Middle school's football season at standstill due to unsafe equipment

Middle school's football season at standstill due to unsafe equipment
A lack of equipment could keep a Memphis middle school football team off the field. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
A lack of equipment could keep a Memphis middle school football team off the field. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
SCS released this statement to WMC Action News 5.
SCS released this statement to WMC Action News 5.

(WMC) - A lack of equipment could keep a Memphis middle school football team off the field. Parents say their children's future play is on the line.

The football team at Hamilton Middle School is lacking helmets, pads, and other equipment used to keep players safe.

David Payne wants his son to play football.

"He wants to play running back," he said. 

But despite having a schedule, the team cannot play.

"We have equipment that is not safe for the kids," Payne added.

Payne and a concerned neighbor met with the principal and regional superintendent on Monday afternoon. The regional superintendent acknowledged the issue in an email sent to district leaders and Payne.

It said, "Hamilton Middle doesn't have the appropriate 'safety' equipment for all of the student athletes at this time. However, he [the principal] is working to garner the support needed."

"We know they're in the process of getting the equipment, but why? Why are we in this situation?" Payne asked.

He and others admit that academics and athletics are not of equal importance, but the latter can lead to scholarships and other opportunities beyond the classroom.

Parents are hoping the football equipment gets funded before it's too late to begin the season.

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