Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fall Sports Preview

-By: Darius Majd-
Though the school year has just ended fall sports do not take a rest in our time off. Athletes are preparing for their fall seasons all summer. The football team returns eight starters on defense, but lost defensive coordinator AJ Albano to the head coaching job at Brien McMahon in Norwalk. If new D-coordinator (and former NFL player) Idris Price can pick up right were Coach Albano left off, the team thinks they can finally topple rival New Canaan and “make waves” in the FCIAC and state tournaments. The boys’ cross country team faces new challenges after moving up to Class L, but with all of the talent returning from last year’s team they are capable of keeping the momentum going from last year’s state championship. The boys’ soccer team looks to recapture the success they achieved two years ago, when they reached the FCIAC and State tournaments. The captains are confident that the returning players have the potential to be a factor in the state tournament.

Last year, field hockey had one of its most dominant season’s ever; the team was 22-0, and outscored its opponents by an astounding margin of 102-5. Repeating such an incredible run would seem almost impossible, but with most of the key contributors from last year’s team returning, expectations are higher than ever. The girls’ volleyball team has been equally dominant over the past few years; the team has lost just once since 2008 – a loss against Greenwich that was avenged in FCIACs. This year, much like the field hockey team, the girl’s volleyball team returns a deep senior class that is more than capable of continuing the program’s dominance. The girls’ cross country returns a large number of runners, and expects everyone to improve their times on the way to qualifying for FCIACs and states. The girls’ soccer team, like the boys’ team, is looking to recapture the success they achieved during the 2008 season when they were one of the top teams in the FCIAC. This year’s team is very young overall, and the captains are really emphasizing hard work in order to prepare the inexperienced players.

Photos: Alex McGuire-Soccer (2)

David Watson-Track and Field (1)

Sam Johnston-Field Hockey (3)

Charlie Kunze-Football (4)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Girl’s Lax Loses to Greenwich in Semifinals

-By: Marielle Ravosa-

Darien girls’ lacrosse team had an upsetting 11-9 loss to Greenwich in the CIAC semifinals at Fairfield Warde High School on Wednesday. (6/9) The game was no easy match for the team, but Darien did not go down without a fight. Senior Anne Fucigna received four goals, and two each from senior captain Cali Ceglarski and freshman Kristy Gilbert.

Despite the loss, Coach Lisa Lindley reflected on her team with a more positive note. "I thought our defense played well tonight and my goalie was outstanding,” Lindley told the Darien News. The girls have now been eliminated from the CIAC championships. It was a tough defeat coming off a stellar 2009 season where they undefeated in the state throughout their whole season; as well as being FCIAC & State Champions.

Photo: (Kara Glover Billhardt)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Boys Tennis Class L Tournament Update

-By: Dan Pidgeon-

The number 7 seed FCIAC semifinalist is out of the state tournament. The Blue Wave varsity boys’ tennis team has nobody still in the Class L Tournament. In the singles tournament, senior Britt Gordon, junior Rupert Hansford, senior Reilly Harmer, and senior Louie Rawden all fell midway through the tournament. Junior Rupert Hansford lost to the #4 seeded Kenny Westerman of Pomperaug in the first round in straight sets (6-3, 6-1) on Thursday (6/3). Westerman would continue all the way to the quarterfinals. Senior Louie Rawden fell to the unseeded New Canaanite William Burger in straight sets in the second round on Friday (6/4). Gordon and Harmer both lost in the third round on Monday June 7 (one round before the quarterfinals). Gordon lost to the #1 seeded Ben Lee from New Canaan in straight sets (6-0, 6-0), who would eventually win the Class L Tournament. Harmer lost to the #5 seeded Sam Cadwell from Daniel Hand in straight sets (6-4, 6-4), who would eventually make it all the way to the semifinals.
The Blue Wave had two doubles teams in the Class L Tournament as well. Seniors Sam Jackson and Charlie Taylor was the #3 seed entering tournament. There was also the unranked pair of freshman Ryo Usami and junior Malcolm Willis. The pair of Willis and Usami made it all the way to the third round until they faced off against the top ranked doubles team in the tournament from New Canaan. Although Willis and Usami played some good tennis recently, the top doubles team in the state wasn’t threatened and won in straight sets (6-3, 6-1) on Monday (6/7). The dominant pair of Jackson and Taylor made it all the way to the quarterfinals where they faced off against the #5 pair in the tournament from New Canaan. The splendid year for the Darien pair came to an end when the New Canaan team beat them in a long three set match (6-3, 6-7, 6-2) on Tuesday (6/8). Although the tennis team is out of the state tournament, they had many seniors go deep in the Class L Tournament, and should be proud of their season.

