Arizona Cardinals step up to help Peoria youth football team

PEORIA, AZ - The Arizona Cardinals have offered to step in and replace two shade canopies belonging to the National Youth Sports’ Militia Football team.

Last week, the two custom made canopies were stolen out of the coach's truck near 83rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road in Peoria.

It forced the team to practice in the grueling heat without any shade.

After ABC15 aired its story on the theft, team parent Dawn Suddock said the Arizona Cardinals’ made the generous offer to replace the canopies, scoring a touchdown in the hearts of players.  

Team officials saw the story on the news and “just wanted to take care of the kids and make sure they had plenty of shade for practice.”

After all, there could be a future cardinal player among players. 

“You never know,” said Adam Richman with the Cardinals.

But the team would still like to see the thieves get sacked by police.

“It kind of made me mad," said Militia Football team player Kyle Copley.

“What would make you want to take them from a football team full of kids,” asked Nathan Sherrill, a Militia Football team player.

The NYS team worked hard at car washes and fundraisers to earn the money for the two canopies.

The team purchased the $600 canopies, not just for comfort, but to stay safe while they played in the sun.

On game days they're on the field for 3-4 hours. The canopies were their only reprieve.

“When you're in full pads and running around you get really hot and overheated. So, we can take a break and go under there to cool down," explained Sherrill.

The canopies are very distinctive.

 “They are the only two of their kind, they're very specific looking," said Suddock.

“On the side they say Militia Football and have our logo, which is a skull with an Army beret. So you can tell that they're ours," Sherrill said.

They're asking anyone who may have seen them, or if you have any information as far as where they might be, to call the Peoria Police Department.

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