New football look changes, for now

The+%22JC%22+decals+were+placed+on+the+football+helmets+Aug.+23.+On+Sept.+19%2C+before+the+football+game+against+Calvert+Hall%2C+the+decals+were+removed+by+alumni+request.+

Eric Johnson

The "JC" decals were placed on the football helmets Aug. 23. On Sept. 19, before the football game against Calvert Hall, the decals were removed by alumni request.

On Sept. 19, the football team removed the new helmet decals of the JC logo by request of JC alumni.

“A couple alumni thought that we should do [the helmets] the way that Notre Dame does because that is where the gold helmet [idea] came from,” head football coach Keith Rawlings said.

On Sept. 29, the entire varsity football team received new helmets to use because when the decals were removed, they took some paint off.

The decals were pulled off before the football game against Calvert Hall on Sept. 19, during JC’s Alumni Weekend. “We were told that they had to come off for the game against Calvert Hall. We wore them for the first four games,” Rawlings said.

“We were confused and felt that we should be able to keep the decals. We’ve had many adversities already to deal with during the season,” senior slot receiver Allen Bryant, a member of the varsity football team, said.

According to Rawlings, the football team was never told that they could or could not have the decals on the helmet.

“Our kids are on what’s called ‘A new day’ theme and, as you [can] see in college [football], it’s pretty popular for helmets to have logos on them. From a distance you don’t even see the JC [logo],” Rawlings said.

“A new day” refers to the team’s wanting to forget about the past and focus on a brighter future. The decals represented this thought process.

At the beginning of the year, the helmets were gold with a black stripe running down the middle and a JC logo decal on each side.

“We put the school logo on it which the kids really loved. We didn’t think that there was anything wrong with that,” Rawlings said.

“I loved the decals on the helmets. It showed a change within the team and that it is ‘A new day,’” Bryant said.

It is possible, however, that the decals could be put back on the helmets for some of the games. “The decals could be put on for certain games like the homecoming game. It just depends on what the coaching staff and players want to do,” Athletic Director Larry Dukes said.

“I would like it if we could keep the decals on for all of our games,” junior wide receiver Josh White said.

New rock and tradition spring up
In tribute to former coach Gerry Gray, a rock bearing a plaque has been placed outside of the men’s locker room. The plaque pays tribute to his beginning the gold helmet legacy at JC.

“The rock and plaque were an idea from coach [Keith] Watson, John von Paris [Sr., class of ‘77], and coach Rawlings,” said Dukes.

“One of my coaches brought the rock over from Bulle Rock. We thought that [it] was a great tribute to coach Gray. We also put a sticker on the back of the senior’s helmets with a ‘GG’ for Gerry Gray,” Rawlings said.

“The rock and plaque will be something for the football team to touch when they come out of the locker room, similar to the University of Maryland [terrapin statue],” Dukes said.

University of Maryland football players rub a metal statue of their mascot, the terrapin, when entering Byrd Stadium.

“The team and I love the rock outside,” Bryant said. “We try to show the alumni that Gerry Gray will never be forgotten, and we understand the impact he’s had on our community and the legacy he left.”

Mitch Hopkins is a News Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.