ENGLEWOOD – In the wake of the destruction of their field and much of their gear by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, the football players and coaches at Dwight Morrow High School were doing whatever they could to save the season.
The team have announced that they intend to play their schedule and play home games on neutral third pitches, but equipment and uniforms have yet to be replaced.
Enter a well-known benefactor to save the day.
The New York Jets organization stepped in to donate approximately $ 20,000 to cover the cost of the team’s helmets, epaulettes and uniforms, said Jesse Linder, vice president of community relations at the NFL team.
The team saw the media coverage and social media posts about the devastation in Englewood and reached out to see what could be done.
âWe found out that all the equipment was in shambles and we wanted to see what ways and what resources we could use to help this team and mitigate the damage and bring it back to the field,â Linder said.
The stadium used by the team is at the bottom of a hill opposite Englewood Hospital. The property is also bordered by Overpeck Creek, but the majority of damage to the turf field is due to flood water coming down the slope. Dirt and mud covered more than half of the terrain and the track that surrounds it. The resort’s tennis courts were also damaged.
School sports director Joe Armental said he posted about the damage and what the team was going through on social media and tagged the team. In response, the Jets offered to donate the cost of replacing football equipment and uniforms. The two sides have been working with several vendors to provide the equipment to the players ahead of their first game last Friday against Fort Lee.
The uniforms arrived without numbers, so Fort Lee loaned their old jerseys to the players, Armental said. The new Dwight Morrow jerseys have since been delivered.
The destruction spread beyond the football team, Armental said, adding that the donation had really boosted morale.
âOur football teams lost their ground, our tennis team lost their courts and our marching band and cheerleaders lost the opportunity to perform in front of their home crowd,â he said. âThe gifts and recognition from the Jets made it much easier to bounce back from what could have been another lost season. There is a buzz around sports programs that did not exist a few weeks ago, as more and more young men and women want to join the various fall teams. ”
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While the priority across the district was to ensure that schools could safely open, the Jets’ donation and support eased some of the financial burden on the district and allowed more focus on replacing aspects. educational.
It “meant the world to us to have such a well-known organization not only to contact us, but to financially support its support through a donation.”
âBetween Coach Saleh recognizing us at a press conference and wearing our branded shirt at the organization inviting us to watch their home opener against the Patriots, the New York Jets showed so much of thanks and appreciation for what the team was going through, âhe said. .
Linder called the players’ appreciation for the equipment and the chance to watch the game “the most rewarding thing about it.”
He said this was just one of the ways the organization is supporting youth programs in the region, highlighting their efforts to nominate a Player and Coach of the Week during the season and the varsity girls flag football league creation.
Katie Sobko is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.