SWC, SCC teams compete in Grip It & Rip It

Jackson Olson scores a touchdown for New Milford at Saturday's Grip It & Rip It 7 on 7 tournament. Autumn Driscoll photo.

Jackson Olson scores a touchdown for New Milford at Saturday’s Grip It & Rip It 7 on 7 tournament. Autumn Driscoll photo.

Here’s a rundown of the SWC and SCC teams that competed in Friday and Saturday’s Grip It & Rip It 7 on 7 competition at New Canaan High School. The seventh annual event included 40 teams from Connecticut and New York. Grand Street Campus from Brooklyn, N.Y., – a team that I heard had as many as 10 Division I prospects, went undefeated en route to winning the tournament. They defeated Archbishop Stepinac from White Plains, N.Y., in the finals.

New Milford: The Green Wave made the best showing of the SWC teams, finishing among the top six teams. Tyler Hansen and Jamie Portunato effectively rotated at quarterback. After going 2-2 during Friday’s pool play, New Milford registered some impressive wins on Saturday.

“Our two very good quarterbacks showed a lot of leadership and did a fantastic job,” New Milford coach Larry Badaracco said. “We have a lot of new receivers across the board and they all played aggressively, flying to the ball.”

New Fairfield: Coach Anthony Fata was happy to bring his squad back to the event.

“It’s a great experience for the kids,” Fata said. “This is one of the better 7 on 7 competitions around. Win or lose, this is a positive experience for us.”

Mike Zanca and Rob Cammarano took the snaps for New Fairfield.

Brookfield: After a rough first day on Friday, Brookfield settled down and played pretty well on Saturday.

“We came to this 7 on 7 looking to get better each game and that’s what we did,” Brookfield offensive coordinator Brian Muller said. “This competition gives us an opportunity to get better.”

Newtown: The Nighthawks got a look at Jacob Berden and Matt Maturo, both of whom are competing for the starting quarterback job.

“They are both doing very well,” Newtown assistant coach Steve George said. “They have been working hard during the offseason and seem to be prepared for the upcoming season.”

Fairfield Prep: The Jesuits showed flashes of their offensive firepower and should once again, be a force to reckon with. Prep returns their starting quarterback from a year ago in Colton Smith.

“We lost some key players at the skill positions, but we do have the leadership our starting quarterback brings,” Prep assistant coach Keith Hellstern said. “Competing in an event like this is part of the jelling process. It definitely helps our players develop their skills.”

Masuk: Freshman Matt Hirsch took the snaps for the Panthers on Saturday and held his own. First-year coach Joe Lato said senior Zach Kaufmann will receive the start at quarterback.

Here’s my article on the Grip It & Rip It 7 on 7 camp: http://bit.ly/1qvBORJ


Dave Fierro