By Bobby Bean
During visits to Newton, Riddell representative Todd Ganbrone advised Athletic Director W.T. Johnston about a program that Newton might qualify for that could assist with the current needs he saw in the program. Coach Johnston and Ganbrone took pictures of the questionable shoulder pads, helmets and jerseys along with data on the socio-economic conditions in Newton County, coupled with the number of reduced/free meals that are served in the Newton School District. Then they submitted a request to the J.J. Watt Foundation. Yes, that J.J. Watt. The NFL defensive player for the Houston Texans. Watt has a number of annual fundraisers for his namesake foundation.
In May 2017 Newton ISD accepted the foundation’s grant for $19,000 for Newton Middle School football equipment and uniforms. The itemized list of much needed qualifying equipment has been forwarded to Riddell and purchased. The amazing man on the field is reflected off the field through his tremendous generosity. The student athletes at NMS are only a few of the many across the U.S. that the J.J. Watt Foundation has assisted. Deweyville student athletes were also part of the generosity of the foundation after the Deweyville Pirates schools were flooded. So when you are watching the Texans on TV, root a little harder for the player that gives so much to so many. The Eagles certainly will be!