LYNN– Just two weeks ago, hundreds of players, fans and volunteers flocked to Thurgood Marshall Middle School for the third annual Protect Our Streets Community Awareness Basketball Showcase, sponsored by Stop the Violence. Next Thursday, July 18, another group of athletes will take the field for the fourth annual Lynn 7-on-7 Football Tournament at Manning Field, also sponsored by Stop the Violence.
“It’s just another thing we can put on in the city that will help keep the kids off the street,” said Ward 6 Councilor Fred Hogan, who helps organize the event each year. “We actually started doing this event first, even before the basketball tournament, and we’ve had a lot of success with it in terms of participation.”
Registration for the event will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the first game starting at 5 p.m. The tournament’s free to register for all participants, with water to be provided for free and food available for sale.
The tournament is expected to draw about 150 to 200 players across three age divisions. There will be four elementary teams, four middle school teams and eight high school teams — and each team will consist of 10 players. Each team must also have at least one female member.
There will be a new addition to this year’s tournament, with two “alumni” teams being put together for the high school division.
“It’s going to be a really cool twist on this year’s tournament,” said Hogan. “It will be great seeing those alumni come back to play, whether they’re fresh out of high school or and old man. It’s also great to see those members of the community giving back and being part of an event like this.”
In addition to the alumni teams, there is slated to be an all-women’s team in the field as well as representative teams from Classical, English, St. Mary’s, Tech and KIPP.
And of course, none of this would be possible without the help of the numerous sponsors for the event. The Lynn Parks and Recreation Department is helping to run the event, while Ram Electric is once again donating the footballs — with logos included — that will be used. Other sponsors for the event are Ward 6 Councilor Fred Hogan, State Rep. Peter Capano, Lynn Police Association, Marion St. Auto Body, McCarriston Plumbing and Heating, Skyler McCarriston, PC McCarriston, Chelsea House, Grant Communications, Brian Field: Councilor at Large, John Ford School Committee, Lorraine Gately: School Committee, Jared Nicholson: School Committee, Brendan Crighton: State Senate, Julianna’s Hair Salon, Rick’s Auto Collision and Auto Works Collision Center.
“The sponsors are the reason why we are able to do so much for this event, like get custom footballs and custom uniforms and all that,” said Hogan. “It really means a lot when the local businesses and community leaders step up to support an event like this.”
Hogan points out that organizers are still looking for someone willing to donate water to the event, and he also notes the tournament will be played rain or shine.
“It’s going to be a really fun event, and we’re all looking forward to it,” said Hogan.