All heroes don’t wear capes, or in this case, helmets and pads. The VSU football equipment team has been working tirelessly this semester to make sure the team is settled in their new gear. The team received new jerseys, pants and cleats this season.
Features of the new Nike jerseys includes more airflow with mesh netting on the neck and sides of the jersey and tighter sleeves.
The new pants are Nike and came from Rutgers University. The cleats came from both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers University.
Phillip Chartier, equipment manager and VSU student, says that when choosing new uniforms, the staff focuses on the functionality of the equipment over fashion.
“The team wanted to bring back a gray look because we used to have a gray pant back in the 2000s,” Chartier said. “Our older jerseys have a looser sleeve, so we wanted the newer ones to have a tighter sleeve, which is what a lot of the guys want.”
New uniforms and cleats weren’t the only special gear that was debuted this season. VSU unveiled a special football and helmet during the military game to honor those who have served.
As a tribute to student-athletes, the team enacted GPA decals for the players who have a GPA above a 3.0 that can be displayed on their helmets.
“Whatever they need for the games, we wash it and dry it and give it right back to them and do it again the next day,” Chartier said.
Chartier was one of five people in the nation to be awarded Student Manager of the Week by Managers on a Mission.
Chartier does not work alone when it comes to the responsibilities as equipment manager. Cassie Chartier, junior sociology and anthropology major, Phillip’s wife and assistant, helps keep everyone on task, get the uniforms ready, pass out the bags, and ensure that the players have everything that they need.
Quincy Jacobs, a freshman biology major, also helps with setting-up before the games and ensuring the team has everything they need.
Phillip and Jacobs also run the teams practices during the week.
“Coaches tell us what drills they want run and we’re out there spotting the ball for them.” Phillip said. “We’re a real integral part of the practice.”
Jacobs enjoys the personal relationship that he has been able to form with various players
“Running practices are fun because once you get to know the players, you get to start playing around with them,” Jacobs said.
Tuesday through Thursday are team practice days. Friday usually consists of a light practice before the game day on Saturday, and Sunday is for game-day laundry.
Cassie said that they can start laundry at 8 a.m. and be done around noon on a typical Sunday.
“Working here has improved my experience at VSU,” Jacobs said. “As long as we do what needs to get done, we can play and joke too.”
The equipment staff is currently down to only four, but due to class scheduling on some days, the staff number is only two. Phillip encourages anyone who is interested in working with the VSU football team and getting to know the players to apply for the position in the spring.
Phillip can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow the equipment page on twitter at @VStateEquipment.
Written by Veronica You, Special Projects Manager. Photo by Seth Willard, Photo Editor.
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