HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - A $5,000 donation was made on Tuesday to the Harrison Central Red Rebels football team. The New Orleans Saints and John Fayard Moving delivered the practice equipment to the six-and-one team. The donation came on the heels of the Red Rebels' first loss of the season. Head Coach Casey Cain said the equipment will help motivate the team.
“You need things to spark to have an energized practice sometimes, you know, practicing this late in the year. Sometimes it just kind of gets old. You try to find something new to excite practice. This time of year, they really just want to play games instead of practice so this is gonna bless them," Cain said.
As the Harrison Central Red Rebels marched onto the field, they had no idea that Tuesday’s practice would feature some new equipment. Tripp Fayard of John Fayard Moving said it’s all part of giving back.
“We kind of huddled up with the Saints, no pun intended, and wanted to give back to the community somewhere between here and New Orleans and try and identify an athletic department that could use some extra help. We’re a Gulfport-based company and we thought that maybe by bringing the Saints over here would kind of be something extra special to the players," Fayard said.
Extra special is putting it lightly. The wildly-spirited pre-practice huddle that took place right after they found out about the equipment was proof of that. The players didn’t waste any time putting the new toys to good use.
“It means a lot. The stuff we had was real old. To get some new equipment, it really means a lot for us," said junior Outside Linebacker Raymond Collins.
“It’s good to get recognized finally. It’s motivation to keep me looking forward knowing not to give up,” said senior Middle Linebacker Eric Hopkins.
Cain attributes his team’s success to a great administration, a great coaching staff, and great players. The new equipment, though, is really the icing on the cake.
“It’s been really kind. I mean, any time you get brand new football equipment, kids see something new they get excited about trying to use that equipment. It’s like Christmas, and they want to play with their new toy. These kids love football. You can see them out there smiling. They’re out there doing their drills faster than they’ve done them all year," Cain said.
Harrison Central will play on the road against the undefeated D’Iberville Warriors this Friday at 7 p.m.