SD High School Team Receives Game-Changing Grant from Peyton Manning

HENRY, S.D. –  The Florence-Henry Falcons Football team is one of the longest running programs in South Dakota.  Out of their plays, playing “safe football” is their best route.

“Form tackle, keeping the head up, and not trying to get that huge hit. But making sure you are being them to the ground and still being safe,” explains Running back Payton Gassman.

“Heads-up” football emphasizes players to drop their shoulders while blocking in order to help avoid head-to-head contact.

“It is so important for our kids to be able to be hitting properly, blocking properly,” says Head Coach Travis Schmidt

Head Coach Travis Schmidt constantly practices this type of football to prevent some injuries.  It also grabbed the attention of one former NFL Champion.

“We’re such a small school and there’s no way could have gotten a grant from Peyton Manning,” says Tight end Charlie Kelly.

“There was no way this was real and I looked it up and I was like ‘holy cow we’re actually one of the winner,’ ” says Left guard Brad Bunde.

The partnership with Peyton Manning and Riddell allows up to 12 schools to receive an equipment grant worth 10-thousand dollars.  Over 14-thousand schools across the nation apply for this grant.  With the year 2018 and the MVP’s number being 18, the grant was awarded to 18 schools and the Falcons are one of them.

Running back Adam Hagen says. “We definitely need it cause our equipment and stuff we have now it’s not the greatest.”

Kelly adds, “For us being such a small school and him just looking down and giving us money for pads, I mean it’s really gonna help.”

With the Falcons not having the best start to their season, this was the confidence booster they needed.

Coach Schmidt says, “Getting this news, the buzz that was going around with these kids was absolutely amazing. It was fun to watch these kids cause they were just on cloud nine ever since they found out.”

The team is using the grant money for new helmets, pads, and some other football accessories.  The order was placed right away

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