WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Warren Little Raiders football players wrapped up their practice Wednesday night with some new hardware.
They’re going to be safer and a little more protected from here on out, thanks to donations from local firefighters and government employees who surprised the players with new helmets.
These tough football players didn’t know what was going on when Warren fire trucks rolled up to practice.
“When the firefighters came I thought we was going to be in trouble ’cause that’s what our coaches said,” said player Ramarco Hall.
A prank from coaches hoping to throw players off the surprise.
“Gentlemen, you guys got all new helmets from the fire department and from operations. Congratulations everybody,” said John Jerina, president of the IAFF Local 204 Warren Professional Firefighters.
The helmets the Little Raiders were playing with are at least six years old.
The new ones are a gift from the IAFF Local 204 Warren Professional Firefighters and the AFSCME Local 74 Government Employees.
“We have an annual fundraiser every year and we try to give back to the community as much as we can. We just felt that this was the best way to go, for the safety of kids,” Jerina said.
The surprise went over like a Hail Mary game-winning touchdown pass.
“I like my helmet. It’s soft inside of it and it’s all shiny and stuff and it has the Warren symbol on it,” said player I’Kell Vinfore.
They handed out 50 new helmets in total.
“I finally got a new chin strap, so I’m thankful for what I have,” Vinfore said.
“To know that people care about me makes my mind blow and makes my heart go,” said player Sataunt Warfield.
These fierce competitors say that the new helmets will give them a major advantage on the field.
“I think we ‘gon win and everything!” Vinfore said.
“And we ‘gon hit!” Hall said.
The groups spent about $4,500 on the donation.