El Paso, TX -
In just three short weeks, high school football players from the El Paso area will take to the field for the start of the high school football season.
Players will try to put the focus back on football in the coming days, but they'll be doing it with heavy hearts following Saturday's deadly mass shooting at a Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall.
Riddell, a company that provides sports equipment to schools across the country, is hoping to help in the healing process by donating "El Paso Strong" decals to all El Paso area high schools.
In a statement for ABC-7, Riddell said the idea came from two El Paso coaches, Mark Torres from Pebble Hills High School, and Paulo Melendez from Horizon High School.
The company also provided ABC-7 photos of the decals.
You can read Riddell's full statement below:
"Riddell believes that sports, and in particular, football, have the power to bring communities together during challenging times. Our company has a history of supporting our customers around causes and initiatives important to them.
Riddell's local sales support and service representative, Mr. Gil Cartagena, was contacted by Coach Mark Torres from Pebble Hills High School, and Coach Paulo Melendez from Horizon High School, because they were interested in purchasing "El Paso Strong" decals to place on student athlete helmets this season.
Mr. Cartagena felt passionately about this idea and approached Riddell leadership about donating helmet decals for all greater El Paso high school football program helmets. Approximately 35 high schools and each of their student athletes in the football program will wear helmets with "El Paso Strong" decals during the 2019 season. In total, Riddell expects to distribute 8,000 special decals.
Riddell extends its support to the El Paso community as it heals from this tragedy."