Video: senior Reilly Harmer

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Girls Lax Bounces Back with Newtown Win

-By: Marielle Ravosa-

Darien bounced back from its triple-overtime loss to Wilton with a 19-12 victory against Newtown in the Division I CIAC game on Monday. (6/7). This game was no easy match for the girls making the victory more sweet. “It was a really positive and inspirational win and they played with a lot of heart,” senior captain Liz Calby said.

An early exit in the FCIACs a mere two weeks ago gave each person on the Darien girls lacrosse team-- coach and player alike --

time to seethe. That loss seemed to fuel their play on Monday.

In the beginning, Darien and Newtown stayed neck-to-neck with each other, and eventually the score came to an exciting 8-8 tie at the end of the first half. After getting a stern lecture by Coach Lisa Lindley during halftime, the girls took the field again determined to beat Newtown and move on in the competition. Soon after the whistle blew signaling the beginning of the second half, Newtown took the lead with a breakaway goal that bumped up the score to 9-8. Although this was upsetting, it only caused the Darien girls to become more aggressive and determined. The Wave took the lead for good on Calby's goal with 12:29 remaining. Senior captain Cali Ceglarski then scored three minutes later which put Darien up by two. By the end of the game, Darien had pulled off a 19-12 victory. The girls were very excited, and will get another chance to show their skills as they move on to play Greenwich at Fairfield Warde High School at 7pm on Wednesday. (6/9)

Picture: (Douglas Bonjur)

Masuk Dominates Boys’s Volleyball

-By: McKinley Stauffer-

The Blue Wave boys volleyball team had a big loss to Masuk at Fairfield Warde High School in the CIAC Class M semifinals on Tuesday night. (June 8). The final scores of the matches were 25-17, 25-22, 25-15. Although boys volleyball lost to the top-seeded team, Darien did not go down without a fight. Junior Calder Billhardt led the team with an astounding 15 kills and junior Austin Cockerill aided the team with one block and seven kills. Sophomores Sam Bryant and Matt Lee made a contribution as well, Bryant had three kills and six digs and Lee had 29 major assists. The boys volleyball team ended the season with a 14-8 record. Masuk -- with a undefeated record of 21-0 -will advance to the Friday’s final against the number seven seed, Lewis Mills.

Pictured: junior Austin Cockerill # 9 (Kara Glover Billhardt)

Boys’ Lax Team Squeaks by Archrival New Canaan in 2 OT

-By: Darius Majd-
In an exciting and intensely competitive Class M State Semifinal game, the Darien Boys’ Lacrosse team came back to beat archrival New Canaan 5-4 in double overtime on Tuesday (6/8) at Fairfield Lowe High School. The Blue Wave started fast, notching the first goal of the game when sophomore Case Matheis snuck through the middle of the New Canaan defense early in the first quarter. Matheis scored again from inside in the second quarter, as Darien headed into halftime with a 2-0 lead thanks to an excellent defensive effort. Sophomore Henry West scored early in the third to up the lead to 3-0, but New Canaan dug in and scored with less than one minute left in the quarter. The late goal shifted momentum, and the Rams used a string of face-off wins to keep the ball out of the Wave offense’s hands, scoring three more goals to take their first lead at 4-3 with six minutes left. After another lengthy defensive series, Darien finally stripped New Canaan of the ball, and Matheis completed his hat trick on the other end of the field to tie the game. No more goals were scored in regulation, and the first overtime proved to be just as much of a defensive contest as the first four quarters. The second overtime was no different, as both goalies made big saves and both defenses forced several turnovers. But Darien finally scored with 3.9 seconds left in the second overtime period, when senior midfielder Bobby Nolan got open in front of the cage in an unsettled play.
The Darien defense was instrumental in the victory, with senior captain Andrew West making a number of difficult saves, and junior defensemen Eric Parnon, Christian Kolderup, and Baylis Treen all stripping the New Canaan offense repeatedly and successfully clearing the ball up to the attack.
The Boys’ Lacrosse Team attempts to capture its sixth straight state title on Saturday (6/12) against New Fairfield at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk (time TBD).

