The Siuslaw Vikings football program scored a big win this week, surpassing its goal of raising $6,000 for new football helmets.
The WeFund4U.com fundraiser collected $6,250 thanks to 88 supporters, including Erickson Cutting Inc., which gave $500.
First-year coach Sam Johnson says all the money will go to protective gear, specifically new helmets.
"We're going to lease helmets so we can get the nicest helmets every year," Johnson said. "(Former coach) Chad (Smith) started that last year, and we started it at Pleasant Hill.
"It turns out being cheaper than buying the nicest new helmets, then trying to refurbish them."
It will put the players in the best possible head gear every year.
"You see how cautious people are now to protect heads with the CTE coming out," Johnson said. "We have to put the kids in the best helmets possible."
CTE is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease from repeated head injuries that worsens over time.
"We'll probably go to shoulder pads, too," Johnson said. "It gets kids safe. I'd rather have kids safe than save a few pennies here or there."
Judging from turnout, the team will need more helmets and shoulder pads than in recent years.
"We have 35 out for the football program," Johnson said. "I expect when we have summer camp (in mid August), welcome to all players, all ages, I expect to get another 10 out.
"When school starts, I expect a couple more. When all is said and done, we should be well over 45."
A list of WeFund4U supporters is online at https://wefund4u.com/fundraiser/siuslaw-football-fundriaser/ ...
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