Roughly $10,000 worth of new equipment is being used by the Dukes football program thanks to donations by local businesses to the Wellington Fullbackers.
Tackling dummies, blocking pads, five-man sled shields, tackling rings, and end zone cameras are just some of the new gear received by coach Rob Howells and his team.
“This community is just awesome,” he said. “I have two assistant coaches, Matt Kimmich and Kyle Conley, who are Wellington graduates and they’ve really helped me connect with fellow grads and business members. It means a lot to a kid to get their hands on something new. The tackling rings will help out so much with newer heads up tackling fundamentals we’re trying to instill.”
Inner Circle Personal Fitness, VFW Post 6941, the American Legion, the Kimmich family, and individual Wellington High School alumni as far away as Wisconsin are among the contributors to the latest round of Fullbackers fundraising, Howells said.
“The hope and my belief is that all of this new stuff will show our guys and encourage them that things are going in the right direction,” said the first-year head coach. “Things are going to be different moving forward and now they have some things to hold in their hands that confirms that. It helps them stick with football and get through all of the hard work involved.”
The team will hold its first full practice July 30 and open the season Aug. 31 at Ashland’s Mapleton High School.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.