SCARSDALE, N.Y. – With heavy hearts following the tragic disappearance of Tyler Madoff – who was washed out to sea on July 4 in Hawaii – the Scarsdale varsity football team returned to the field for practice as summer training camp opened.
Madoff, who was set to be a starter on the team, was still on the minds of the players and coaches as they ran through plays and drills during their first practice. The Raiders will dedicate this season to their teammate, who was swept into the Pacific Ocean during a hiking and kayaking trip.
Head coach Andy Verboys said he hopes the practice sessions will help everyone keep their minds off of the turbulent summer.
“It’s been tough after everything that’s happened. It’s been a difficult summer with a lot going on,” he said. “It’s good for us to get back out here and just stay focused on football and not everything else.”
Verboys has kept his team busy over the summer, with weightlifting sessions each evening. The team also attended three 7-on-7 tournaments, spent four days training at Fordham University and attended the Challenge Camp in New Rochelle at the beginning of the month.
“We’re not real deep, but our number ones look strong,” Verboys said. “We have eight or nine kids being recruited to play college ball.”
After a 21-year playoff drought, Scarsdale is one of just six teams in Class AA to make the playoffs the past two years – despite having enrollment numbers far inferior to their competitors. Verboys said the Raiders could make it three in a row if they get off to a quick start against a tough schedule.
“We’ve got Clarkstown North, who have joined us in the playoffs the last two years, Clarkstown South and then White Plains, the No. 4 seed last year,” Verboys said. “That’s our focus. We’re the smallest AA school, and we’ve seen nine teams move down to A recently.”
Although his football team looks sharp – with lightning-quick quarterback Andrew Verboys running the show and a good combination of size and speed at the skill positions – the head coach knows this season is about more than just getting the ball in the end zone.
“We keep [Madoff] close to our hearts; we’re just trying to keep busy to pass the time. Everything we do is dedicated to Tyler,” Andy Verboys said.