DORA – Dora City Council has agreed to allow Sumiton to borrow 30 Dora football helmets for its city football league program this year, on condition that Sumiton helps pay for the repackaging of the helmets – a gesture to show generosity, but council members were also keen to clarify that the city has not decided to abandon a football program for good.
City officials have said there will be no football schedule this year in Dora as entries have not resulted in enough players for the championship. The final total was 21 freshmen, seven sophomores, four juniors and four or five seniors.
The board agreed in May not to partner with Sumiton’s football league as they felt it would shut down Dora’s program and be governed by a program primarily run by Sumiton, despite discussions about the merger and on a board of directors with officials from both cities.
Mayor Pro Tem Norman Holt – who chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Randy Stephens – noted Sumiton officials discovered they did not have enough helmets this year, due to a nationwide shortage helmets.
Sumiton Town Clerk Nina Absher said on Friday she understood the shortage was caused by a fire that hit a factory that used to handle helmet linings.
A shortage occurred last year as COVID-19 disrupted the reconditioning of helmets, according to USA TODAY. (Some media reports also point to current shortages of high school football officials for the coming season.)
Dora Park manager Rodney Smithers said Hayden, Cordova and Corner were among other communities struggling to get helmets this year.
â(Sumiton officials) have offered to rent helmets or buy them,â Holt said. “Under the proposal, they would pay half the cost of their refurbishment and pay us nothing. We would pay the other half. We could get them back at any time.” Sumiton’s other proposal was to buy them for $ 25 each.
Holt noted that refurbished helmets are only good for two years.
Smithers said a new helmet can cost up to $ 110. “We’re going to lose money with this, but at the same time, with everything that’s going on, the way everything has fundamentally gone downhill and everything else, I don’t see football coming back,” he said. he declares.
He said it would be a “bet” next year, adding that the city was going to have to spend $ 45 per headset to refurbish them if the game launched.
Holt said the deal was “a numbers game,” which resulted in Sumiton’s consolidation proposal, which he noted the board had rejected. Holt voted against rejecting Sumiton’s proposal.
âThe sad thing is that we would have had a seat at the table. Now we are not doing it,â he said.
Holt said if league football is brought back to Dora next year, “we really have to think about having a football field that we can supplement (Sumiton) with and use the high school for the playoffs because the crowd would be larger “.
Smithers said they used 55 helmets last year, out of more than 100 helmets available.
âThere are still a few new helmets that have never been touched, not even assembled, which will actually have to be sent just because of a sticker inside for the date,â he said.
City Councilor Hezekiah Walker said he is concerned that if the helmets are sold to Sumiton the public will assume that Dora will no longer have a football team. The council, agreeing to loan the helmets, discussed the future modernization of Watkins Field.
Smithers noted that the Dora and Sumiton helmets are in different colors and other ways, so it will be easy to sort them out.
Absher said on Friday that she was able to get a number of helmets through another source, meaning Sumiton may not need as many helmets as originally requested. She couldn’t remember the exact amount, although she said other officials were amazed that she was able to get more.