When Desert Vista High School’s Athletic Director Tommy Eubanks ordered new football uniforms for the 2019 season, he knew he wanted to unveil them in a unique way.
So when players returned from football camp in Flagstaff on Friday, July 19, he had Thunder coach Dan Hinds call a meeting in one of the school’s classrooms.
“They all thought they were in trouble,” Hinds said. “I had to assure them that there was nothing wrong and he just wanted to talk to us about a few things.”
Eubanks had thought about pulling a prank on the players, saying they needed to identify someone they had on video. But he ultimately decided against that.
“They were dead tired, they walked in and looked like zombies,” Eubanks said. “I chatted with them for a little bit and finally said, ‘so you guys want to see your uniforms for next year?’ Of course, all of them lost their mind and they were instantly awake and excited.”
New uniforms.New season.Let's go, Big Blue. pic.twitter.com/A0RUvkU8WD— Desert Vista HS (@DVHS_TUHSD) July 19, 2019
When the video began, the players hear “Run Like Hell” by Marcus January and Iconic Audio. They saw the words “Thunder,” “Honor,” “Discipline” and “Respect,” which is written on equipment in the weight room.
Bryan St. Cyr, a 2007 graduate and an assistant coach on the football and basketball teams, appeared on screen in the dimly lit room. He was wearing their new navy blue jersey and gold pants.
Eubanks filmed the player’s reaction.
“If you try to watch both videos together, you can see what parts they got excited about,” Eubanks said. “It was pretty cool.”
The new navy blue jersey has white numbers with gold trim. The same style of numbers can be seen on each shoulder. “Desert Vista” is written across the chest in gold. Two white stripes with gold outline appear on the sleeves, with a solid gold one underneath. The pants are solid gold with a navy stripe down the side, featuring “Thunder” in solid white lettering inside.
Confirmed: @DVHSfootball_ new uniforms are even better in person. Thank you to @DVThunderAD for letting me come out and see them! Here’s all four (three new) uniforms the Thunder will wear this season. pic.twitter.com/HJ9fmSi6bs— Zach Alvira (@ZachAlvira) July 29, 2019
The helmet has the same bolt of lightning decal added last season, as well as Delta Squad reward decals – the logo for the team’s leadership group.
As the video pans out, James Stagg, who graduated in 2018 and will play at Princeton University in the fall, appears.
He is wearing the Thunder’s new all grey uniform.
“Before I even knew we were getting new uniforms me and other teammates would talk about what we’d like,” said senior Colby Humphrey, who is seen in Eubanks’ video jumping when the grey uniform appears. “I’d always bring up how clean all grey would be.
“When I saw them on the reveal video I just got so hyped.”
The jersey has navy blue numbers outlined in gold and “Desert Vista” written in cursive across the chest. Navy blue accents are seen around the collar and on both sleeves of the jersey. Desert Vista’s “DV” logo is near the left hip of the pants, along with navy and gold stripes on either side.
Armando Delgado, who graduated in May and signed to play at Wagner College in New York, walked out of the shadows after Stagg. He was suited up in a new white jersey and grey pants.
The Thunder received an all-white combo with gold accents last season. The new jersey has similar gold numbers, but grey embellishments on the shoulders.
“They loved them,” Eubanks said. “We still have the white ones from last year so you can pair that with the new gold pants. There’s a bunch of different things you can do.”
The new uniforms came to fruition last year when Eubanks posted a poll on Twitter asking what color uniforms the Desert Vista community would like to see – gold, grey or navy blue. Grey was the overwhelming favorite.
Eubanks decided on a video reveal, and contacted Warren Cole, the Tempe Union High School District’s multimedia specialist, as well as Becca Smouse, the digital media coordinator.
Cole agreed to shoot and edit the video, while Smouse helped with lighting. After receiving permission from the artist to use the song, they recruited the three alumni to model the uniforms after they arrived in early July.
“It was kind of funny when they were doing all of the different shots because there was no music so it looked a little funky,” Eubanks said. “But once I saw the finished product with music, it exceeded my expectations as far as how it would go.”
The video was posted to the school’s Twitter account, the district’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. It’s been viewed over 10,000 times across all three platforms.
“When you have people that know what they’re doing, you see how cool it can turn out,” Eubanks said. “(Cole and Smouse) deserve all the credit.”
Desert Vista now has close to 10 possible uniform combinations, which Eubanks said will help preserve them for years to come.
The video received positive reviews from Thunder faithful, other schools in Arizona and even some outside the state. Overall, Eubanks believes it created good exposure for the school and football program.
“DV to me is such a hidden gem,” Eubanks said. “We could have just handed them the uniforms in the locker room and they would have flipped out regardless.
“But when you take a couple of hours and do a little more planning, you can do something like this that really makes your program stand out.”