MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins yesterday hosted the John I. Leonard High School football team at their training camp practice. The teams were given a tour of the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University and received a character talk from Miami Dolphins Youth Programs Ambassador and alum Twan Russell. The teams also had the opportunity to watch the Dolphins practice and meet with current players on the field.
“A lot of these guys have NFL aspirations like every teenage kid, but when they get to come down here and actually see the players and see the facilities and how big these guys really are and how fast they are, I think it opens up their eyes and it’s a great experience for them,” John I. Leonard High School Head Football Coach Keith Chattin said. “I think it generates more excitement for them, because now they’ll watch the preseason or some of them may come down here for a game and say, ‘I met that guy,’ or ‘I’ve seen Coach Flores.’ Now they’re reenergized and they understand that there’s a bigger goal and there’s a lot of work I’ve got to do to get that goal.”
“This means a lot to me and my teammates, because we get to see how NFL players practice on an NFL experience level, rather than us on a varsity level,” John I. Leonard High School sophomore wide receiver Ja’Kavian Williams said. “I was mainly looking at the receivers and how they catch the ball and looking at how you have to get two feet down every time you catch the ball.”
As part of the Miami Dolphins’ commitment to the development of high school and youth football, the organization will host high school teams from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties at the team’s training camp practices. The team visits are a targeted effort to recognize, inspire and increase football participation through personal connections centered on the positive character building aspects of playing the game.
The Junior Dolphins program encourages 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. Junior Dolphins is building the next generation of Dolphins Fans.
This event is one of the #DolphinsHuddlefor100 service projects as part of the NFL’s 100th celebration. The NFL has invited fans, players, clubs and employees to join Huddle for 100, an effort to inspire 1 million people to volunteer 100 minutes of their time to make meaningful contributions to their communities. High school and youth teams visiting training camp practice are bringing canned goods that will be donated to Feeding South Florida to help in the efforts to end hunger and writing thank you letters to those that have inspired them. These activities connect to the Miami Dolphins’ initiative to level the playing field through the power of teamwork to inspire a healthier, more educated and united South Florida community. For more information on the NFL Huddle and to see volunteer opportunities with the Dolphins, visit https://www.miamidolphins.com/community/specialteams.