Peyton Manning, Riddell award football equipment to Texas School for the Deaf

[Transcript] Football equipment maker Riddell and former NFL star quarterback Peyton Manning announced in a video that the Texas School for the Deaf was one of ten schools nationwide to win a 2019 Smarter Football Grant. Over 800 programs applied for the grant.

Manning, in a captioned video, applauded the TSD Rangers team’s innovative coaching and their unique style of play to “take the head out of the game.”

The Daily Moth reached out to TSD’s Athletic Director Chris Hamilton to ask how they received this grant.

Hamilton said the head coach, John Moore, Jr. was looking for new shoulder pads in August and while he was comparing different companies, he found the Riddell campaign. Moore explained in his application that TSD avoids head injuries in two different ways. The first is by using a drum for snaps, so they don’t have to turn their heads away from the opposing players. They only have to wait for the drum. The second method is by only using onside kicks in kickoffs to avoid the traditional kickoff method.

We asked Moore to send in a video to explain more about using only onside kicks and on what this award means to them.


How long have we been doing onside kicks? We’ve been doing it for six years now. It really does help us avoid injuries. Even pee wee football leagues don’t use kickoffs. They start at the 20-yard or the 30-yard line. The NFL is modifying their special teams rules. It’s because of the dangers present in running full speed across the field to tackle someone. Sometimes there is an opponent next to you that you don’t notice who will smack you out of the blue. We avoid this by using onside kicks. There are less people involved and less potential for hard impacts. We do it to avoid injuries. We don’t have a lot of injuries from it, it’s really gone down.

About the award -- we are very honored to receive the grant from Peyton Manning. The comments he made to us was an inspiration. You know, he chose us as one of the 10 teams out of 800 schools that applied for the grant so we are very honored to receive that recognition.

Alex: Thank you, Hamilton and Moore, for your time.

A press release from Riddell said each team winner will receive $10,000 to use on Riddell’s latest helmets, shoulder pads, or other equipment.


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