New Port Richey, FL (Sept. 14, 2014) – “This year we were able to purchase all new helmets for the entire River Ridge High School football team,” said head coach Ryan Benjamin. Based on the prevalent news in the media, Mr. Benjamin noted that providing the best head protection for players is one of the most important issues in the sports world today.
“With that goal in mind, we committed to raising the funds necessary to purchase the highest quality helmets available on the market today.” The team also found a private citizen that was willing to donate half the money raised, which amounted $8,000, to purchase of new helmets if the team could raise the remaining $8,000 for a total of $16,000. Mr. Benjamin is happy to say that the team’s goal for new helmets was successful.
The donor wanted to remain anonymous and made this contribution to the team “for all the glory to go to God.” Because of this promise, the team was able to raise the remaining funds through donations from several local businesses – some of whom have been team sponsors for several years. Major donors toward this effort include the New Port Richey Rotary Club, Hyundai of New Port Richey, Ford/Mitsubishi of Port Richey, and New Image Dermatology.
Additional donors are Scott M. McPherson P.A., Air Xpress, Grace FX, JK Blake, Advanced Telecom, Woody Tucker Plumbing, Inc., Derek Pontlitz Asset Advisors, Patriot Bank, Republic Bank, Kemp & Ruge Law Group, and Farrell Roofing.
The River Ridge High School football team, known as the Knights, has been playing ball for the school since 1991, and Coach Ryan, a RRHS graduate, played on the football team from 1992-1996. In his senior year, Mr. Benjamin was on the first and one of only two football teams in school history to make the state playoffs. From 1997-2001, Mr. Benjamin was a member of the inaugural University of South Florida football team.
Today Ryan Benjamin is the head football coach and offensive coordinator for the team. He earned a Super Bowl ring while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2001- 2003. Previous to the Bucs, he played for the New England Patriots under coach Bill Bilacheck and the Chicago Bears under coach Dick Jauron. Mr. Benjamin also coaches in the local youth PAL football league team River Ridge Knights.