FNF magazine and Russell Athletic supplied the East Mecklenburg High (N.C.) football team with more than $3,000 worth of shoulder pads for the 2016 season as a reward for winning the inaugural Russell CarbonTek Shoulder Pad Sweepstakes.
The FNF staff selected East Mecklenburg as the most deserving school among 40 entrants to the sweepstakes. This spring, FNF invited coaches throughout the continental United States to enter the contest by submitting a 100-word entry onwww.FNFMagazine.com/CarbonTek. The entry form provided each coach a forum to articulate why his program was most deserving of the grand prize of six sets of Russell CarbonTek shoulder pads.
East Mecklenburg coach Barry Shuford expressed his program’s significant need for improved shoulder pads. The school’s athletic budget was stretched thin, with 65 percent of all students at the school qualifying for free or reduced lunch under federal guidelines. The school cut its shoulder pad replacement budget for the 2016 season, reallocating the money to cover expenses for helmet replacement and reconditioning.
In early August, Russell Athletics senior account executive Mike Smith delivered the six sets of shoulder pads to East Mecklenburg High.
“Our kids are so fortunate that the fine folks at FNF magazine and Russell Athletic care about the community and high school football,” said East Mecklenburg coach Barry Shuford. “Because of the rising costs of helmet reconditioning and replacement, we were forced to cut new shoulder pads from our budget last year. What perfect timing for us to be chosen.”
The Russell CarbonTek system retails at $549.99 per set. The shoulder pads are considered one the safest, most technologically advanced protective systems on the market.