While it was the middle of summer in East Alabama, and there wasn’t an ugly sweater in sight it felt like Christmas at Loachapoka High School. Tennessee Titans Linebacker Rashaan Evans, an Auburn native, and his organization the Razor Foundation donated over $40,000 worth of Adidas football gear to the team.
“If you saw those kids over there and what they were doing going through those shoes and stuff. Like I told them it was like Christmas in August. They just came to open their gifts. To see the smiles, to see the warmth in their heart,” said Indians Head Football Coach Reco Newton.
This was a once in a lifetime donation for some of the current players and they couldn’t stop smiling.
“Nobody has ever given stuff like this before. So I mean it feels good to get something from the community. Me and my teammates, some of us, we never had stuff like this. So it feels good to get this stuff,” said Loachapoka senior linebacker Brandon Bedgood.
Evans played his high school football with Auburn High School. When he talked about making a donation to an East Alabama team he consulted with his mother find a place that could really use the help. That’s when the inspiration to help Loachapoka, a much smaller school, prepare for the upcoming season. He understood from his time as a player what it meant to have some new gear.
“I can only imagine you know being in that situation where some of these guys they have nothing. No shirt to put on their own their own back. To be able to have that opportunity to give shoes and some of the other apperal that was a big thing for me to do,” said Evans.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every part of the sports world including the fund raising. This gift help lift a huge weight of Loachapoka’s shoulders. Now the team can just focus on having a great season.
“With everything going on it’s kind of hard with fund raising and stuff to get money to our program. This really helped a lot,” said Head Coach Newton.
The players left school with some new cleats, new gloves, and all kinds of new gear. They also got some new inspiration to dream bigger. To reach for bigger goals and one day try to be like Evans. Brandon Bedgood, who plays the same position as the Tennessee Titan, is ready to work even harder.
“It motivates me a lot, because like you said, we play the same position so I feel like if he can do it than I can do it. If I put in the same work,” said Bedgood.
For Evans that was the biggest payoff and he will continue to give back to schools like Loachapoka.
“My motivation from now on is continue to give as much back as I can to people that has a less fortunate or to people just in general. Just to try and bring about something in this world that is good,” said Evans.