Long Beach Poly football head coach Stephen Barbee announced on Wednesday that the Jackrabbits will wear helmet decals this season in honor of fallen Long Beach Fire Department captain David Rosa, who was killed while on the job in June. Rosa served in Long Beach Fire Station No. 10, which is Poly’s station.
“Having that as our local firehouse when the tragedy occurred I talked with (Poly athletic director) Rob Shock about doing something to honor him,” said Barbee. “The fire trucks from firehouse 10 have the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbit on it–with them and the community feeling the loss it’s important to show that we’re supporting those that help us.”
In addition to the helmet decal, the team will have a moment of silence before Friday’s home opener against Narbonne. Barbee also said that firefighters from station 10 will serve as the honorary captains for the team this week.
Shock said he was glad Barbee came to him with the idea.
“Any time we have a fire drill or any issue on campus those guys are right there to help us, and captain Rosa was on our campus a number of times,” said Shock. “I’m glad we can do something small to honor him.”
The Long Beach Fire Department issued a statement of thanks via its official Twitter account: “From all the men and women of the Long Beach Firefighters Association we say Thank You! We are proud and honored for this wonderful gesture by our student athletes at Long Beach Poly! We look forward to Friday night! Go Jackrabbits!”
For one student, the honor perhaps means even more. Poly senior long snapper Asher Luna works for the fire department in their headquarters and hopes to become a firefighter.
“This is amazing,” he tweeted. “Glad we get to honor the heroes protecting our streets everyday.”