SOUTH OGDEN -- Jiniki Timoteo parted ways with a lifelong friend Wednesday afternoon.
With a focused face befitting a collegiate football lineman, Timoteo showed no fear on the outside as stylist Courtney Checketts lopped off his pony tail, something the Weber State football player had since he was a youngster.
Timoteo and teammates Lanny Papanikolas and Shelton Robinson had their long hair cut and donated to Locks of Love, an organization that provides hairpieces to children who are dealing with medical hair loss throughout the nation. The stylists at Salon Synergy in South Ogden participated in the event.
"I was ready to get my hair cut," said Robinson, who had been growing his hair for about 20 months. "Coach (John L.) Smith told some of the guys about the program, and my sister had donated to the cause in high school, so I was happy to do it."
The minimum length required for donation to Locks of Love is 10 inches of hair.
Timoteo, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound junior from Waipahu, Hawaii, plays offensive guard for the Wildcats. Robinson, a sophomore offensive tackle who checks in at 6-3, 275, is from Pocatello, Idaho.
Papanikolas is a senior receiver from Salt Lake City. He was able to smile through the pain as stylist Erin Love took a healthy chop at his hair.
"It's great to help out for a cause like that," Robinson said after stylist Stacy Geddes cut his hair. "Plus, I was ready for it to be short."
Locks of Love provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada who are younger than 21 and have long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair as a result of a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses the program provides help to restore their self-esteem and confidence.
During the season, all three players were easily recognizeable for the hair flowing out from under their helmets. Now they will be known for their charitable giving.