More than $10,000 worth of football equipment was stolen from a Fremont high school last month, and now the team can only hope it will have enough gear for all players to suit up for the season opener.
Police said the burglary at Washington High School only came to light Wednesday.
The team has begun practicing already. It has enough helmets and pads to go around at the moment, but if more students try out and make the team, those players may have to wait to suit up, the coach said.
"When someone takes away from the kids, what are we doing?" head coach Will Edwards said, referring to the thieves. "They wrecked the entire team room. We're missing 15 helmets and over 35 shoulder pads."
Football helmets are worth more than $300 apiece, and shoulder pads also are fairly expensive. Police said the door leading to the storage room inside the Washington gymnasium may have been left open for contract workers upgrading the school grounds.
"My first concern was I hope we have enough equipment to suit the kids up," Edwards said.
There are about 100 junior varsity and varsity players on the Washington High roster.
During the first practices, 71 have shown up. More may be reporting to the team once the summer vacation ends.
"If our numbers were at a normal level, we wouldn’t have enough equipment," Edwards said. "Since the levels are a little low, we have the equipment."
The coaching staff didn’t tell students about the burglary, for fear it would hurt morale. They were right
Player Franklin Agodi said he was hurt "just knowing someone took that from us, took an opportunity away from us."
Each year, the student-athletes hold fundraisers to pay for football equipment, and this year, it's money badly needed.