Miami Dolphins surprise Florida high school football teams with equipment donations

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The Pahokee, Reagan, Stranahan and Varela high school football teams are going through spring practice with some new equipment thanks to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. The three schools recently received a large amount of equipment from the Dolphins.

Varela received footballs, medicine balls, shoulder pads, a large fan, cleat and an end-zone camera to better record practice.

“It’s overwhelming because we’re doing our best to change the culture here to a winning culture and for the Dolphins to choose us, how gratifying is that?” said Varela head coach Patrick Ledan. “Because we weren’t expecting this. They did this out of the graces of their heart. Overwhelming is the word. It’s a lot of emotions and we will certainly put this opportunity to great use and capitalize off of it.”

At Pahokee High, the equipment donated included Junior Dolphins and Baptist Health branded shirts, a treadmill, a stationary bike, tackling dummies, sleds, cleats and Gatorade products.

“For me, this is something that dates back to when my father was playing football here, we never had the resources and all the proper equipment to be a successful football team. Still, we defied the odds,” said Pahokee High School head coach Demir Boldin, whose brother Anquan, a Pahokee alum, had a 14-year playing career in the NFL. “I think this donation will even out the playing field for our kids to better prepare them for college, to better prepare them for the game of football safely and it’s something that I’m very, very excited about.”

The mission of the Junior Dolphins program is to encourage youth players and coaches to teach, learn and play football in a fun and safe environment. The Junior Dolphins program is designed to give kids access to learn the fundamentals of football using the NFL’s top resources. To grow the game, the Junior Dolphins program will work to educate coaches, parents and youth on the health and safety of football with a strong emphasis on character development.

In all, ten Florida high schools will be helped this year.

This is the second year of the Junior Dolphins Equipment Donation program. In 2018, the Dolphins made donations to Miramar High School in May; Pompano Beach High School in July; Booker T. Washington in August; Spanish River High School, Key West High School, Marathon High School and Coral Shores High School in September; and Glades Central Community High School in November.

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.