RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Vikings of Thomas Jefferson High School are making a historic run in the VHSL football playoffs.
While the athletes are taking care of business on the field, there's a fundraiser happening off of it – to buy each player a letterman jacket.
The jacket’s design will be red with white leather sleeves, the TJ logo located on breast, VIKINGS stitched across on the back, the commemorative year placed on one arm, and our season stats placed on the alternate arm. The total cost is well over $7,000.
“We really worked our tails off this summer,” said Jayden Tyler, a senior running back for the Vikings
They heard all the negativity in years past with people saying, "The coaches aren’t good.” Or, "How the school isn’t good and the kids can’t come out here and play ball?”
But Tyler says he and his teammates are trying to change that. A record 11-win season and counting has invigorated the team - while also showing these young athletes what can happen when they commit to something bigger than themselves.
Head coach PJ Adams says his team “has been more willing to embrace the grind."
Now it’s time for the community to embrace them. The school guidance counselor and other support staff members are spearheading an effort to raise enough money - through a go fund me - to get each player a letterman jacket. Something a student might not be able to afford on their own.
Running Back Jayden Tyler is excited about the possibility.
“That’s something that we can have forever, a treasure, that would mean a lot to us. Something to hold and keep this moment for a long time," he said.
NBC12 wanted to show every single one of these student-athletes that we believe in, and support them, so Anthony Antoine went to practice and gave the team $300 dollars to help them reach their goal.
“A lot of people talk about the flaws of Richmond city, Richmond Public schools, and we want to be a positive light to show that there are a lot of positive things going on. A little positive support can help a kid go a long way," said Coach Adams.
And the Vikings have a little bit further to go.
Jayden Tyler says they've got big dreams to win two more games this season and bring home the ultimate prize. "We want that ring man, we want that ring, we want it bad, that's the goal.
The Vikings take another step towards that ring on Saturday, Dec. 7. They play at Stuarts Draft on Saturday afternoon. Click here to make a donation.
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