On Sunday the weather cooperated perfectly for the Cardinals “Champions Football Clinic” for GYFL players, where dozens of boys and girls did drills with the Greenwich High School players and their coaches.
The clinic was followed by a ring ceremony for the Cardinals.
The GYFL players, in their red “Be The Future” t-shirts, looked on as each player was presented his ring by head Coach John Marinelli in the field house. WGCH’s Rob Adams emceed the event. After each player received his ring, he was congratulated by a throng of coaches.
Registration is currently open for GYFL’s 2019 season. The league, a non profit youth football organization for boys and girls in grades 3 through 8, has three divisions: the Bantam League is for 8- and 9-year old’s. Juniors are 10-11. Seniors start at age 12.
GYFL has over 90 volunteer coaches who offer lessons in sportsmanship, and players enjoy the sense of camaraderie and source of lifelong friendships.
The idea for the clinic and ring ceremony, a new tradition for the Cardinals, came from head coach Marinelli. About 50 young players participated in the event, where they could see the camaraderie and skills of the older players, many of whom will head to college in August, and imagine themselves in their position.
Gavin Muir, a senior captain who is headed to Dartmouth in the fall, Mozi Bici who is headed for a PG year at Suffield Academy and Christopher Wint who is headed to Castleton University in Vermont said they came up through the ranks of GYFL themselves.
“We all played for the BANC Raiders,” Gavin said. “It was a great experience as team mates and a great experience on the field.”
“It really started a mentality to aim for state championships,” Mozi said.
Andrea and Matt Falco brought their son James and daughter Emi to the event after James, a third grader, learned registration had opened.
“James has Autism. He joined last year and had a great time,” Andrea said, adding that James’ younger sister Emi may join the league or cheer for GYCL. “Last year she would make friends on the sidelines at his games and practices. She may have had more fun than he did.”
“On May 1, he wore his jersey to school,” she said, a reference to the first day of registration.
“There was a sign up by North Mianus School saying registration was open and he said, ‘We got to start jogging, mom.'”
“Emi said I want to go too,” Andrea recalled.
A popular presences at the event was the Joey B’s Food Truck. Joey B’s owner Dom Delfino has hosted the football team for fundraisers in his restaurant where players’ favorites include the Texas burger, mac ‘n cheese bites and breakfasts of pancakes, french toast and bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwiches.
To register your child for GYFL’s 2019 season, click here. The season opens on Aug 19, 2019. The last game of the season, championship day, is Nov 10, 2019. (Columbus Day weekend is a bye weekend with no games.)