Photo Caption: Coach Brameier talks to his team before heading over to Fairfield Ludlowe High School for the Class M state semifinal.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Boys Track Places 37th in State Opens

-By: Daniel Campbell-

The Darien boys track team traveled way up north to Veterans’ Stadium in New Britain for state opens, and came in 37th out of 65 teams to finish its first year after moving up to Class L on Monday (6/7). The highest finisher was junior Kevin Keller, who came fourth in the long jump. Additionally, Keller, senior Brent Eppley, senior Sean Gill, and junior Stockton McMullin finished seventh in the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 3:26. McMullin also came 15th in the triple jump in the first year Darien has competed in the event. Senior Jake McCauley ran a 4:26 in the mile, good enough for 10th place and 10 seconds behind the winner. Junior John Conley ran twice that distance in 9:44, giving him 11th place overall. This was the first year the team competed in Class L, having moved up as the school increased in size. Conley said the team “had a very good season. We moved up to Class L so it was harder to deal with the competition even though we had a very good team.”

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Darien Boys Lacrosse edges out Wilton in quarterfinals match for the ages

-By: Ian Sullivan-

In the CIAC Class M quarterfinals matchup this Saturday, the 7 seeded Wilton Warriors came up one goal short in stopping the perennial powerhouse of Darien (6/5). The second seeded Blue Wave (16-3) held on to a 10-9 victory, continuing their quest for a sixth straight state championship title. Early goals from Darien’s senior leaders Alden Frelinghuysen, Bryan Annechino, and Henry West, gave the Blue Wave an early lead of 4-2 after the first quarter. Senior Brian Gleason added to the Blue Wave’s lead by scoring a crucial goal at the end of the first half. As for the second half, senior goalie Andrew West played phenomenal coming up with some key saves towards the end of the game. The Blue Wave will face their archrivals of New Canaan this Monday in the Class M semifinals. Come support the Blue Wave.

Picture: #4 sophomore Case Matheis (Kara Glover Billhardt)

Boys Volleyball moves in to Class M Semifinals

-By: Ian Sullivan-

After an improbable run in the FCIAC tournament, the Blue Wave Boys Volleyball squad came back from a two-set deficit at Wolcott Tech to advance in the state tournament (6/4). The #5 seeded Blue Wave (14-7) handed the #4 seeded Wolcott Tech a huge upset in another thrilling match for the Blue Wave. After dropping the first two sets 22-25 and 25-27, the Blue Wave came roaring back winning the next three 25-17, 25-10, and 15-7. Huge contributions from juniors Graham Hotchkiss, Austin Cockerill, and Calder Billhardt along with sophomores Matt Lee and Sam Bryant set up Darien for this remarkable win. “The first two games, as a team we came out pretty quiet and our opponents came out ready to play. In the huddle before the third game we all realized if we didnt get it together our season would be over. We came out into the third game with a new attitude and played much harder and we took the next three games for the win,” junior Billhardt said. The Blue Wave will now face undefeated Masuk in the semifinals this Tuesday at a site which should be determined on Monday. Come support the Blue Wave.

Picture: junior Austin Cockerill (Kara Glover Billhardt)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Girls Lacrosse dominates Cheshire

-By: Ryan Barthold-

The DHS girls lacrosse team routed 9th seeded Cheshire High School Thursday afternoon, 21-4, in the opening round of the CIAC Division 1 state tournament. The Wave took out their frustation on the Rams, after losing in triple overtime to Wilton in the FCIAC semi-finals last week. Senior Cali Ceglarski led the 8th seeded Wave, scoring six goals, four of which came in a four-minute stretch. Sophomore Catherine Lincoln chipped in with four goals, helping the Wave build a 13-1 lead at halftime. Darien will play at Newton next Monday, in the CIAC quarterfinals.

