The Kingwood Park Panthers are a young team with a struggling record, high hopes for next season — and new matte white helmets with chrome decals.
The new helmets are the first addition to the K-Park Panthers equipment room in two years. The helmets are being added because the forest green ones were beginning to show wear-and-tear and the model was becoming outdated. The new helmets are not only an icy matte white color, but also a newer model of Riddell’s Revo Speed helmet with new safety technology.
As of right now the team has three different jerseys and four pants, giving the Panthers 12 possible uniform combinations. When it comes to decals, the team can select between the traditional KP Texas logo, the word “PARK” or the digital camo oversized “KP.”
The money for these new additions comes from fundraising, mostly through the sale of Panther cards. The district funds the bulk of athletic program costs, but players must have fundraisers to pay for extra uniform combinations.
In the classroom or on the field, Panthers players always want to be the best — when it comes to football uniforms — they are, said Coach Jesse Woods, the offensive line coach at Kingwood Park, who oversees uniform decisions.
“We are on the high-level of uniforms and decals,” said Woods, when asked about other school’s uniforms in the district.
New helmets may not seem important to the average student, but they are to a football player. The decision of what the team will wear on Friday nights has become so important that the team has created a council of select players that meet every week to decide the team’s look for the certain game.
“Even though the team might not be the best, we are always dressed better than the opposition.” said senior safety Chris Luck.
Uniforms aren’t cheap, with a whole set costing anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. The players must make sure everyone contributes to fundraising to pay for the extra uniform combinations the team desires.
Humble ISD is on the list to get one new set of uniforms next year, and there is a good chance black uniforms may be chosen, according to head coach Clayton Maple.
“The team’s favorite combination is gray jerseys and white pants,” Woods said.
The white helmets give the team a look never before seen on Kingwood Park football players.
“The all-white helmets give us an icy feeling when we take the field,” said Luck.