Chiefs star Riddell helps a Kansas City kid get a football helmet

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Help has arrived for a local youth soccer player in need of an oversized helmet.

Without the proper size of head protection, 12-year-old Brandon Jackson can’t play soccer.

FOX4 introduced viewers to Jackson in late August, when his family and Kansas City KCFC trainers were looking high and low for a helmet. The family originally thought a size 2X helmet would fit him, but after trying one on, it didn’t fit either.

The coaches are excited to help Jackson because of his size and potential. He’s not quite a teenager yet, but he’s already 6-foot-2 and 320 pounds, the size coaches at all levels look for in linemen on both sides of the ball.

On Wednesday afternoon, Jackson and his family arrived at the FOX4 studios in Kansas City. They met Chris Coffing, National Sales Manager and Professional Helmet Fitter at Riddell Sports. The company manufactures helmets for all 32 National Football League teams and numerous Division I college football teams.

A high-tech system used by Coffing takes precise measurements of Jackson’s head, as a perfect fit ensures football safety.

Coffing learned of Jackson’s needs from Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown. Riddell Sports and Brown agreed to pool their resources and foot the bill for Jackson’s new helmet.

“I appreciate it because I will be able to play a game. Last week, I was out of the game because I couldn’t get a helmet, so I wasn’t in the game,” Jackson said.

The custom-built helmet will cost between $900 and $2,000, and Jackson’s family won’t pay a dime.

“We love that a young man like you wants to play football. We want to give every person a chance to play,” Coffing said.

“Just giving him the ability to go out there and play what I consider to be the best game ever is a great opportunity for him,” said Dustin Cundiff, Jackson’s coach with the Northland Revolution.

Coffing said it should take 3-4 weeks to make Brandon’s helmet. The 12-year-old from KC is grateful for the kindness, as are his coaches, who hope to have the great lineman on the field in October.

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