MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins and Baptist Health South Florida surprised the Felix Varela Senior High School football and girls flag football team with equipment to help create a safer and healthier environment for their programs yesterday. The donated equipment included Junior Dolphins and Baptist Health branded shirts, an end zone camera, medicine balls, a cooling fan, cleats, shoulder pads, backpacks, footballs and Gatorade product.
"When the truck opened and we saw all of this equipment come out, the emotions from the players, that's an overwhelming experience and we'll certainly take this opportunity and capitalize off of it," said Felix Varela Senior High School Head Football Coach Patrick Ledan.
"I believe the end zone camera, that was a big improvement to our equipment here," said sophomore quarterback Dominic Medina. "That way we can see the field better and we can get a higher elevation viewpoint. It will help us out a lot."
The team also had the opportunity to hear from Dolphins alum and Youth Programs Ambassador Twan Russell about the commitment and dedication required from an athlete to succeed. Dolphins defensive tackle Joey Mbu and Peter Smith, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, also were on hand for the donation.
"It's a great way to inspire kids like us to continue and hopefully look for a professional career in football and in other sports as well," said senior running back and linebacker Cindy Montoya. "Twan's message was really powerful, especially to me as a senior leaving to college. It was something that I'll definitely take away and will run with it."
Photo gallery: Junior Dolphins | Varela High School Equipment Donation
This is the second Junior Dolphins Equipment Donation this year. The Dolphins also **made a donation to Pahokee High School in April**. 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.
The Junior Dolphins program encourages youth players and coaches to learn, teach 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. Junior Dolphins is building the next generation of Dolphins Fans.