Players on the Timberline Spartans football team will receive up-to-date gear and a fresh look after the Idaho Central Credit Union donated $18,000 for new pads, helmets and uniforms.
The equipment will be used by Weippe’s junior high and high school programs. Timberline athletic director Cori Pinque said the money will buy 40 helmets, 40 pads, 40 home uniforms and 40 away uniforms.
The new gear will help keep the student-athletes safer by replacing outdated equipment, he said.
The team’s helmets have been in use for more than a decade, exceeding the 10-year shelf life of the products. Over the past two years, the school had spent $4,000 to begin replacing the helmets, but with a price tag between $200 and $700 apiece, Pinque said only between eight and 10 helmets were purchased during that time frame.
And the pads were even older.
“Our football coaches were going through their inventory and discovered a lot of the pads were used when they were in high school 20 years ago,” Pinque said.
Timberline plays eight-man football. And with a program of Timberline’s size, that means most of the kids participate in every play on both sides of the ball, Pinque said.
“It’s a rough game,” Pinque said. “They’re all multisport athletes and are playing every minute. We can’t afford to lose kids to injury. Safety is very important.”
The uniforms, which were last replaced around five years ago, will also get a makeover after the team decided it wanted to revert back “to more of an old-school style,” Pinque said. Instead of donning white and black, the uniforms will revert back to gold and black.
The school had asked Idaho Central Credit Union for $3,000 to replace some of the pads, but the credit union surprised the district with an additional $15,000.
“That’s pretty huge,” Pinque said. “We thank ICCU for all the support. They’ve been amazing and easy to work with. They’ve always supported the community and the kids 100 percent.”
Theresa Root, supervisor of ICCU in Pierce, said the credit union is happy to be able to give back to the communities they serve.
“We want to make sure the players feel confident, safe and proud when they take the field,” Root said. “We look at this as an investment in the future of our community. The players will take the field next year with new helmets, uniforms and safety gear.”
ICCU planned to present the check Friday night during Timberline’s homecoming football game.
Tomtas may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 848-2294. Follow her on Twitter @jtomtas.