“I like these jerseys better because you don't have to worry about the smell or how they feel,” says Chris Young as he slips on a brand new varsity football jersey bearing a bright orange “ROOSEVELT” across the chest.
Young is one of roughly 40 Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School students receiving a new uniform for free, courtesy of Russell Athletic and Redskins Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon.
Through a social media contest, Garcon helped choose three local high schools for the donation. Here at Roosevelt, players say they work for what they wear.
“We actually work pretty hard, we work hard for our jerseys and I think we actually deserve them,” Kwabsi Ibrahim says.
“It's an excitement and an enjoyment for just helping out the community and helping out kids who are just like me, and, you know, helping them reach their goal of winning games and helping their families,” Garcon says.
It’s a message meant for Nakia Dickens. She was so overcome with pride for her teenage son, she was moved to tears.
“He does the right things, he’s a good boy, he’s a good kid and I know a lot of kids that aren’t,” Dickens says. “I’m proud of him and all of the things he’s accomplishing.”
Last year, Roosevelt didn't win a single game. Players say fresh jerseys bring a new outlook.
“The old jerseys represented, you know, the old season. It wasn’t really good,” Terrell Dickens says. “So it’s a new season, new jerseys.”
“it's about self-confidence that when they'll step on the field, they'll feel that they need to be there -that they deserve to be there and that they can perform at the highest level,” says coach Johnny Sharp.
You don’t need a scoreboard to watch these results.