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Texas School for the Deaf wins Riddell grant, surprise message from Peyton Manning

The Texas School for the Deaf players and coaches found out about the school's surprise grant with a special congratulatory message from Peyton Manning.
Credit: Business Wire
Peyton Manning returns to the field to help Riddell's Team of the Future prepare for the 2019 season.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Sept. 17, Texas School for the Deaf received a surprise when the school's football team learned they were chosen as a winner of Riddell’s 2019 Smarter Football Program.

The Texas School for the Deaf players and coaches found out about the school's surprise grant with a special congratulatory message from Riddell brand ambassador Peyton Manning. Riddell’s annual program received more than 800 applications this year and is donating equipment to a total of 10 programs across the country, according to the company. 

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Texas School for the Deaf was one of the 10 winning programs, and as a grant winner, they are given $10,000 to use on Riddell’s latest helmets, shoulder pads, padded apparel, and blocking equipment. 

“I’m proud to help ensure these 10 teams’ commitment to player safety is taken to the next level with industry-leading protective equipment from Riddell,” said Peyton Manning, Riddell’s brand ambassador and strategic advisor. “It’s remarkable to learn about the difference these teams make on developing young athletes and collectively improving the sport. These organizations are truly the future of football and set a great example for others to follow.”

Texas School for the Deaf officials said players need to pay close attention to their surroundings to avoid big hits from opponents they may not see coming. To combat this, the team uses a drum to start every play, which eliminates the need to look at the ball while getting set on the line. Also, they only attempt onside kicks to avoid full field collisions.

Here is a full list of the 10 programs that won the Riddell grant: 

  • Frankfort High School, Frankfort, IN
  • Wendell High School, Wendell, ID
  • Newton Conover High School, Newton, NC
  • Apalachee High School, Winder, GA
  • Cardinal O’Hara High School, Tonawanda, NY
  • Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX
  • Canyon Country High School, Canyon Country, CA
  • Farmington Youth Football, Farmington, MN
  • Wilkinson County Youth Football, Centreville, MS
  • Hummelstown Youth Football, Hummelstown, PA

For more information on the team's schedule, roster, and more, visit the school's athletics website here.

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