The Dolphins have spent the last week in California after being temporarily displaced by Hurricane Irma. And while they’re on the West Coast awaiting Sunday’s game against the Chargers, they’re helping out a high school football team who was also stranded away from home by the storm.
Central High School’s football team had upset three-time national champion Bishop Gorman, but Irma ruined Central’s travel plans to leave Las Vegas and return home to the Tampa area. While small high school football programs don’t have big budgets, NFL players do. According to the Miami Herald, Dolphins players have ponied up tens of thousands of dollars to pay for the lodging and transportation costs for Central’s 69 players, coaches and administrators who made the trip.
The effort started with receiver Kenny Stills, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, safety Reshad Jones and receiver Jarvis Landry before it spread to more players on the team:
Early on receiver Kenny Stills, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, safety Reshad Jones, and receiver Jarvis Landry agreed to contribute money to pay Central’s bill. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons joined in late Wednesday evening. Other players seemed interested in helping as well.
And the donations have been highly appreciated:
“I’m ecstatic because anytime you see an organization like the Dolphins think about and take care of a high school team like ourselves, that’s amazing,” said Central coach Roland Smith, who incidentally was drafted by the Dolphins in 1991 out of the University of Miami.
“We don’t have a budget like the Dolphins,” Smith said. “We don’t have a budget like a college. We don’t have a national budget to stay extra days after a game and stuff like that.”
“We don’t have big booster clubs like other schools have that can take care of things like this,” Smith said. “But when you have an organization the kids look up to and they step forward, it’s an awesome thing.”
Slowly but surely, Central is making its way back to South Florida in small groups. They hope to have everyone home by the end of the week.