It might not be the most ideal start for the Texas School for the Deaf Rangers varsity football team, losing its first two road games of the season, but then, something happened that everyone inside the program will remember for the rest of their lives.
TSD, which is located in Austin, is the official winner of new football equipment from Riddell, which is incredible. What made it even more special, however, was the team found out they won Riddell’s annual Smarter Football program award from a special congratulatory message by NFL legend Peyton Manning, a brand ambassador for the company.
Seriously, how cool is that?
According to an official press release, Riddell’s program received over 800 applications this year and will donate equipment to 10 programs across the country. The Texas School for the Deaf is one of them.
Each team is awarded $10,000 to use on Riddell’s latest helmets, shoulder pads, padded apparel and blocking equipment.
Here is the message from the former NFL quarterback:
“Hey, Rangers! Peyton Manning here. Congratulations on being named the 2019 Smarter Football grant recipient. We’re honored to recognize the coaches and players at the Texas School for the Deaf for your contributions to the game, especially in the heart of Texas, where football means so much to communities.
“I was impressed to learn how your team, through innovative coaching and a unique style of play, was able to take the head out of the game. That’s practicing Smarter Football and we hope other teams follow the example that you’re setting on and off the field. Best of luck this season.”
With this new equipment from the 2019 Smarter Football Program, the TSD Rangers will be ready to score touchdowns the rest of the high school football season, and hopefully the playoffs, with the support from one of the greatest players in NFL history while wearing a similar helmet Manning did during his Hall of Fame career.
Here are the other recipients of the 2019 Riddell Smarter Football equipment grants:
— Frankfort High School, Frankfort, IN
— Wendell High School, Wendell, ID
— Newton Conover High School, Newton, NC
— Apalachee High School, Winder, GA
— Cardinal O’Hara High School, Tonawanda, NY
— Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX
— Canyon Country High School, Canyon Country, CA
— Farmington Youth Football, Farmington, MN
— Wilkinson County Youth Football, Centreville, MS
— Hummelstown Youth Football, Hummelstown, PA