By: Matt Rothman
Coral Springs resident Ralph Diaz always had dreams of playing professional football.
The 12-year-old, set to attend Coral Springs Charter this fall, started playing flag football but always admired the kids playing tackle football. A month after his season ended, Diaz signed up to play tackle football for the Coral Springs Chargers. He was the team’s starting quarterback and was having the most fantastic time.
That is, until his fourth game.
While running a play, a defender came from his side, picked him up, and slammed him to the ground. Diaz had to be taken to the hospital immediately due to him not having movement in his arm.
Despite the doctors stating nothing was wrong after x-rays and MRIs, Diaz remained in severe pain, so his parents sent him to a second hospital, where they found out he had a fracture in his throwing shoulder.
He was sidelined for a year.
After his cast was removed, Diaz began therapy but was afraid to play again. A year passed, and while he started playing flag football again, he had no interest in playing tackle until a parent mentioned he would be an excellent fit for the Parkland Rangers.
After going back and forth for a week on his decision, Diaz gave it another try. Despite being uncomfortable at the start, he made the team and had a memorable moment in his first game. With his team winning 8-7 with two minutes remaining, Diaz picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown to give his team a 15-7 victory.
He then went on to play for the Pompano Eagles, and, despite his age, he played with kids who were three years older than him. His team was then invited to several completions around the U.S. for a top travel team called Florida Tech.
On June 12, Diaz was nominated and selected to play in the AT&T Stadium in Dallas for the All-American Dream Team. He was also chosen to play in the All-American Bowl at Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles on June 19.
“This is something not too many kids get a chance to experience, and I am proud and honored to be a part of this such event,” Diaz said.
The Dream All-American Bowl is a football all-star game series. Players have the opportunity to learn from higher-level coaches, gain a considerable boost in recruitment and have an experience of a lifetime.
“I hope many kids get the opportunity to do it as well. I’ve trained for such a long time for a moment like this to come, and it has.”
Send to Coral Springs #1 Award-Winning News Site Here.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.
- News2022.06.29Coral Glades Baseball Helps Out Travel Team at Summer Camp
- News2022.06.29J.P. Taravella’s Derek Rodriguez Commits to Play College Baseball in Miami
- News2022.06.263 Coral Glades Football Players Set to Play at Same College
- News2022.06.19Former J.P. Taravella Pitcher Colby Lipovsky Throws Gem in NJCAA College World Series