NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Hundreds of children, parents and coaches gathered at New Rochelle High School’s football field Saturday morning for the annual Ray Rice Day. The Baltimore Ravens running back and former New Rochelle High School Huguenot led a day of fun and football for more than 300 children on the school’s field.
Parents and friends gathered around the track and visited the various stands where they could receive a massage, sample some beverages or buy a balloon. One such parent was 14-year New Rochelle resident Richard Becker, whose son, Michael, participated in the event for the first time.
Michael was understandably excited to meet Rice, whom Becker called a “local legend.” The father also said the day spoke to Rice’s character.
“He’s one of the best players in the NFL but he still remembers where he came from and comes back and involves the community and the kids and all that stuff,” Becker said. “It’s terrific.”
New Rochelle High School basketball coach Bill Murphy also attended the event and said the day was a wonderful boon for the school.
“It’s just amazing for the school. Everybody’s been talking about it. Look how many people are here,” Murphy said. “And he loves the kids on top of it. It’s not where I think with most people. It’s usually not that kind of love for the kids. It’s so obvious that this guy has a love for children.”
Rice and dozens of coaches and former players from New Rochelle High School led the children in drills and exercises throughout the day. The morning culminated in a ceremony in which the school retired Rice’s jersey number.