Local schools alter uniforms, others keeping traditional lookPublished 12:02am Sunday, June 1, 2014
NATCHEZ — In accordance with the modern mentality of football uniforms, Cathedral High School head football coach Ron Rushing decided to spice up the Green Wave’s Friday night attire for 2014.
Rushing now has enough uniform combinations to mirror the Oregon Ducks’ popular uniform approach on a high school level, Rushing announced a new uniform policy that put a smile on his players’ faces Thursday afternoon.
With the mixing and matching of six different jerseys and three separate pants, Cathedral will wear a different uniform combination for every game of the season. The pink jerseys, which are worn to honor family and friends suffering from cancer during the “Pink Wave Project Grave,” and the camouflage jerseys, which honor veterans in the final home game of the season, are reserved for one special appearance. The green, black and white jerseys will be shuffled every Friday night.
“(The players) have asked me if they can wear different combinations before,” Rushing said. “Really, it’s just a reward for them for all of their hard work. We got lucky with some sponsors buying jerseys.”
Following Rushing’s announcement about the uniform plans in 2014, the players embraced the upcoming changes. Senior Christian Jenkins, juniors Andrew Beesley and Jardarius Anderson and sophomore Connor Mire were ecstatic about the news. All four agreed it’s their own variation of Oregon’s uniform rotation, which all four players said was their favorite football uniform.
“It’s fun to change it up,” Jenkins said. “When he told us that, I was just really excited.”
Cathedral isn’t the only team changing up its look going into the season.
For the first time, the Vidalia Vikings will wear matt red helmets with a new logo featuring the State of Louisiana and a Viking on the side. Head coach Jeff Hancock said he wanted to implement the major change to excite his players. Transitioning from a college coach to a high school coach, Hancock understands the value of looking sharp.
“I know when I was coaching college, part of recruiting became about how many combinations we have and how sweet the uniforms look,” Hancock said. “It’s not a huge deal in high school. Of course, we’d like to have nice ones, especially for our skill guys with all of the wristbands and visors they wear.”
Trinity head coach Zach Rogel plans on switching from Russell Athletic to Nike this season with new jerseys and new helmets on the horizon. Though he’s getting input from his players, Rogel isn’t planning on introducing something too flashy. Instead, he wants to keep the traditional colors with a Nike feel.
“Really, as long as the team matches, the players like it and we play good football in them, it doesn’t matter,” Rogel said. “All I want is the kids that represent to the school to be happy.”
Adams County Christian School head coach David King agrees with that sentiment, but he understands players’ desire to mix it up. As a coach, he shared that same passion, but of course, opinions change over time.
“When I was a coach, I wanted more flash, but now that I’m a headmaster having to pay for them, I want the cheapest ones that won’t fall apart in two years,” King said, laughing.
Since buying new uniforms two years ago, Natchez High School head coach Lance Reed had no plans of adding any wrinkles to his current gear. However, he plans on mixing his two jerseys with blue, gold and white pants, as he did last season.
“The players like the variety,” Reed said. “We would come out looking like Oregon every week if we could afford it. It motivates the players, and I don’t see anything wrong with it.”
Cathedral’s Anderson can relate, relishing Rushing’s uniform idea.
“Who wants to wear the same uniform twice?”