VALHALLA, N.Y. – Rye Country Day School football coach John Calandros is quite familiar with the annual preseason scrimmage at Valhalla High School.
Calandros has brought the Wildcats to the event in each of his six years as coach and brought his former team, Horace Mann School, for six years. So at Saturday’s scrimmage, Calandros knew what to expect.
“It’s just a great day,” Calandros said. “It’s our first time out for scrimmaging and Valhalla always runs a great scrimmage, very well organized.”
Six teams gathered on the field Saturday morning for the event. Mainstays Valhalla, Croton-Harmon, Ardsley, Rye Country Day School and Riverdale and newcomer Rye Neck all took the field at one point or another.
For Calandros, the variety of teams is a major attraction because it gives him a chance to assess his team.
"We get a chance to face some of the top teams around in the section and it really gives us a chance to look at how we progressed during our preseason camp,” Calandros said. “We’re just excited to be here just to get out there playing against another team.”
Valhalla football coach Kevin Martins is in his third year at the school. He hoped every team would leave the field healthy and more experienced.
“You’re getting kids who haven’t played live competition going against live competition before you play your first game,” Martins said. “So, you’re getting some kids who aren't experienced (some) experience before the real deal.”
Martins praised each of the teams present at the scrimmage and said the day will let them release some pent up energy.
“Kids, at this point, they’re just sick of hitting each other and hitting shields,” Martins said. “They want to hit other people. They want to make plays. They want to hoop and holler. So it should be fun.”