The Jacksonville Jaguars led a $100,000 renovation to the Englewood High School locker room, with former Englewood standout and Jaguars great Rashean Mathis in attendance. The entire football program, both varsity and junior varsity, was also invited to attend the Week 6 matchup against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field.
The existing locker room was given a top to bottom makeover, including the installation of air conditioning, electrical outlets, rubber flooring, carpet and bathroom tile. Old plumbing and walls were torn down to make way for a new equipment room, which was filled with items including shoulder pads, gloves and compression shorts.
The space was designed to emphasize the Rams’ mascot and color scheme with all new paint, acrylic letter signage and vinyl graphics. A new speaker system was installed to allow for music on game day and the coaching offices were outfitted with new desks, chairs and tables. Every Englewood football player, varsity and junior varsity, received a personalized Jaguars football and T-shirt in addition to personal hygiene products.
“When the Jaguars called me with an idea to partner with Englewood High School to celebrate the 25th season, I immediately said, ‘Whatever you need me to do, I’m in.’” said Mathis. “I walked these halls, sat in this locker room and grew up in this diverse neighborhood where families sacrifice every day to give their kids the opportunity to succeed. I’m grateful to the Jaguars and all the community partners for giving these student-athletes this incredibly experience. Today we’re going to change a life. I guarantee it.”
The renovations were funded with $50,000 from the Jaguars Foundation and more than $80,000 in donated labor, building materials and new football equipment from multiple community partners.
The Jaguars are adopting Englewood High School for the duration of the 25th season. The partnership kicked off in August with a sponsored meal for all fall sport athletes courtesy of Dick’s Wings. Throughout the remainder of the season, the Jaguars will engage with students through cheerleading clinics, financial aid guidance, career counseling and other football celebrations.