White Plains hosted its fourth annual Big Apple 7 on 7 on Saturday. It featured the largest field ever — 20 teams and over 500 participants — and was an eight-hour marathon.
I just talked to the two organizers, White Plains coach Skip Stevens and Rye Neck coach Nick Ianello. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened.
BIG APPLE 7 ON 7
Winner: Iona Prep
Runner-up: Fordham Prep
Semifinalists: Rye, Pleasantville
Quarterfinalists: Spring Valley, Rye Neck, Sleepy Hollow, Pearl River
MVP: Chris Cooper, Iona Prep
Iona Prep finished the event a perfect 6-0. The Gaels were one of three teams to go 3-0 during round-robin play, joining Fordham Prep and Pleasantville. Six teams posted 2-1 records: Rye, Spring Valley, Rye Neck, Sleepy Hollow, Pearl River and Croton-Harmon. Croton missed out on the playoffs on a tiebreaker, but it had lost head-to-head to Rye Neck.
The No. 1 takeaway from the event was the dominance of Iona Prep, particularly the combination of Mario Biaggi and Chris Cooper. Biaggi, who was more of a runner when he was named the starter as a junior, was on point with his timing and accuracy. He was in sync with Cooper, one of the top returning players in the LoHud area.
“He was something else,” Ianello said.
The 20 teams played in groups of four. One of the most impressive early on was Pleasantville, which competed well against some of the area’s top programs until it lost to Iona in the semis. The Panthers are continuing to evolve on offense to more of a spread and fared well because of it.
Rye beat Stepinac in round-robin play and advanced to the semis behind impressive sophomore quarterback Andrew Livingston. The Garnets eventually fell to Fordham.
Stepinac and Ardsley both left the event early, but the other 18 teams (actually 17 schools because Sleepy Hollow had two teams) remained throughout.
The event also included a mini-combine operated by Velocity.
“It was a good day — busy as heck,” Stevens said. “But the day went smooth. We were right on schedule. Everything was pretty efficient.”
• White Plains will host its Tiger Camp on June 23-27 with Westlake, Rye Neck, Edgemont, Byram Hills and White Plains, plus Woodlands and possibly New Rochelle later in the week.
• Iona Prep will host its camp from June 20-23. It will feature, obviously, Iona, as well as New Rochelle, Rye and Hastings.