Flood-affected schools receive thousands in donated football equipment

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Wednesday was like Christmas for football players and coaches who lost all of their uniforms and equipment to the June 23 floods in West Virginia.

Last month, big names in college football, including West Virginia natives Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban, Rick Trickett and Joey Pendry, announced they would help sports teams affected by the flooding get all of the gear and equipment needed for the upcoming football season.

Thousands of dollars worth of donated cleats, shoulder pads and uniforms arrived to Kanawha County, West Virginia on Friday.

"Anything you can think of that football players need, we have," said Bill Gillispie, a West Virginia Secondary School Activities director.

On Tuesday, football coaches from Clay County, Elkview Middle, Herbert Hoover, Richwood and Richwood Middle School got to take the new equipment home to their players, just in time for Friday night lights.

"It's exciting to see that schools in the area that got affected are going to get some nice new equipment out of all of this, but it also makes you thankful and appreciative of what you have," said Chad Hall, the football coach at Richwood High School.

All of the donations are from high schools and colleges in Florida and Alabama.

"They care about us and they know the importance of football - what this means to some of these kids. It means a lot to me," Tim Meyer, the football coach at Herbert Hoover High School, said.

West Virginia University also donated jerseys for players to wear when they're off the field.

"Puts things in perspective as far as if this ever happens in the future," Hall said. "Hey, it's time to reach out and return the favor of what was given to us."

A memorable favor for a season that almost didn't happen has made it a season players and coaches will never forget.