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East County Thursday, Apr. 16, 2020 3 months ago

Lakewood Ranch High community raising money for assistant football coach

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Roosevelt Atkins has been battling COVID-19.
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Reporter

The Lakewood Ranch High community is raising money for Roosevelt Atkins, an assistant football coach at the school who has been battling COVID-19. 

According to a GoFundMe post from Paula Patten, the mother of Lakewood Ranch junior defensive back Travis Patten, Atkins has been fighting the disease since March. 

"We are happy to say that his determination and our prayers have paid off and he is making progress," Patten said, but Atkins, who is affectionately known as "Coach Ro," remains hospitalized. 

The GoFundMe had an initial goal of $5,000 to help cover Atkins' hospital bills. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, less than 24 hours since the page was created, that goal had nearly been doubled, raising $9,277 from 152 donors.

Atkins coaches the Mustangs' defensive line. He played high school football at Palmetto High. He was hired at Lakewood Ranch by former coach Mick Koczersut and stayed at the school under Christopher Culton in 2018 and Rashad West in 2019. 

I’m the sports reporter for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, MD. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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