The William Chrisman High School football team is berserk over its new uniform, and that makes Jake Kates a happy man.
Kates, a teacher and boys basketball coach at William Chrisman, also serves as a sales rep for Berserk Athletics, a Liberty, Mo., athletic wear manufacturer that designed the Bears’ new gear.
“The new jerseys and pants are the best,” Chrisman running back Jaden Thomas said as he and quarterback Dawson Herl appear in a Berserk Athletics video and print ad to promote the company’s first high school football uniform.
“When you look good, you play good – and we look good in these jerseys. They’re just cool.”
Herl, a returning starter for the Bears, seconded his teammate’s praise of the new gear, which the Bears will wear Friday when they travel to Blue Springs for the season opener.
“You know, you usually don’t get excited about something like jerseys and football pants, but this is good stuff,” Herl said. “And we got a great deal on it. It’s great quality and it didn’t cost a lot of money, which is cool for the school and the team.”
The new jerseys and pants cost about $85 per uniform, compared to the previous gear, that rang up to $120.
“You multiply that by 100 kids with jerseys and pants and it’s a significant savings for the school,” Kates said Wednesday. “I just loved the look on the players’ faces when they saw the jerseys the first time. You could tell they really liked them.”
So did football head coach Matt Perry, who appreciates the money saving aspects and the quality of the gear.
“They stretch with the player and are really comfortable,” Perry said. “And they’re high quality, and the kids love them. They really do look good. And we saved a lot of money.”
Kates is proud that Chrisman is the first area team to outfit its football team in Berserk wear.
“If you remember our black jerseys last year in basketball, we ordered them from Berserk,” Kates said, “and the kids loved them. So did a lot of other coaches and fans, who asked me where we got them.
“They went out and ordered Berserk jerseys for their club basketball teams. And now, we’re hoping that area football coaches will see these new jerseys and pants and do the same thing.”
Kates, who admits to spending far too much time at his computer when he is home, designs much of the Berserk wear.
“It’s all sublimated,” he explained. “The jerseys start out white, and then we add the colors, the name of the team and the numbers. I’m always fiddling around on my computer, coming up with new designs.
“Sometimes, it drives my wife crazy, but I love doing it.”
Kates met Berserk Athletics founder James Hudson on Facebook. They visited, hit it off, and now Kates is a representative for the company.
“I love what I do, and I love the product,” Kates said. “You know how passionate I am about something I really care about this is just such a great product. And we’re working on all kinds of new things – like (football) gloves that come together and form the Bears logo, new pants and socks designs, all kinds of things.”