NEW CANAAN, Conn. What began as a simple way to play a little extra football during the offseason has become one of the most popular summer showcases for teams in Fairfield and Westchester Counties. A total of 21 teams descended on New Canaan for the 3rd annual Grip It and Rip It 7-on-7 Tournament on Saturday. The no pads, two-hand touch tournament is intended to give high school offenses a day to shine.
"Football has finally caught up with basketball, lacrosse, hockey and soccer in playing a semblance of the sport in the off-season," New Canaan football head coach Lou Marinelli said. "There are a lot of 7-on-7 tournaments around now, and I think the kids and coaches are happy with it. We have something for everything here."
Though a touch football tournament might not seem like a true showcase of skills, the four teams that made it to last year's semifinals qualified for the CIAC state tournament. That's great news for Stamford, the only FCIAC team that made it that far. New Canaan hopes it's just a fluke after it lost to Fairfield Warde in the first round.
"Yeah, I don't know if that's a coincidence or what. There's no defense rushing the quarterback today so you have to keep that in mind," Marinelli said. "There is some correlation there though."
The teams at the tournament included New Canaan, Greenwich, Norwalk, Fairfield Warde, Bridgeport Central, Masuk, Cheshire, Brookfield, Bloomfield, Newtown, Weston, Canterbury, Cheshire Academy, Iona, Mamaroneck, North Rockland, Rye, Scarsdale, Stepinac and White Plains.
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