Garfield High School

‘The Rams Stepped Up': East LA High School and Rams Support Each Other Ahead of Super Bowl LVI

The coach at the high school said the Ram's support, emotionally and financially, makes a huge difference for the team.

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The bond between Garfield High School in East Los Angeles and the LA Rams goes deeper than just love for the hometown team.

As the Rams prepare for Super Bowl Sunday, less than a week away, the "scholar-athletes" at Garfield High are cheering them on in the new jerseys, gloves and cleats provided by the NFL team.

The school has about 70 players on their varsity football team, and another 55 or so on the JV team. Each of those players received a new uniform for the East LA Classic, rewarding each hardworking student and athlete.

Toni Guinyard/NBCLA

"The Rams did a great job with that, making our kids feel great right before the big game," coach Lorenzo Hernandez told NBC4.

The students look thrilled with their gifts in a video unveiling the new uniforms.

"It means a lot, because their hard work is rewarded year in and year out from Nike as well as the Los Angeles Rams," Hernandez said. "Just really great to have that type of partnership and that type of love come from the LA Rams."

And it is support, year in and year out.

"They're great," said Aaron Flores, a junior at Garfield and center on the team. "Every year they give us jerseys, gloves, cleats, for the classic."

And those new uniforms make a difference come game time.

"We all play with a chip on our shoulder," Aaron said.

The Rams also honored Hernandez as 2021 High School Coach of the Year. It's a well-earned title, if you ask his team.

Toni Guinyard/NBCLA
Students at Garfield High School in East LA show off their new football uniforms, provided by the LA Rams.

"Here at East LA we're one big community, and we're all one," said sophomore Paul Ramos, a wide receiver and safety on the team. "The coaches too, they do a lot for us, especially Coach Hernandez."

The Rams title came with a cash prize of around $5,500. Hernandez put that money to use supporting the kids he coaches.

"It's great, when you have over 100 kids in both the JV and varsity program, it's difficult to try and feed a pregame meal, to provide for our athletes," Hernandez said. "That money, we're able to cover those fees."

Those meal prices can add up quickly, he explained.

"You think about a basic food item, about $8 or so, multiply that times 100, and you do that every week, it's almost $800 a week for 10 weeks. It gets pricey, so luckily for us, the Rams stepped up and that's where that money is going towards," he said.

"We're one big community," Ramos said.

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