Miami Dolphins welcome Marjory Stoneman Douglas High football team to OTAs

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill greets players from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after organized team activities Wednesday. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — Ever since the tragedy in Parkland occurred there has been a link between the Dolphins and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and Wednesday that relationship entered a new chapter when the school’s football team watched the Dolphins go through offseason team activities before meeting with the pros.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and long snapper John Denney were among those who talked with the Eagles, who last week held their spring game to conclude spring practice.

The Dolphins were among the first to contribute to a fund for victims of the Feb. 14 tragedy that claimed 17 lives, adding $100,000 to the fund. Dolphins players attended a candlelight vigil in Parkland, Hall of Famer Jason Taylor attended the funeral of football coach Aaron Feis and members of the Eagles football team announced the Dolphins’ Day 3 picks on national television during the NFL Draft.

“I think it always helps you,” Douglas coach Willis May said of Wednesday’s field trip. “It makes you feel better. It takes your mind off everything and puts it on the game.

“We hope that especially in football season this year that the whole community of Parkland will come out and rally with us and help us and push us to have an outstanding year and together, we’ll forget about some things and just enjoy the beautiful game of football.”

The Eagles met with Tom Garfinkel, the Dolphins’ president and CEO, and were given a tour of the training facility.

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The visit was an escape from the everyday realities that still confront Douglas students as the school year winds down. May hopes it also was a learning experience, in a football sense, for his players to see the details pros must pay attention to as they work on their game.

“How do you think they got here?” May said he tells his players. “They do all the little things that we’re trying to get you all to do, but they do all those little things and have been doing them for a long time. And that’s what makes them great.

“So our guys see that and hopefully that’ll help them out a whole lot.”

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