NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- New Rochelle High School football coach Lou DiRienzo "met" his former player Ray Rice on the WFAN-AM morning drive radio show Boomer & Carton on Tuesday morning as the hosts interviewed the Baltimore Ravens star running back.
Rice, who was a member of DiRienzo's first Class AA state champion in 2003, was being interviewed about his recent game-changing 29-yard catch-and-run play that led to the Ravens' overtime victory Sunday over San Diego when the hosts took a phone call from DiRienzo, who led his 2012 team to the school's state title Saturday.
"I watched the game in my hotel room in San Diego," Rice told the hosts, former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, who is also a New Rochelle alumnus. "I was like a crazed fan. I worked out with these guys over the summer. I work hard, but they stayed with me and passed me," he said.
DiRienzo, whose Huguenots rolled over Buffalo's Orchard Park 34-6 at the Syracuse University Carrier Dome Saturday evening, greeted his former player and team booster.
"I'm prouder of Ray as a man than I am as a football player," DiRienzo said of the former Rutgers University star who returns to New Rochelle often to support the youth in the community. "We're all very proud of Ray."
Rice is not only a fan of his former team but has helped inspire his hometown Huguenots by donating football equipment and mentoring players.
Rice compared the 2012 team to his 2003 team. "We had seven Division I college players on our team," Rice said. "But this team was as hard-working as any team I've ever seen."