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Jaguars surprise Englewood with updated locker room

More than $100,000 was spent to update Rams facility

Former Jaguars player and Englewood High graduate Rashean Mathis looks on while Rams players react in the locker room on Tuesday. The Jaguars, along with multiple partners in the area, helped refurbish and update the Englewood locker room. (Rick Wilson, For the Jaguars}
Former Jaguars player and Englewood High graduate Rashean Mathis looks on while Rams players react in the locker room on Tuesday. The Jaguars, along with multiple partners in the area, helped refurbish and update the Englewood locker room. (Rick Wilson, For the Jaguars}


JACKSONVILLE, FLA – Tuesday, the Jaguars had a big surprise for the Englewood High School football team.

Englewood's field house was more than 50 years old and needed a little bit of TLC.

It got it, and in a big way. 

Former Jaguars player and Englewood alum Rashean Mathis stepped in and worked with the Jaguars to surprise the Rams with their newly renovated locker room.

"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," Mathis said. "…Today we're going to change a life. I guarantee it."

The Jaguars, with the help of 20 local businesses, stepped up to the challenge. The project cost more than $100,000 and included everything from getting the team new shoulder pads to adding air conditioning to the building.

"This celebration of our 25th season and the NFL's 100th anniversary is a historic milestone for the entire community," said Jaguars president Mark Lamping. "Beyond the touchdowns and fan festivals, we wanted to leave a legacy for the next generation of Jaguars fans and players.  We jumped at the chance to partner with one of our great local alumni in Rashean Mathis and give these young student-athletes a space where they can grow and succeed."

Rams players knew there were repairs going on, but they didn't just how extensive the renovations would be.

Mathis said the only time he saw the Jaguars field when he was growing up was during his freshman year when he worked in concession stand. The Jaguars are making sure that all of the Englewood players will be able to attend a game this year.

On top of the new locker room, every member of the varsity and junior varsity team is invited to be on the sidelines during the Jaguars game against the Saints.


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