The Kensington High School football team was dealt a loss recently, and the season hasn’t even started.
All the team’s equipment being held in a storage shed on school property, including helmets, jerseys and shoulder pads, was stolen or vandalized last month.
“Someone from the neighborhood contacted one of our assistant coaches [Justin Young] on Facebook and told him that our shed had been infiltrated,” Kensington athletic director Greg Isaacs said. “It was a negative development for sure.”
Sean Ryan, Kensington’s fifth-year head coach, said he was told the equipment, some of it new, was stolen by a man who had been “squatting” in the shed.
“We have surveillance cameras in the parking lot, but it would be hard to identify the person if he was entering and exiting the shed in the dark of night,” Ryan said.
Ryan said a two-man tackling sled that was “vandalized and no longer usable” would cost between $2,500 and $5,000 to replace.
Like all other PIAA football teams, Kensington began a five-day heat acclimation period on Monday.
“We don’t need the helmets and shoulder pads today or tomorrow,” Ryan said Thursday afternoon, “but we’ll need them for our first scrimmage.”
Isaacs said Kensington has been “greatly helped” by the Philadelphia School District and, under the direction of James Lynch, the district’s Division of Athletics.
“They’ve given us the necessities to practice,” Ryan said. “Right now, we’re making do. We haven’t had any problems yet.”
“We will ensure that they’ll be ready for the full-contact practices that begin on Monday,” Lynch said.
Ryan said he expects to have about 30 players in uniform for the team’s Aug. 18 scrimmage against Public League rival Strawberry Mansion.
Even before the theft, the team had started a fundraiser page seeking donations for “equipment, fees, and travel costs.”
You can contribute to the team’s fundraising efforts here.