Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Kenny Stills talks with Ft. Lauderdale High football team members.
By MIAMI DOLPHINS
Davie, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins last week hosted the Fort Lauderdale High School, Gulliver Preparatory and Liberty City Optimist football teams at their Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices.
The teams were given a tour of the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University and heard from both Miami Dolphins President & CEO Tom Garfinkel and Youth Programs Ambassador and Dolphins alum Twan Russell about character, leadership and overcoming adversity.
“To see the professionals to do it in practice and playing at almost game-like speed is so unreal,” Fort Lauderdale High School Head Football Coach Richard Dunbar said. “It kind of reiterates what we talk about at practice.”
“It was amazing. It was an outstanding experience. Players were engaged. Coaches felt like kids again watching a professional team out there execute,” Gulliver Preparatory Head Football Coach Earl Sims said.
“We all just had a great experience.”
“It was electric. The kids were excited and even us as coaches were very excited,” Liberty City Optimist Head Football Coach George Harris said. “We’re going to take some of the criteria they’re using and implement it in our practice also.”
The three teams also had the opportunity to watch the Dolphins practice and meet with current players on the field. Following practice, the athletes had lunch provided by Wendy’s.
“As a high school athlete, the moment was surreal,” Fort Lauderdale High School defensive end Emanuel Vilatoro said. “I look up to these guys. I see them on TV every Sunday. To see them practice and go through the motions and see what they do and their habits, [I will] take them back to school and implement them in my training and growth as a player.”
“When I was a child, I idolized Cameron Wake, and it was cool to see him up-close and personal,” Gulliver Preparatory defensive end D’Sean Perry said. “I picked up some of his technique, some of his hand placement, how fast he is around the ball, and it was very cool to see that.”
The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ mission is to transform the lives of youth football players by instilling character building and reinforcing safety standards that help to increase football participation and grow a new generation of Dolphins fans.