Lanett is bringing a new style to the field this season
Published 11:00 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023
With so many changes this offseason, Lanett football will look different this season. New uniforms and new helmets ensure that Lanett’s appearance will also look very different from the past.
For the past several seasons, Lanett has worn its classic black helmets. It is not certain when’s the last time Lanett has worn white helmets like the team will wear in 2023. Head Coach Chip Seagle guessed that the last time could have been during the 70s.
“I know I’ve been here 14 years, and Coach [Ronnie] Sikes was here before me, and then I think Coach [Kelley] Farrar was there before him,” Athletic Director Clifford Story said. “I’ve never known Lanett to have a white helmet since I can remember, and I graduated from high school in ‘92.”
A multitude of things went into Story choosing to go with the white helmets. A major part of the decision was made because Story wanted the current players to have their own legacy at Lanett High School.
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“Well, I just know that we’ve had black, we’ve had gold,” Story said. “You know, this is a new era of kids, and I wanted them to start their own culture. I wanted them to start their own change. So, I felt like changing helmets would be something good and be something we’ve never had, and It may add a little bit more push to them to be motivated.”
The players also showed an interest in getting white helmets. In the past, Story had been against white helmets. After doing his own research, Story decided that the helmets would fit Lanett’s program.
“I still wasn’t sure, and then I did some research on them, and then I saw Pell City’s helmets,” Story said. “Which was the same color as we are, and I liked the way it looked.”
The AHSAA requires that the helmets be recertified at least every two years. Every helmet also has an expiration date from the manufacturer.
Some coaches recertify the helmets every two years, but Lanett recertifies their helmets every year.
“If a kid [is] going to play in the helmet from year to year, you want to make sure they got on the best equipment possible and make sure that they’re safe,” Story said. “You want to make sure you did your due diligence to make sure that you’ve done everything on your part for them.”
Lanett just got all new helmets last year. Therefore, those helmets just had to be painted white. To paint all 75 of the helmets cost around $6,000.
Lanett has had different helmets, but the helmets have not been any color other than black since 2017.
In Story’s opinion, the all white uniforms will look the best with the new helmets once Lanett steps on the field on Aug. 18. Story got to view the combination in person when Alajawon Whitfield wore it during the picture day for the Gridiron, the football preview magazine from the Valley Times.
“When he came out with that all white and had that white helmet, I really liked that look,” Story said.
This season Lanett will have seven to eight different jersey combinations. The Panthers will have gold jerseys, gray jerseys, black jerseys and two different white jerseys. The team will mix different jerseys with different pants and the white helmets to create the different jersey combinations.
The gray jerseys are a new addition to Lanett’s uniform. Lanett has always had two home jerseys, but the two away jerseys will also be new for the Panthers. The two away jerseys will be white, but the color of the numbers will be different between the two jerseys.