AURORA, Ore. – When the football season ended last fall at North Marion High School, a math problem had football coach Doug Bilodeau stumped.
“After the season, we got our helmets reconditioned, and we lost 15,” he said. “I wanted to add 15, but we lost 15. So that put us in a hole.”
The hole was at least 25 helmets deep and $7,000 wide, with no budget.
“It’s my dream to be a football coach,” said Bilodeau. “From a very young age. It’s been a dream.”
Coach Bilodeau said he knew who would dig the team out of that hole.
“I decided to make a campaign: ‘Will work for helmets,’” he said.
“I’m not looking for a handout. People are willing to give if you’re willing to work."
Bilodeau painted that message on a sign and posted it on Facebook. He told his players to get their shovels ready.
One day later, they got their first job.
“It’s starting to pay off,” he said. “I got an email yesterday from a lady in Wilsonville wanting us to move bark dust next week.”
The coach said they’ll make $500 from that job, enough for two football helmets. He said he knows how important it is to give the players new, safe helmets.
“That’s how I look at it. It’s all pay in helmets.”