Picture: #18 senior Lanning McDonald (Kara Glover Billhardt)

Windsor Downs Darien Softball

-By: McKinley Stauffer-

Darien suffered a devastating loss on their home field in the second round of states against Windsor, the final score being 0-1 (June 3). The first inning defense started out strong, with a play at short to first by All-State junior, Nicole Buch. Sophomore pitcher, Jessica DeMaio, walked the second batter in Windsor’s lineup, but she came back and struck out the next two hitters. Although Darien’s defense was strong, the Blue Wave was unable to bring out their bats and make the necessary adjusts to face Windsor’s fierce pitcher. In the bottom of the first inning, Darien had three strikeouts alone, leaving Buch stranded on the bases after she was walked and stole her way to third. Darien’s defense was especially resilient in the second inning, as senior Michele Piccaro made a great play and caught a pop fly hit to center right and Buch made an astounding catch at 2nd base. In the fifth inning, after DeMaio struck out the first two batters, the next hitter in the lineup hit a line drive to center-right field. She then proceeded to steal on the first pitch of the next batter, which allowed number 5 on the Windsor team to drive her in, putting Windsor with a big one on the scoreboard. Blue Wave Softball Coach, Mr. Nick DeMaio, urged his team to choke up on the bat and to nail the opposing pitcher’s outside pitch, but Darien did not perform to their offensive capability. Darien was defeated early in States, but next year they will be an even stronger force, both defensively and offensively. With a team composed of five starting sophomores, one can expect great things from this youthful team in years to come.

Picture: Sophomore Olivia Gozdz #6

Wave Lax Overpowers North Haven in CIAC Opener

-By: Darius Majd-

Despite a sloppy start and sweltering heat, the Darien Boys’ Lacrosse team cruised in their CIAC Class M state opener on Thursday (6/3), beating North Haven by a score of 20-3 on the DHS Stadium Turf field. The Blue Wave dominated from the opening face-off, firing shot after shot at the North Haven net. But a number of these shots were off target, and the visiting team’s goalie dug in and made a number of saves. Darien was still able to take a 12-1 into the half, thanks to strong defense and dominance on ground balls and in time of possession. North Haven came out of the halftime break quickly to score the first goal of the third quarter, but they got no closer. Darien senior attackmen Brian Gleason and sophomore Henry West led the offense with 4 and 3 goals respectively, and the entire Darien defensive unit, led by senior captains Andrew West (goalie) and George Benitez, made sure that the North Haven offense did not keep pace.

The Boys’ Lacrosse team plays their next game – the Class M state quarterfinals – on Saturday (6/5) against Wilton on the Stadium Turf (time TBD).

Photo Caption: Junior Garren Fritts in the locker room after the game.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Softball sneaks by New Canaan

-By: Ian Sullivan-

Seventh-seeded Darien softball squad just snuck past archrivals, New Canaan on Tuesday in a 2-1 victory in the first game of the Class L state tournament. Improving to an impressive 18-5 record, the Blue Waves received another outstanding pitching performance from sophomore all-star Jessica DeMaio. Sophomore Kelly Fahey of the Blue Wave gave her pitcher run support early in the first inning when her RBI single scored junior Nichole Buch. The Wave also scored late in the fourth when freshman Emily Hamilton scored off senior Michele Piccaro’s sacrifice grounder. The Rams only run came late in the seventh inning as DeMaio closed out the Rams 8-13 season. “It was a good game and New Canaan played really well. I though Jessica pitched an outstanding game and that our defense was behind her the whole game,” sophomore McKinley Stauffer said. The Blue Wave’s next game will be at 4pm this Thursday (6/3) at home against Windsor High School. Come watch the Blue Wave compete in the second round of the CIAC tournament.

Pictured: Junior Nichole Buch (photo courtesy of Steven Buono)

Girls’ Tennis Moves to State Semi-Finals

-By: Laura Durham-

Girls’ Tennis had a successful day at States when they played away at East Lyme High School on Wednesday. (6/2) In singles, senior Alex Budd won her match 6-2 6-4, junior Lonneke Eenkema van Dijk lost in her match with a score of 1-6 4-6, junior Sophie Doering also won 6-3 6-3, and freshman Jenna Murray lost 0-6 0-6. In doubles matches, senior Emily Hough and junior Amanda Brodsky won their match 2-6 6-3 6-4, senior Sarah Gorski and junior Ellie Riegel also won 7-5 6-1, and finally, juniors Katie Critelli and Kate Morant won their match 6-0 6-3, to bring the team to the State Semi-Finals in Bristol on Thursday (6/3). Good luck to Wave Girls Tennis!

