The Los Angeles Rams stepped in with a donation Tuesday to a high school football team that was victimized by vandals who broke into the coach's office.
The Rams surprised Cleveland Charter High School with team apparel after vandals broke into the office in early March and stole more than $7,000 that was raised to buy spring training equipment. A volunteer fundraiser fell short of its goal, so the Rams teamed up with Adidas Football and Gamebreaker Helmets to provide the equipment.
“We were raising money for that and on a Friday was the due date for all the money and some kids brought it in late so I didn’t turn in the money to wait and then it end up getting stolen over the weekend. And man the kids were devastated," Cleveland coach Matt Gentle said.
Rams defensive end Robert Quinn presented the apparel to coach Matt Gentle and team members Tuesday afternoon at the high school in Reseda.
“We’re just trying to do our part since we got in the city, giving back to the community. I think this makes a huge impact for Cleveland High School and the team and it shows what the Rams are all about, not just football but giving back to our community also," Quinn said.
The players were ecstatic.
“I’m grateful for this. I’m happy the Rams are able to support us and help us out here when we have trouble," said player Edwin Hernandez.
The Rams returned to Southern California after two decades in the St. Louis. Los Angeles opens preseason play at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Aug. 13 against Dallas before starting the regular season in Santa Clara against the 49ers.
The team will play at the Coliseum until a news stadium is ready in Inglewood.