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Jon Gruden is football through and through. It doesn’t matter what level Andre Hal Jersey , what age, or where.

The former and now current coach of the Raiders displayed that again Tuesday by overseeing the distribution of funds and equipment to four Oakland youth football programs through the DICK’S Sporting Goods Sports Matter Program. Gruden has been a major spokesman for that initiative for more than four years.

In the afternoon at Raiders headquarters, Gruden presented grants of $15,000 to the head coaches of McClymonds High School and Oakland Tech. He invited the coaches of both teams to the Raiders main office for a ”special behind- the-scenes tour” and discussion of football in Oakland. When the tour ended, Gruden handed over the checks to the surprised coaches.

At night, coaches and players from the East Bay Panthers and San Leandro Crusaders headed to a ”friendly scrimmage” at Burrell Field. When the teams ran onto the field, they were stunned to see new football helmets, pads, balls and water bottles laid out on the field for them.

Each league received a $50 Sammie Coates Jersey ,000 grant.

”Being back in Oakland and getting back into coaching has only fired me up more to work with DICK’S Sports Matter program to help more kids have the opportunity to play,” said Gruden, who also gave the Panthers and Crusaders a pep talk. ”Like so many other cities in the U.S., we have an issue with youth sports funding here in Oakland. Costs are rising – kids can’t afford to play and coaches can’t afford to coach.

”Seeing these kids’ faces light up and knowing that sports will teach them so many valuable lessons they will carry with them off the field is really special.”

Gruden encourages other youth sports program struggling to get by ”to visit SportsMatter.org to apply for help.”

”If you give your absolute best effort on the field, the lessons that sports teach will stay with you forever, and help you to be your best in every part of your life,” he said.

Oakland has an 18.9 percent poverty rate, and the highest crime rate of any city in California.

Many areas in cities across the country need funding for their youth sports and school athletic programs. According to Up2Us Sports, a nonprofit whose research Dak Prescott Jersey , training, and on-the-ground initiatives empower sports programs to become an agent of positive social change, billions of dollars have been cut from school sports budgets in recent years. These cuts disproportionately impact students in low income areas, and students from low-income families are four times more likely to decrease participation in sports due to costs.

Student athletes have an 11 percent higher graduation rate than non-athletes, Up2Us Sports reports. The U.S. Department of Education adds that students who participate in sports are four times more likely to attend college.

DICK’S and its foundation created Sports Matter in 2014, pledging more than $50 million to support youth sports programs in need and raise awareness of the funding crisis. To date, Sports Matter has helped fund tens of thousands of youth sports programs and impacted hundreds of thousands of young athletes nationwide.

”It’s days like today that make it all worth it, and we can’t thank coach Gruden and DICK’S enough,” said Jacob Davis Kyle Williams Jersey , president of the East Bay Panthers. ”We love these kids and know how important sports are to keep them off the streets and doing positive things in their lives. This money will go a long way in helping our leagues survive and thrive.”



Jakub Vrana scored the go-ahead goal with 4:38 remaining, Braden Holtby made 35 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 in Game 5 Saturday night to take a 3-2 lead in the second-round series and put the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions on the brink of elimination.

Vrana, who also had two assists, was moved to the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov in place of Devante Smith-Pelly in the second period. Vrana sprung Kuznetsov for a breakaway on Washington’s tying goal 52 seconds into the third and finished off Ovechkin’s pass for the game-winner.

John Carlson and Brett Connolly scored 33 seconds apart in the first period, and T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller added empty-netters late to seal the win and help the Capitals move one victory from advancing to the Eastern Conference final for the first time in the Ovechkin era and first overall since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 1998.

Game 6 is Monday in Pittsburgh.

Jamie Oleksiak scored first for the Penguins, and Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist had power-play goals

JETS 6, PREDATORS 2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Kyle Connor scored two goals and had an assist as Winnipeg pushed Presidents’ Trophy-winning Nashville to the brink of elimination with a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.

Now the Jets, who just won their first playoff series in the first round Nathan Peterman Jersey , will have a chance to clinch a spot in their first Western Conference final Monday night in Game 6 back in Winnipeg.

Connor Hellebuyck made 38 saves for the Jets.

Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist, and Paul Stastny and Mathieu Perrault also scored as the Jets got four goals on 14 shots in the second period. Blake Wheeler also had three assists, and Nikolaj Ehlers added two.

Yannick Weber and Ryan Johansen each scored for Nashville. Pekka Rinne, Nashville’s Vezina Trophy finalist, was pulled for the third time this postseason after giving up six goals on 26 shots.

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