, so this donation is right on time,’’ Osborn High athletic coordinator Lonell Williams said. “We were able to use the money we were going to spend on helmets toward buying new pads.”
The benefit of the five star-rated helmets is the added protection they’ll provide.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Jimmy Settles, UAW-Ford national vice president, said. “I know how proper equipment can sometimes prevent opportunities for our children from participating in extracurricular activities and I just didn’t want that to be the case with our football players.
“We want to make sure that our kids can safely have fun with the game, and if newer football helmets can accomplish that and we’re in a position to do so, then that’s what we will do.”
Cass Tech head football coach Thomas Wilcher said the UAW-Ford donation amounted to $27,555. Previously, UAW-Ford contributed toward the renovation of Cass Tech’s weight room and study lab.
“It shows the importance the UAW plays in everyday people’s lives,” Wilcher said. “They care about people and want to do their part toward maintaining a better quality of life.”
Park Athletic Supply, which has been servicing PSL schools for 30 years, was a valuable partner in holding down the cost and prepping the helmets to match the various team color schemes.
“We’re the local dealer for Schutt helmets and all these helmets are five star-(the best) rated,” said Dave Bockel of Park Athletic Supply. “We’re just a piece of the puzzle. We’ve had a long-time relationship with Detroit Public Schools athletics. We try to do the best we can for the district.”
Wilcher said 14 of the PSL’s 16 varsity football teams took advantage of the donation and received 12 new helmets each prior to last week’s nonleague season openers.
After collectively posting a 6-9 record to start the season, PSL teams will open the league schedule this weekend with eight games Friday, all 4 p.m. starts. They include Cass Tech (1-0 overall) at Pershing (1-0 overall), Central (1-0 overall ) at King (1-0 overall), Cody (0-1 overall) vs. CMA (0-1 overall) @DCP-Northwestern, DCP-Northwestern (0-0) at Denby (1-0), Ford (0-1 overall) at East English Village (0-1 overall), Douglass (0-1 overall) at Mumford (0-1 overall), Osborn (0-1 overall) at Renaissance (0-1 overall) and Western (1-0 overall) at Southeastern (0-1 overall).
Last week’s results: CASS TECH 27, Oak Park 26; KING 22, Port Huron 10; WESTERN 32, OSBORN 6: DENBY 12, RENAISSANCE 7; CENTRAL 52, Allen Academy 6; Warren Mott 31, CODY 16; Lansing Sexton 35, EAST ENGLISH VILLAGE 26; Grosse Pointe South 28, MUMFORD 0; PERSHING 28, FORD 6; Bishop Foley 21, DOUGLASS 20; Southfield Lathrup 35, SOUTHEASTERN 6; Westside Christian Academy 40, CMA 12