Football helmets stay gold


Justin Hawkins

The football team runs out on the field wearing the traditional gold helmets in a game against Delmarva. The administration decided to keep the gold helmets instead of changing to black.

According to Athletic Director Larry Dukes, there was a plan to add black helmets to the football team’s uniform in addition to the traditional gold. The plan was introduced at a football event on Feb. 7. The proposed helmets were unveiled on t-shirts and posters.

The football program has 60 helmets and has been replacing about eight damaged helmets each year for the past three to four years, but they have always been gold.

Since the changes were proposed, there have been pages of comments from players, coaches, alumni, administrators, and faculty on social media both in favor of and against the proposed change. People who oppose the change argue that it breaks the long standing tradition of having gold helmets.

“When I got here ten years ago, there was not as much energy around gold helmets. But before that there was more,” Dukes said. According to Dukes the helmets have been compared to the school rings in their importance to JC tradition.

Current team captain junior Nolan Clawson argued on Facebook for the new helmets saying, “The black helmets are a great step for the program and are well liked by those who are playing in the present.”

William Seufert, class of ‘70, responded on Facebook saying “What was wrong with the gold? There are reasons for tradition, it connects all who enter the front doors no matter what year you entered.”

According to science teacher and former defensive coordinator Tim Perry, the administration decided that black helmets will not be included with the uniform for the upcoming season. President Richard O’Hara announced the decision at a meeting during advisory on March 21, explaining that due to alumi response the gold helmets would stay.

“Change is good,” Perry said, “but tradition is forever.”

Varsity head coach Keith Rawlings told the Patriot, “The helmet situation is simple, it will remain gold. Until meeting with Dan Gray son of legend Gerry Gray and hearing from the alum the true meaning and tradition of the gold, we had thought the change of color was exciting and new. However, we will build on the tradition and make all proud wearing this helmet.”

Perry said, “The only thing, this whole thing was about, was tradition. For 50 years, the young men who have played football have worn that golden helmet that was initiated by coach Gerry Gray at the onset of the football program at JC.”

Cole Alban is the Online Chief and Justin Hawkins is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and