Fans Rally to Rename Crossway Field Complex for “Rippy” Philipps

RippyThe Scarsdale Board of Trustees received an outpouring of 93 communications in support of the renaming of Crossway Fields for beloved football coach and mentor Rippy Philipps. According to John McCann, a former President of Maroon and White who is spearheading the campaign, "For a number of years a group of long time residents have been chatting about Rippy and all he has done for the community and over the last few months it has crystallized. around the idea of Crossway."

Philipps grew up on the Crossways in Scarsdale, in a family of three boys and played football and lacrosse at Scarsdale High School. He moved to the city after college, but when he learned that the high school football program was disbanded, due to lack of interest, he moved back to town to revitalize both the high school program and the Scarsdale Youth Football program.

From the letters received, it is evident that Philipps has had a lifelong impact on students, parents and the community at large. He encouraged both natural athletes and those with special needs to play, helped many get into college and mentored them during their college careers.

And how did he get the name Rippy? Older brother Robert explains that when Richard Philipps was born, Robert was unable to say the “ch” and thus Richard became Rippard and was ultimately shortened to Rippy!

According to Scarsdale Mayor Marc Samwick, a resolution to rename the field will be introduced at a future meeting of the Village Board with opportunity for public comment.

See below for testaments to Rippy encouraging the renaming of the fields:


Petition Signed by 45 Families

Dear Board of Trustees,
First, a sincere thanks for your dedicated service to our community. Your efforts help safeguard and enhance that which makes Scarsdale the unique and desirable place it is to raise families. To that end, we, the undersigned, would like the BOT to consider dedicating the football field at the Crossways Athletic Complex to an iconic Scarsdalian, Richard 'Rippy' Philipps. Rippy has spent the last 25+ years tirelessly serving the youth of Scarsdale and that patch of grass is quite literally the epicenter of his work.

For those of you who do not know Rippy, here is a little background. Rippy grew up in Scarsdale, right across from Crossways, happily playing Scarsdale rec sports throughout the year including Football and Lacrosse at SHS. He touts these experiences as instrumental to his success later in life. His journey to community treasure began in the early 1990's when he found out, much to his dismay, the SHS football program was disbanded due to lack of numbers. He knew that just shouldn't be, so he left NYC, moved to Scarsdale and got involved. He knew the key to having any high school sport was to have a vibrant youth program. The Rec program had also fallen on hard times and he began re-invigorating the youth football program with one team of 17 boys and 2 volunteer Dads. What started as a means to an end, quite quickly took Rippy in a different direction and emphasis. This past fall, in a Covid safe environment, the Scarsdale Youth Football program ("SYF") had over 250 kids of all ages and sizes playing flag football and 20+ Teen and Adult volunteers.

Due to Rippy, the SYF program has grown and continually changed with the times and in most instances, he was the driving force for those changes. Rippy not only makes sure new kids to town are welcomed on the field but ensures that there is a place at the lunch table for them in school. He is also inclusive of both boys and girls playing flag and/or contact football as well as children with special needs getting the opportunity to play with their fellow classmates. Lastly, he also makes sure that SYF is on the cutting edge of safety protocols well before it is newsworthy. He continually seeks guidance from any and all experts and meets regularly with whomever can make the experience "for the kids" the best possible. Who has he met with? The NFL, college coaches across the Northeast , medical professionals, Section 1 officials and the staff at SHS to name just a few.

It is not only the youth of Scarsdale that benefits from his actions. He is on the board of The Scarsdale Football League (“SFL”) which began with the towns of Scarsdale and Edgemont. Through his efforts, it now includes Tarrytown, Dobbs Ferry, Carmel, Hastings, Ossining, Yonkers Boys and Girls Club, Mahopac, Lakeland, St Bernards of White Plains and the White Plains Tigers Football Club. In a nutshell, Rippy's POV has always been more teams, more games, more opportunity for all kids to get in the game and play which equals more fun “for the kids”.

Rippy ensured that participating towns also conformed to the safety measures created by SYF thus benefiting countless children county-wide. It is not an understatement to say he has positively touched the lives of literally thousands of children across Westchester.
Rippy was also instrumental in organizing, planning and raising funds for both the original turf and track upgrade at Butler Field as well as the addition of LED lights this past year. Those two projects have added countless hours of convenience and enjoyment for all members of the Scarsdale Community.

Furthermore, Rippy's guidance for the boys and girls of Scarsdale does not stop after 8th grade. He is a confidant to many throughout their high school years and is a relentless cheerleader and networker for those looking to extend their playing days past their time at SHS. He is not shy about using his college contacts for athletes and non- athletes alike to help "the kids" get into the college of their choice. His mentoring also continues for our young men and women throughout their college years, whether it's a 4 year journey or one that meanders. Lastly, when "his kids" need help landing their first job or well into their careers...He is there. Btw, how strong are these bonds? In the last few years, many of his former players have moved back to Scarsdale to raise their families and now volunteer to coach. As for Rippy, he is now teaching and mentoring the children of the players from his first teams.

