Sophomore Reece Ritzenthaler is a two-sport athlete at Ransom Everglades. A two-way player on the football team, playing both defensive end and wide receiver, he is a starter on the varsity team and has been since ninth grade.
He also is on the lacrosse team, a sport he began playing the summer before sixth grade.
At Ransom, the sports teams participate in Ransom Everglades Athletes Can Help or REACH. When the season ends, the student athletes go to a school in downtown Miami and play a sport with the inner city kids. Since Ritzenthaler is on two teams, he takes part in REACH twice a year.
Ritzenthaler serves as captain for both the football and lacrosse teams. He takes the position seriously.
“My job is to lead, to show what it’s like to be a high school football player,” he said. “If you mess up, your team develops a bad reputation.”
Ritzenthaler is working on creating the Christian Student Association as a Ransom club as a way for students to give back to the community. He hopes to partner which his church on community service projects.
This year, Ritzenthaler and a couple of friends planned The Walk for Jen in honor of his best friend’s mother who passed away last year. He said approximately 150 people walked in her honor.
“It was a great success. A lot of people came out from Ransom,” he said. “I think we raised close to $3,000.”
Ritzenthaler has volunteered at events for HIS House, an orphanage in Miami Gardens.
“We go to the orphanage and remodel it,” he said. “We paint it and give the kids new furniture.”
He also volunteers on Give Day, which is sponsored by Celebrity Cruise Line, the company for which his mother works.
“We go into underprivileged communities and provide food and other thing they need,” he said. “They have drives to collect clothing, school supplies and books.”
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld