USA Football ponies up for Mustangs
For the second time in three years the Monument Valley Mustang football program has received a $500 grant from the USA Football group.
The group, which partnered with the Riddell Sports Group, funds grants every spring for youth leagues and scholastic teams to allow them to upgrade equipment and improve playing fields.
“Riddell and USA Football are the reasons why a lot of high school football teams play,” MV coach Bryan Begay said. “It’s kudos to them that we’re happy to accept this grant and use it for the future.”
Begay said his program was one of few schools selected to receive this grant, which varies between $500 and $1,500.
“It’s a grant to help increase the safety of our players,” Begay said. “As coaches we try to strive for players’ safety. That is the number one concern that we have every year.”
The longtime MV coach said he received an email in March from USA Football asking him if he would like to apply for the grant.
“Anytime there’s an opportunity out there for our program I try to put our name out there,” he said. “This was one of those ideal situations to where I just had to type in a few things and just hope for the best.”
After receiving word of the endowment, Begay looked over the list of equipment offered, which included shoulder pads, chinstraps, girdles, practice apparel, field equipment and helmets.
Of that list, he ordered one helmet and six girdles from the Riddell Sports Group.
“Anytime our players get a brand new equipment we take pride in that,” Begay said. “It’s something we always try to do every year, which is to have the best equipment and the latest gear available so that our players can be safe.”
By his estimation, the MV coach said the helmet that his program uses is valued at $289.
“It’s not cheap,” Begay said, while adding that his program suits up 50 to 75 players each year.
“Some schools got as much as $1,500,” he said. “We got $500 and that’s better than nothing.”