Somerville, NJ — lmmaculata High School will pay tribute to the school’ s only alumnus to be successful in the National Football League (NFL) by naming its turf field after Theo Riddick’09, a member of the Notre Dame undefeated regular season football team of 2012-2013 and currently a member of the Detroit Lions.
The ceremony will take place on the field, behind the school’s Main Building on Monday, June 27th at 9:15 am. Riddick will be on campus as a counselor for the school’s football camp program (grades 5-8) and will be joined by school officials and the current Spartan football team. All faculty , alumni, and current students and parents are welcome to attend.
Riddick, who played for four years on the Varsity level for the powerhouse lmmaculata Spartans under Coach Pierce Frauenheim, leads the school in most career touchdowns scored (52) and most touchdowns scored in a season (23) in 2006 . A running back, Riddick also rushed for over 4,000 yards . Over a three year period, the future Lions running back scored 312 points, a school record, as well as scoring 138 points in the 2006 season .As a sophomore , Riddick was a key player in the Spartans State Championship run,with the team going 12-0.
As part of the legendary Notre Dame Irish football team, Riddick played at wide receiver and running back and scored 13 touchdowns . During his senior year he led Notre Dame with 190 carries for nearly 1,000 yards and tallied a team-best 1,287 all-purpose yards; his reception total is the fifth- most for a running back in single-season school history. While at Notre Dame, he participated in the team’s community service outreach program and graduated with his degree in communications in three and a half years .
Selected in the 6th round of the NFL draft, Riddick spent his first two seasons on special teams and as a back up running back. This past season was a breakout one for Riddick as he led all NFL running backs with 80 receptions. Proving himself one of the most productive members of the offensive team, he set the franchise record for single season receiving yards as a running back.
Retired Football Coach Pierce Frauenheim remembers Riddick as the best all-around athlete ever to graduate from IHS. “Not only did he excel at football, but he played on two back-to-back state champion basketball teams. What separated him from other great players were his speed, vision,
and hisand his work ethic. As the most dominant player on the team, he set the tone even as an
underclassman ; he was clearly the best, yet he worked extremely hard every day on the practice field and in the game. One particular game epitomizes Theo’s skills. We were playing a very tough Hunterdon Central team and went to triple overtime. Remarkably, Theo scored in the first overtime, in the second overtime , and then won the game by scoring in the third overtime. It was unbelievable.
“Despite the accolades he received as a player, Theo remained a humble person. He was not someone who was only interested in personal achievements. He was a coach’s dream, because he was all about the team and its accomplishments. What a great role model he was for the other players. My other striking memory is that Theo was a grateful young man, which really ties in with his humility. As he journeyed through the teenage years, he was very appreciative and gracious to all those coaches and teachers who helped him develop into the successful athlete and person he is today. We are all very proud of Theo and all that he has attained. Having the field named after Theo will inspire other Spartans for generations.”
Theo Riddick Field, installed in 2004, serves as a practice field for the lmmaculata Varsity Football Program and Marching Band Program. In addition, it is the home field for the school’s girls and boys soccer , girls and boys lacrosse and the JV and freshman football home games. Current and future Spartans will play on the field , bearing Riddick’s nam , and remember the pure talent, hard work, and perseverance that characterized his play at IHS.