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Onalaska may pursue $10,000 football equipment grant

Onalaska may pursue $10,000 football equipment grant

PHOTO: Los Angeles Rams Eric Dickerson is stopped by Philadelphia Eagles Greg Brown while Rams Tom Newberry blocks at left during first quarter NFL action, Sunday, Sept. 28, 1986, Philadelphia, Pa. (AP/Amy Sancetta)

The Onalaska School Board will decide whether to go after a grant that could be worth $10,000 for its high school football team.

The Riddell Smarter Football grant is a partnership between the equipment giant and Peyton Manning.

Eighteen schools will be awarded the money.

“A couple years ago we were fortunate to get into the NFL Super Bowl grant,” Onalaska High School athletic director Charlie Ihle said. “Tom Newberry being an alumni of Onlaaska High School. We were able to help get some new weight room equipment up there.”

Newberry, a 1981 Onalaska graduate, played 10 seasons in the NFL, including as a starter for the Super Bowl XXX champion Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996. The other nine seasons he was on the Los Angeles Rams.

The 55-year-old was a two-time Pro Bowler (1988, 1989). He was a second-round pick in 1986, after four years at UW-La Crosse, including a NAIA championship (1985). He was also four-time NCAA champion in track and field.

In 2016, the NFL Foundation rewarded Onalaska a $3,000 grant to improve its weight room facilities. It qualified for the grant because of Newberry.

The Smarter Football initiative rewards teams for implementing smarter, safter tactics and techniques on and off the field. The money would be used to buy new shoulder pads and helmets.

Ihle says they have used grants for other purposes with the athletic department, including the NFL Super Bowl grant which allowed them to purchase new equipment in the school’s weight room.

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