The Garey football team looked pristine in its new uniforms during a season-opening victory over Pomona Friday night, but not all is as it appears.
The Vikings’ varsity and freshman teams are surviving on the practice field with just 10 footballs and 63 helmets between them. Several of the helmets are too big to fit any of the current players and there are only 40 new varsity uniforms.
In dire need when he arrived in April, first-year head coach Al Brown requested some new equipment but a change in athletic directors since last school year delayed the purchase of some essentials until the arrival of a new athletic director in August. Of course, funding is the larger hurdle.
“Money is tight and when you come to a program that hasn’t been doing well, there’s just not a lot here,” Brown said. “The administration is working from every angle to get everything I asked for. They’re using money from different accounts and we’re doing as many fund raisers as we can.”
Garey has ordered 15 new helmets and is hoping to replace some non-functional tackling bags, among other things.
Since a 21-19 win over Pomona last week snapped Garey’s 11-game losing streak, more players have come out for the team. If too many more come out, the Vikings may not have enough equipment to outfit them.
“We haven’t had to turn anybody away,” Brown said. “It hasn’t come to that yet. We’re building this program and we’re on the ground floor right now.”