The Crushers, Gators, Generals, Bulldogs, Raiders and Mavericks are back. Football season in Greenwich exploded into action Tuesday evening as all six teams in the Greenwich Youth Football League hit the practice fields for the first time. This is the fourth season the teams have played exclusively within Greenwich.
"It's come a long way," said Pat Bria, Cos Cob Crushers junior coach and league board member. "We used to play Port Chester and Westport, but now it's made up all of teams from Greenwich."
Before the league formed, dozens of kids hoping to play football were put on a waiting list. When it became clear that the list was growing and not shrinking, the board realized it was time to expand. Since then, the friendly rivalries have grown among players and coaches to see who will take bragging rights in Greenwich. Putnam Generals President Scott Harrington said the most important thing is for kids to have fun and learn the fundamentals of football.
"They're all friends, but there's friendly rivalry between them all," Harrington said. "A kid on another team might be your teammate in lacrosse or baseball, or he might be your neighbor. It really teaches them a lot about sportsmanship."
He also praised the professionalism of the coaches and their time commitment to the league. Riverside Gators President Anthony Ferarro also said that many league players stick with the sport and go on to play for Greenwich High, Brunswick and other high schools.
"We have a T-shirt that says, 'High school football starts here,'" Ferraro said. "We're the feeder program. We're having a blast. Some of these kids are new to football so we're trying to teach them the fundamentals and get them in shape."
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