For decades, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School has produced championship caliber sports teams. However, throughout its years of competitive sports glory, it was missing one pivotal program – football.
On Wednesday, September 23, all that changed.
The New York Jets, in association with the PENCIL organization, announced the creation of a football team at Cardozo High School. Jets Executive Vice President of Business Operations, Matt Higgins, along with Jets players Jerricho Cotchery and Rob Turner, presented a check for $12,500 to the Bayside-based school to help their football program.
“We here at the New York Jets think that sports really make a difference in these kids’ lives,” said Higgins, who is a Cardozo alumnus. “A football team is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Along with supporting the Cardozo team, the Jets have announced they will be donating $5,000 to the PSAL college scholarship, and will also be contributing an annual donation of $100,000 to the PSAL High School Football for Heads Up! Helmet Grant and CHAMPS Middle School Flag Football Program.
The new football squad, which is a mandatory freshman-only team for the first year, got a chance to toss the football around with starting wide receiver Cotchery and practiced blocking drills with offensive lineman Turner.
“Helping these kids means a lot to me because it’s a great opportunity for them,” Cotchery said. “Its just amazing life lessons for these kids,” he added before going off with the team to practice things like running correctly on the line of scrimmage and how to catch and perfectly tuck a pass.
Also eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new season is head coach Joe Kaso.
“We have a great facility set up for the team and the kids are ready,” Kaso said. “We appreciate the Jets and their generosity, and hopefully we can start out as strong as the Jets.”
The enthusiastic squad practices almost four times a week and is ready for the season.
With cases full of basketball, baseball and volleyball trophies lining the halls of Cardozo, they might have to make room for a new addition one day soon.