The New York Jets said the team will cover all the expenses to replace the helmets, pads and uniforms for a varsity high school program's 26 players at a New Jersey school damaged by Hurricane Ida, according to The Associated Press.
Hurricane Ida caused massive damage to Dwight Morrow High School's campus in Englewood, New Jersey on Sept. 1.
Athletic director Joe Armental told the AP that the stadium complex was so flooded, it “was a lake.”
"It actually ruined the first floor of one of the elementary schools neighboring our sports complex,” he said. “Our tennis courts imploded, our turf field was rolled up like a cheap rug, our track was destroyed. I mean, there was just debris everywhere, boulders and rocks just from the sheer force of the water."
More than 2 1/2 feet of flood water and mud filled the field house and the football team lost most of its equipment.
Armental asked neighboring schools for help. Fort Lee High School lent the Maroon Raiders some old road jerseys so the teams could still play their game Sept. 10.
After Armental posted pictures of the damage on social media, he connected with Eli Hodges, the New York Jets' manager of community relations and youth football. Dwight Morrow High School is the alma mater of former Jets running back/kick returner Bruce Harper.
The Jets agreed to cover all the expenses to replace the school's helmets, pads and uniforms for the varsity program's 26 players. Jets coach Robert Saleh also wore a gray T-shirt with the school's logo — a maroon bird in the center — during his news conference Friday, as a show of support.
The Jets invited the Dwight Morrow High School football team to attend their season opener at MetLife Stadium on Sunday against the New England Patriots — the day after the Maroon Raiders face Pascack Hills.
Dwight Morrow High School will play all of its football games on the road or at neutral sites this season, according to the AP. Meanwhile, the school will work through insurance and FEMA to fix its facilities including the football field, which it hopes to be done by next fall.