by Craig Beilfuss

Thanks to local businessman, Jake Kantola of Muskegon, the Muskegon Heights Tigers will feature new decals on their football helmets on Friday evening when they venture north to take on Lakes 8 conference foe, Ludington.

According to Heights head coach, Van Parker, Heights hasn’t had decals on their helmets since the 2017 season.

“It really hasn’t been a priority,” Parker said. “As a whole, we’ve kind’ve overlooked the importance of it.”

Kantola, a 2010 graduate of Ravenna, is a State Farm Agent in Norton Shores. He opened up his office in December of 2020.

So what brought on the idea of getting the decals for the helmets?

“Before I opened my agency, I wanted to gather local football helmets to display in my office,” Kantola said. “I reached out to the area schools and was able to collect about a dozen schools. When I contacted Coach Van Parker, he was more than happy to supply me with a decommissioned Muskegon Heights helmet. I noticed the helmet did not have a logo or decal on it and offered to help.”

“It means the world, I appreciate Jake a ton,” said Parker. “It shows that there are some great people in this world that are actually here to help. To me, it just shows that we still have hope, as I said there are some great people on both sides of the fence. It shows that hard work and doing the right thing comes with benefits. Overall, people want to see the Heights doing well

Parker and his Tigers will put their 4-0 record on the line Friday night.

Kantola, shared his feeling’s briefly about the community.

“One of the reasons I chose State Farm is because we share similar values when it comes to community and giving back,” Kantola said. “Being a State Farm agent is not only about helping customers with their insurance needs, that is only half of it. Our mission at Jake Kantola State Farm is also a dedication to being involved in the community where we work and live, by providing help and support.”

Parker, said the Heights will display the decals immediately.

“We appreciate Jake making this happen, so we will honor it by getting them on now,” Parker said. “It’s beautiful, my hope is that we take it up another notch or two. God is good. We want to continue to build and take advantage of the opportunity at hand.”