Monday, December 22, 2008

Call in Question

By: Jay Alter

The boys’ varsity soccer team had an early exit in the FCIAC tournament. They lost in what one would think to be convincing fashion because the score was 4-2 and Staples dominated the 2nd half.

The most questionable call took place when Darien was leading 2-1, late in the first half of the game. As time was running down in the first half, video evidence and multiple witnesses defend that a Darien player took a free kick from mid-field and then passed it down field where senior Graham Christensen, team captain and star player, jumped up to head the ball with the Staples goalie. They collided, knocking the ball out of bounds. The collision caused the ref to turn his head to the ball and thereby not see the goalie tackle Graham to the ground. Graham pushed him off just to be knocked down again by two of the Staples defenders. As a result of the tussle, Graham was given a RED CARD and the staples players just a yellow.

The ref denied comment to Graham and the coaches on Darien and to me specifically. This didn’t help the ref’s case for the call and nobody ever got any sufficient explanations for the call to Coach Brown or Graham, even after Graham had questioned it in numerous e-mails to the referee. Graham said, “The ref wouldn’t even look at are (our) video or letters about the play.” Graham later said, “The video shows that I never made any violent moves and that the ref’s head follows the ball out of bounds and doesn’t see what happens, what did happen is that the goalie took me down. He also, didn’t consult either of the two referees when making his call.”

Staples Coach, Dan Woog, commented, “No one likes to see a red card. I’m glad there were three officials on the game, because they consulted with each other before the red card was given. In terms of Staples, our goalkeeper and a defender both received yellow cards on the play.” The ball bounced around for 10 seconds before our new keeper finally saved it. So that play – not just Darien’s red, but Staples’ yellows had an impact on both teams.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Girls Basketball Preview

by Jack Bushell

With the addition of Gary Peterson as the new varsity head coach, the girls’ basketball team looks to make a fast break into the new season. Tri-captains, Katie Meehan, Caroline Boulton and Liz Calby say they recognize the strengths and limitations of the new squad.
“We are not usually one of the top teams in the FCIAC so we don’t expect to win against the best teams but we are going to try really hard and hopefully end up with some unexpected wins,” Caroline Boulton said.
They have also moved on from last year’s debacle when the head coach was sacked. Yet, the girls still made it to the state tournament and lost in the first round to Fairfield Warde. “They are really good and we played a good game, so last season actually went pretty well at the end,” Captain Liz Calby said.
The team this year is young, with only two varsity players returning. “We're looking to a couple of our sophomores (Nicole Buch and Liz Murphy) as well as the entire junior class to step up and make a difference on this team,” Calby said. The only two seniors are the two captains: Caroline Boulton and Katie Meehan. “We lost the whole starting line up from last year so not that many of us have much playing experience. Everyone will need to prove that they belong on this team and on the court,” Boulton said.
You can read the complete girls’ basketball preview in the January issue of Neirad Enilno live on January 1st.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Track Team Warms Up

By Jack Bushell

The Darien Boys Indoor Track team had a great showing last year at the FCIAC East meet and came away as FCIAC East champions. This year the team will be led by senior captains: James Carol, Kevin Sousa, Kevin Knapp, Artem Skobrev and John Bolton. This combination of captains should be a good balance for the team. In addition to these runners, the team has other great returning seniors: Rob Hendrickson, Peter Watson, Pat Luongo, Cam Webster, Cam Bogie and Garrett Loeffelman. The top junior runners are distance runners: Jake McCauley, Alex Rynoso, William Sandberg and Brandon Tripodi. The lone junior returning sprinter is Jack Bushell. The sophomore and freshmen class look strong as well, the top returning sophomores are: John Conley, David Watson and sprinter Charlie Lacy. The top competitors for the Blue Wave this year are Ledyard, Staples and of course rival New Canaan. Coaches Tyson Kaczmarek and Al Granite are excited for this upcoming season. The team’s goals are to win FCIAC East again and to win the class M State meet. For the full article check out the December issue of Neirad Enilno.

Cheerleading at its Best

-by Meg Murphy-

After a bit of fallout last year, the Darien cheerleaders have high hopes for this year’s competition season. With a new year, a few changes have been made that are expected to be very beneficial to the team. The first major change was turning what used to be two seasons, with two separate try-outs, into one season that would last from August to March. By merging the seasons, the team will be able to get an early start on preparing its competition routine. In addition, there will be no new girls on the team struggling to grasp basic stunting skills such as elevators, extensions and twist downs.
More and more cheer squads throughout the state are now hiring professional choreographers, while the Darien team has always left it up to its captains to create original routines. But this year, in order to keep up with the strong competition, a new choreographer named Kevin Best was hired to help the girls acquire a flawless routine that will utilize every ounce of ability these girls have. Kevin has already helped by polishing the skills they already have and teaching them new techniques and a wider range of stunts. Under the strong leadership of the seven seniors and their new choreographer, the girls look forward to a very successful year.

Boy's Basketball - Dream Team?

-By Jake McCauley-

The Darien High School Boys basketball team is looking stronger this year than in recent years. The squad is starting to settle in after their first season under new coach, Tom O’Donnell, who some may know as the DHS Golf coach as well as a chorus teacher at Middlesex Middle School.
The team will be led this upcoming season by senior co-captains Brian Curth and Brian Kosnik as well as returning seniors Ryan Pruden and Tyler Scott. After taking a slight break from the game last year, seniors Matt Wheelock, James Patton, and Nikki Dysenchuck will be coming back in their last year at Darien High School. There is a lot of hope and promise in the senior class this year to revive Blue Wave basketball. Junior Grant Scott has a lot of hope for the team, “We have high expectations this year. I believe this is the dream team of the FCIAC’s,” Grant said. Grant’s preseason prediction for the team’s record this year is 18-0.
Despite the team’s goals and confidence, there is going to be tough competition this year in the FCIAC division. Trinity Catholic, lead by senior Tevin Baskin, a top NCAA Division I recruit, will be a challenge to beat. Yet, the team is still hoping for a major turn-around this season after quite a few years of mediocrity.
To read more about the Blue Wave Boys Basketball team and the players’ individual goals for the season, check out the preview in the sports section of the December issue of Neirad.

Girls on Ice

-By Jorden Cappiello-

Under the leadership of junior captains Madeline Coburn, Katherine Macomber, Aimee Rich, and senior assistant captain, Brittany Coley, the Girl’s Ice Hockey team looks promising this year. Through the fall, most of the players trained with Sunday captains’ practices, as well as spent time on the ice together for free skate.
One player, Annie Fischer, graduated last year. Although there are not many returning players, the team is gaining some great freshmen with great leadership.
“We have an amazing head coach, Al, and our other coach, Jamie, is awesome!” Rich said.
The first game is December 13th at 2:00 p.m. against Notre Dame of Fairfield.


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