Greenwich football team gathers with teammate at funeral

December 4, 2018 GMT

Football teams are like a family and the Greenwich High School football team’s first priority Tuesday was supporting a family member.

Greenwich, which is playing New Canaan in the Class LL championship game on Saturday, did not attend Tuesday’s CIAC Football Media Luncheon at the AquaTurf Club in Southington, so it could go to the funeral of the father of one of the members of the team. The funeral was held on Tuesday morning in Greenwich.

“I asked my captains what they wanted to do we would support any decision they made,” Cardinals coach John Marinelli said. “Without hesitation, they said they wanted to be at the funeral with their teammate. That really hit home for me, because it shows how much we care for one another.”

Marinelli stressed how close his squad is.

“We are a family that goes through ups-and-downs together,” Marinelli said. “We fight through adversity and we are a close team because of it. The leaders of our football team had my full support with their decision.”

The Cardinals issued the following statement on Twitter: “It is with great disappointment that we will not be attending the championship luncheon. It’s one of the greatest events held all year and we are sad to miss it. Instead, we will be attending a funeral. It’s been an emotional week for our community and our team wishes to be with the community as we mourn together.”

The Greenwich-New Canaan game featuring Cardinals coach John Marinelli and Rams coach Lou Marinelli — John’s father, is scheduled to be held at Shelton High School on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Last season’s Class LL final between Greenwich and Darien took place as Boyle Stadium in Stamford.

“I don’t care where the game is played,” John Marinelli said. “We can play the game in Antarctica, as long as we are there again. Just get me to the game.”