Over the last few weeks we have taken an unofficial survey of structures, parks and fields throughout Scarsdale named after individuals: Hyatt Field, Winston Field, George Field Park, Boniface Circle, Dean Field, Butler Field, Davis Park, all 4 houses at SMS, John Coulter field at Edgewood School, Rutherford Hall, the S. Spencer Scott room at Scarsdale Library, de Lima Park and the list goes on.

We, the Undersigned, believe that the Richard "Rippy" Philipps Field at Crossways would be an appropriate addition to that list and the perfect place to acknowledge the decades of positive and tireless service Rippy has given to the community.

Here are excerpts from some of the additional letters:

Lou Henry

A current resident of Scarsdale, I have lived here most of my life and played Raiders football as a member of the class of ’89. In the wake of coach Paladino’s departure in the early 90’s, the Scarsdale football program crumbled. I recall the interest in football waning to the point at which no varsity team could be fielded. There was no light at the end of the tunnel and it was disheartening.

Having witnessed the entire chronology of the unceremonious fall and, subsequent, phoenix-like rise of the program, I can say that one person is singularly responsible for its recovery and eventual excellence: Rippy. He poured his heart and soul into building what never existed before: a robust youth football program. He personally performed the Herculean task of recruiting the town’s boys and (as importantly) their parents. In the new millennium, a lot of SHS graduates of the Paladino years were beginning to return to town to raise their families and, recognizing this, Rippy used his familiarity with the residents, relentless positivity, and (let’s be honest) suffocating gift of gab to rebuild the program. Since persuading my two girls to play seemed like an uphill battle, my only real contribution was watching my nephews grow up playing in the Rippy era.

Scarsdale has great personnel in place right now...a slew of excellent coaches up and down the line and an impactful Maroon & White but, without Rippy, there never would have been a football renaissance in this town.


Sydney Piccoli

Over the past 16 years, I have had the honor of being Rippy’s niece. In that short amount of time, I have not known of any singular human being that is more dedicated to the Scarsdale community and the football program as my uncle. Whenever I tell one that I am Rippy’s niece, a
smile immediately overtakes their face.

Brother Michael Philipps

My name is Michael Philipps, I am the proud younger brother of Rippy Philipps.
Rippy is two years older them me and we shared a room at our home at 60 The Crossway, which is directly across the street from the Crossway field that Rippy has made his coaching legacy & his mentorship of boys, young men and has taught a ton of fathers how to coach on. I would like to focus on what it’s like to have a brother that coaches for the love of the kids and cherishes the opportunity to be a positive sounding board for all of the players from flag football which is for first and second graders up to the 7th and 8th grade which he’s coached for 25 years. Being Rippy’s brother is really cool! Over the many years I have been the recipient of so many compliments about Rippys coaching and his almost surreal way he treats “his kids”. Rippy never says NO when it comes to staying on the field for 15 extra minutes to help a player get some extra private time. Rippy never says NO when asked to drive a player home from practice. Rippy never says NO when asked to talk to a player, when the players parents have asked Rippy to. Rippy gives of himself unconditionally. His dedication to the kids of our town and many kids from Westchester County puts him in a very special category. To see Rippy almost hop out of his car on a weekend afternoon to greet “his kids” with his welcoming smile is a sight to see and I believe its where the energy for our Football program starts.

Rippy is also always present at other Scarsdale events, kinda the town cheerleader. Rippy has worked with, helped or supported young men, young women get into college, get jobs, deal with issues because people can rely on him.

Just spend some time with him and he will share stories of kids he done things for and he beams as if they were his own kids.

Dan Del Guercio

The Richard "Rippy" Philipps Field at Crossways would be an appropriate place and way to acknowledge the decades of positive and tireless service Rippy has given to the community.

Rippy’s selfless dedication to the youth of our community is unmatched. I grew up in Scarsdale and moved back in 2005. From the time I was in HS until today Rippy has been volunteering his time to help our kids. Rippy taught my boys way more than just football, they learned what it means to be a great teammate and how hard work leads to great accomplishments.
Like many in our community, I look forward to driving down Mamaroneck Rd and passing by Rippy Phillips Field.

Stephen d’Incelli

My name is Stephen d’Incelli and I graduated in the class of 2001 from Scarsdale High School and was the Varsity Football co-captain my senior year. Rippy touched my life from the day my family moved to Scarsdale in 4th grade as Rec football was the first sport in which I participated.

Throughout my years playing Football and beyond, Rippy was a coach, mentor, friend and more. He is the embodiment of Scarsdale Football and Crossway field was his temple.
I can think of nothing more fitting than acknowledging Rippy’s years of tireless dedication by naming Crossways field after him. He’s done more for Scarsdale football and for the kids in the program than anyone.

There are few people I can think of that have had a more universally positive influence on as many young people and the community at large. Simply put, he made/makes Scarsdale a better town and its youth better people.

Michael J. Levin

Rippy makes football fun for his players and he made it fun for me. This is obvious based on the number of kids that participate in Scarsdale Youth Football. Rippy also develops his players, turning beginners into fundamentally sound athletes ready to play at the high school level and even beyond. Rippy also teaches his young impressionable players to be gentlemen. I remember it was Rippy that had my teammates and I wear shirts and ties to school on game days. It might seem futile to some, but for a middle school football player, it gave importance and significance for what was to transpire on that field.

See more letters here: