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Bohannon Foundation donates cleats to Knights
August 1, 2018

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When the North Fort Myers High School football team takes the field this season, it will have the look of a professional outfit, thanks to the generosity of an alumnus.

The team received nearly 60 pairs of cleats thanks to a $3,500 equipment grant from the Tommy Bohanon Foundation, founded and named after the current Jacksonville Jaguar fullback and North High football great.

The grant ensures every player on the varsity squad has new cleats for the 2018 season.

Katie Bohanon, Tommy's wife, said he had done something similar a few years ago and wanted to do it again.

"This community is really interested in helping out young athletes because many can't afford football cleats," Katies said. "Tommy remembered as a kid coaches paying for kids' cleats, so he's really passionate about this."

Katie said the foundation wasn't expecting to start giving out grants until next year, but because they have done well with fundraising and because North High hosted the football camp, they moved up the calendar.

"We're excited that they feel like we're still part of the school even though he's graduated. It seemed like a good fit and there was a need for it," Katie said.

The cleats arrived July 19 and were personally handed out to all the players, who were surprised to see the new "kicks" as head coach Dwayne Mack and athletic director Joe Bowen did not tell them.

"Players had been using old used cleats that players were putting in the bin or the ones the kids left behind," Katie said. "The kids said coming out that having the same cleats makes you feel more intimidating and they aren't self-conscious about wearing old cleats."

Mack said it's great to have someone the stature of Bohanon giving back to the program, especially something to give the team a better look.

"It's great when the kids see someone who has been there and done that come back to contribute as alumni," Mack said. "As Deion Sanders said, when you look alike you play alike, When you look good, you feel good and you play good."

The Tommy Bohanon Foundation, founded in 2017, has a mission to help young athletes reach their full potential on and off the field. The equipment grant's goal is to relieve the financial burden on athletes and athletic programs.

The foundation in June hosted its first youth football camp at the high school for those between the ages of 5 and 13.

For more information about the Tommy Bohanon Foundation, visit online at tommybohanonfoundation.org.

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