Ben Tate Day Celebration On Tap For Summer

BERLIN – Ben Tate’s
professional football future lies with the Houston Texans, but the second round
draft pick will be back in Berlin to celebrate his accomplishments with the
people of his home county on July 17.

Tate, a native of
Berlin, was a standout running back at Stephen Decatur and Snow Hill High
schools. He still holds the Maryland state high school record for most rushing
yards in a single season with 2,879 yards in 2004.

Tate fielded scholarship
offers from several schools during his high school years and went on to play
football for Auburn University. In college, he led the Auburn Tigers in rushing
all three seasons he played.

Then came the chance for
the running back to turn professional, and Tate landed on his feet after being
drafted in the second round.

“During the NFL draft
for 2010, he was drafted to the Houston Texans, second round, number 58,” Barry
Brittingham said.

The Texans traded up
during the draft to take Tate and selected him with their second overall pick
of the draft.

Brittingham went before
the Berlin Mayor and Council this week with B.J. Johnson to get town council
permission to hold a Ben Tate Day on Saturday, July 17, with a parade followed
by a celebration in Stephen Decatur Park.

The celebration will
include free food, entertainment, autographs and pictures of Tate and T-shirt
giveaways, Brittingham said.

The Ben Tate Day
celebration will be entirely funded by Tate’s business manager, according to

Other Houston Texans
might even attend the celebration this summer, Brittingham said Monday night.

“I think it’s a
wonderful idea,” said Councilwoman Lisa Hall.

Playing in the NFL was
Tate’s lifelong dream, and many of his former teammates recall how he wanted to
some day be on the biggest stage of them all.

Tate, said Brittingham,
is a role model for local youth who proved that dreams do come true.

“He’s very, very modest.
He always had a great disposition about himself,” said Johnson, Tate’s high school
basketball coach.

Johnson said Tate’s
athleticism was apparent in high school and that he knew Tate would do well and
go far.

The football player
wants to inspire Berlin and Worcester County youth to set goals and find
success, instead of getting into trouble, Brittingham said.