Anyone who has kids that play sports can tell you it can get expensive - and travel hockey gear is some of the costliest sports equipment around. That's why the family of 14-year-old goalie Jackson Gentry is pleading for the return of his hockey bag, full of $3,500 in equipment. The gear went missing outside Germain Arena on Friday during the Florida International Holiday Invitational Tournament, where Jackson's team, the Tampa Bay Junior Lightning, was playing.
"I think we determined that the tailgate was left down on the back of the truck," said David Gentry, Jackson's father. "I rolled down my window, and a gentleman said 'you know, you lost your bag. It fell out of the back.'"
David said that they immediately back-tracked, scouring Ben Hill Griffin Parkway and other streets around Germain Arena, but the hockey bag - containing helmets, jerseys, skates and pads - was gone.
"There was no trace, no sign of it," said David Gentry. "One would think that had it been somebody from the tournament, or from the rink, that it had been turned in pretty quickly."
David said that his son is heartbroken over the missing gear, and that there has been an outpouring of support from other teams, such as the Junior Everblades. They're hoping that whoever skated away with Jackson's equipment does the right thing and turns it in at Germain Arena, from where it would most likely find its way back to Jackson.
"You want to always hope for the best I think and have faith in people, so I'm still holding onto hope that somebody's going to return it," David said. "It would definitely brighten the boy's day."