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“It’s heartbreaking:” Youth football team may start its season WITHOUT vital equipment

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RACINE (WITI) -- Stealing is bad enough -- but stealing from a bunch of kids takes things to a new low. It happened to a youth football team in Racine in November 2013 -- and now, they're getting ready to start their season without their trailer full of equipment -- and they need your help.

Several thousand dollars worth of equipment was stolen from the Racine Gladiators Youth Football Team in November of 2013.

If they can't find a way to replace some of that equipment -- it could mean some kids won't be able to play this season.

It was mid-November when the Racine Gladiators Youth Football Team's trailer disappeared.

"Our trailer full of about $8,000 worth of equipment was just hitched up to a truck and stolen right here from the park," Vinne Scacco, the president of the Racine Gladiators Youth Football Organization said.

Everything from helmets to shoulder pads to practice equipment was inside.

The organization supplies much of the gear for its 100 athletes -- ages 7 to 13, because they want to make sure it's all in great condition when the kids hit the gridiron.

"Unfortunately there were probably 60 to 70 helmets in the trailer that were gone," Scacco said.

Self-described "football mom" Irma Mueller says it was a hard loss to take.

"These kids -- they work so hard to do something that they love and for somebody to come and steal from them like that, you know, it was heartbreaking," Mueller said.

For the players, it was personal.

"My favorite dummy was in there because you hit it and it came back up," Dylan Scacco said.

The organization received a grant last year to purchase extra practice equipment.

"It really enhanced our practice experience for the kids and that's all gone now," Vinnie Scacco said.

The organization is now hoping for monetary donations -- or gifts of gear that will help them to outfit their four teams this season.

Otherwise, they'll have to raise player fees -- a move they worry might make playing football too expensive for some families.

"It could go anywhere from $450, you know, to $500 total for a player to be able to play which gets really expensive," Scacco said.

The Racine Gladiators Youth Football Team plans to start practice in a few weeks.

The football season usually takes them to tournaments across the country.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Racine Gladiators Youth Football Team -- and how you can help.

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  • Niki Parr

    My husbands trailer was burglarized last October too but we did an insurance claim and are still replacing stolen tools.
    Can’t the kids or school do a fund raiser? Car wash? Bake sales? Etc.? I would be happy to donate for these kids :)

  • jas

    if you buy them new equipment, whats to say it wont get stolen again.
    should have secured the trailer

  • Neal

    just remember it is those who know what you got that takes what it needs for they prey on youuuuuuu

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