Ludlowe Defeats Baseball in States’ First Round

-By: Dan Pidgeon-

A rain delay proved to the advantage of the Ludlowe Falcons at States on Wednesday. (6/2) The Blue Wave was defeated bringing an end to its baseball season. The game still looked winnable in the bottom of the second inning with Ludlowe up to bat and a runner on first base. Senior Ricky Hodges stayed on the mound for the Blue Wave, and got into some trouble. The Falcons ended up scoring two runs in the bottom of the second to make the score 3-0 in its favor. The Falcons pitched a different player from the day before, and it took the Blue Wave a little to adjust. Hodges was lights out after the first two innings (including Tuesday (6/1)). He did not let another runner cross the plate after the first inning and held the FCIAC Champions Ludlowe Falcons to three runs in five innings of work. In the top of sixth inning, with just six outs left, the Blue Wave got a big rally going after the first two batters of the inning, seniors Mike Wohlberg and Tommy Blankemeier, got hit by a pitch. Senior Matt Anderson popped up and then senior John Gardner came up to the plate and hit a double in the left center field gap to score Wohlberg and Blankemeier. Senior Brandon Tripodi came up to the plate and hit a line drive into right center to advance pinch runner junior Tommy Farren to third. Tripodi stole second and senior Scott Dempsey hit a ground ball to score Farren to make it a tie game. Junior Dan Pidgeon hit a line drive into centerfield that got passed the diving Falcon for a triple and scored Brandon Tripodi to take the lead 4-3. The inning ended with the next batter and senior David Hickey took the mound for the Blue Wave in relief. On the first pitch of the inning, the Marist-bound Falcons catcher hit a long fly ball that landed on the other side of the fence to tie the game. After some back to back hits and an error on a pickoff, the Falcons scored three more runs in the inning to make the score 7-4 heading into the top of the seventh and the last three outs for the Blue Wave. The Blue Wave went down in order to the Ludlowe reliever. The Blue Wave finishes their season with an 8-13 record. Congratulations on a great season.

Girl’s Golf Snatches Second at FCIAC

-By: Katie Stueber-

Regardless of the unfortunate weather Mother Nature presented Tuesday (6/1), the FCIAC Girls Golf Tournament took place at Smith Richardson. The Blue Wave finished in the number two spot for the second year in a row. Led by senior Stephanie Ko's round of 83, Darien placed second (366). Greenwich took first place as the team held a score of 360. New Canaan, which entered the nine-team tournament as the two-time defending league champions, placed third (381), followed by Fairfield Warde (391) and Trumbull (395). The competition was interrupted by two thunderstorms, one that delayed play for 50 minutes, and another for almost two hours. At about 6:30p, the weather finally cleared and the girl’s resumed. Besides Ko's round of 83, other standouts included junior Kendall Kyritz, who shot an 84, and freshman Izzy Lee, who carded a 90. Izzy Lee also earned All FCIAC Honorable Mention and Stephanie Ko earned first team all FCIAC. “I was so proud of how everyone played. Everyone played to their full potential and we really couldn't have done better. The whole team gave it their all and I'm hoping we can do the same at State next Tuesday,” Ko said. The Girl’s golf team will participate in the CIAC championship next Tuesday (6/8) at Orange Hill Country Club at 7a.m. Best of luck to the Blue Wave!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Storms Wash Out Golf Tourney

-By: Sam Nelson-

The top boy golfers in the FCIAC met for the Holahan Invitational, but left with a disappointing feeling. This individual tournament is for the top players from each team from the FCIAC, which is different from the team FCIAC tournament. This year the tournament was held at Wee Burn Country Club in Darien. Due to thunderstorms, the tournament was eventually canceled after numerous delays. From Darien, senior Sean Fahey and junior Andrew Winter took part in the event that started around 11:30a.m. Ten groups went out, with three players in each group. No awards were given out, meaning that there will be no champion for 2010. Coming up this Thursday (6/3) the boys’ golf team will compete in the FCIAC tournament at 12 pm at Fairchild Wheeler in Fairfield. Hopefully the boys will come out on top to end the season on a stellar note.

Photo of Andrew Winter credited to