By MIKE SMITH
On Aug. 2, scores of former Mamaroneck football players took the field to relive their glory days as the Tigers held their fourth-annual Alumi Day at Mamaroneck High School.
Teams comprised of former varsity lettermen competed in a round robin-style touch football competition pitting recent graduates and players from the 1980s and 90’s against one another.
Roughly 75 alumni were on hand, either to play to cheer on their classmates.
According to head coach Anthony Vitti, the Alumni Day helps to keep the tradition of Mamaroneck football alive, giving graduates from different eras a chance to connect on the gridiron.
“This has always been something I’ve believed in,” Vitti said. “As a former player myself, I know that this is very special to them and guys love to come back and do this.”
Although the competition is fierce, Vitti said the idea of togetherness is the central theme of the event.
“The football program should be part of the community,” he said. “The guys come, they get to embellish some of their war stories; it’s great for the kids who are the future of this program to learn a little bit
about its past.”
Vitti said tracking down former players isn’t as hard as it would have been a few years ago.
“We don’t sit down and have some big letter writing campaign,” Vitti said. “Social media helps a lot, and we really rely on word of mouth to get the word out.”
The Mamaroneck Tigers will continue to build up their presence in the community during the regular season. During the year, Vitti said, the team will help out at soup kitchens and also raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project during 12th Man Week, which celebrates the 12 Mamaroneck football players who lost their lives while serving during the Vietnam War.
“We feel that’s really great for the kids, to honor these guys, some of whom were just 18 years old, just a whisker away from where these guys will be,” Vitti said.
Vitti hopes that projects like 12th Man Week–and the recent Alumni Day–will not only serve to strengthen the bonds of Tiger football, but also help his current crop of players take stock in what it means to don the orange and black.
“The message that they get from these guys is that it’s a short, precious time they have here,” Vitti said. “They should embrace it and love it, and I think it rings true to them.”