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Davison Cheney
Daniel Jensen and Daniel Estrada put finishing touches on a customer’s order.

PLEASANT GROVE — Incoming sophomores at Pleasant Grove High School got an early start on earning money for fees, dues, uniform and camp costs by setting up a beauty shop in a local movie theater in what is the first of many fundraisers to cover the escalating costs of participating in high school football.

“I don’t know what most of this stuff is except the nail polish,” said 15-year-old lineman Daniel Estrada. “But if selling it helps pay my football bills, then I’m gonna sell it. Winners do what losers don’t.”

The idea to sell cosmetics came from a local connection with a beauty line’s saleswomen, who has sons on the team looking for odd jobs. Selling that product seemed an unexpected but comfortable fit.

Players are responsible for $400 each before they start official practices, and several of their parents are encouraging them to try out a few non-conventional methods to raise money.

“Yes, the school pays for most of the equipment, and we appreciate all they do, but even after the basics are taken care of with these fees, there is more to pay for," said football mom Heather Anderson of Pleasant Grove. “Shoes are remarkably expensive, and they need several a season. And on top of that, there are the powders and supplements that just about break us”.

School athletic trainer Kristin Pond suggests that parents spend less money at the health and nutrition stores and in doing so they will be able to bulk up at the neighborhood groceries stores.

“Protein bars and supplements are not necessary if you are eating correctly," Pond said. "Use your money for quality groceries instead.”

Fundraisers are scheduled through the summer, but by Utah High School Activities Association rule only one will be officially sanctioned by the high school. Those funds will be set aside for uniforms, helmets, sports medicine and physical training, and travel costs. The rest of the money for camps, shoes, and personal equipment becomes the responsibility of the player.

“We sell coupons, sponsor lift-a-thons, mow lawn, (and) we do odd jobs for neighbors”, said inside linebacker Thomas Ludwig. “We even move stuff for my dad that I am sure he paid us to move last year at this time, but the idea is to earn money.”

Unfortunately, it didn't take him long to count the money from the beauty shop.

“We weren’t as successful as we would have liked,” said football mother Roshan Lynn. “I don’t think people were expecting to see most of the offensive line selling cosmetics. But, now the community has seen us and have gotten their giggles out, we’ll be ready for them.”

And these football players are no shrinking violets. They don’t care if they get made fun of.

“We’ve got more important things to focus on, like winning games," said Ludwig. “And we’ll have the nicest smelling fans in the state.”

Mr. Cheney has never played football.