The annual football game at Ramapo High School to honor former football and wrestling captain Babak Najafi is scheduled for this Saturday, June 4. Najafi, you may remember, graduated in 2005 and went to Syracuse University, but, just four months into his freshman year, he died of a heart attack.
It turned out Najafi suffered from a genetic heart disease that went unnoticed because he was young and lived an active lifestyle. Every year, family and friends try to raise awareness about heart disease and honor Najafi’s memory with the event and by awarding Ramapo seniors with scholarships in Najafi’s name.
Najafi’s girlfriend, Lauren Lopez, and classmate Aaron Goldstein organized the first game in July 2006. They’ve held five so far, awarded over $6,000 in scholarships and donated hundreds to both the wrestling and football programs. And this year they partnered with the American Heart Association for the event, but they hope to spark increased interest.
The event will include two flag football games, followed by a championship between the winners. Alumni, students, community members, and/or anyone else interested are invited to attend. It will begin at noon and run until 4 p.m.