Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BOYS BASKETBALL GETS A WIN!


By Marguerite Morgan

Darien Boys Varsity Basketball defeated Stamford Academy 65 to 34 in the annual La Vista Tournament on Tuesday for their first victory of the season. Darien dominated from the start, leading 17 to 13 towards the beginning of the second period. Just before halftime Sophomore Bobby Fitzpatrick made a defensive interception and passed the ball off to Senior Matt Lee for an open-court lay up. Darien made this exact play again with a Fitzpatrick interception and Lee basket just before the buzzer leaving the score 32 to 16 at halftime. Lee led the team with 24 points total throughout the game. Darien hopes this victory will begin their winning streak as they take on Greenwich High School in the tournament championships this Thursday evening at 5:00pm at Darien

Girls Basketball wins LA VISTA tournament over Holiday Break


By Kate Fitzmaurice - Darien Girls Basketball game took on Foran High School as part of the annual LA VISTA tournament. The game ended in another victory for Darien with an end score of 39 - 32. “This game broke our losing streak” junior Kate Bushell said. “It also makes us the defending champions in the LA VISTA tournament.” Both Juniors Meg Marren and Kate Bushell made some key shots throughout the game. Also major contributions from seniors Amy Biggart, Susan Biggart and Leslie Yuen; Sophomore Emily Stein; and Freshman Daily Naughton helped lead the team to its success. The team’s current record is 3 wins and 2 losses. Come support the team at it’s next home game on January 6th against Bridgeport Central at 7pm.

Girls’ Hockey Continues Undefeated Season, Beats Glastonbury


By: Melanie Tzenova - The Blue Wave girls’ hockey team defeated Glastonbury 6-3 on Friday afternoon (12/23), continuing their undefeated season thus far. Although Glastonbury was not one of Darien’s major competitors according to sophomore and goalie Shannon Hall, she said, “I think we’re doing really well as a team right now. The freshmen are doing really well, along with the upperclassmen girls. We have really strong defense but missing senior Galen Rohn.” The girls hit the ice by storm and ended the first two periods with 5-1 home. Though the other team got aggressive during the last period, the Blue Wave girls scored a one pointer and won the match. The big scorers of the game were sophomores Ellie Bennett, who scored two goals, and Sage Thatcher, as well as junior Lily Christensen.

Hall said, “Teams that we’re really looking to defeat this season are New Canaan, Wilton, and Ridgefield—our main competition.” Their next game and first for the New Year will a home match on Thursday (1/5) against the Wilton Warriors at 6:30 pm.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blue Wave Swimmers Triumph

By Julia Cobb
The Darien Boys Varsity Swim Team easily defeated Norwalk High School this past Wednesday. Coming off a 26 point win against New Canaan, the team was determined to continue its winning record. The meet began with an all senior relay. Seniors Chris Janson, Jack Bair, Tyler Gould and Sam Gillespe participated in the relay and provided the team with its first win of the meet with a combined time of 1.45.92. Darien was a force to be reckoned with and out swam Norwalk in almost every event. For sportsmanship reasons, the referees and managers did not continue to keep score, although a recent article from “The Norwalk Hour” reported the score as being 103-71. Senior captain Gould said, “I think that the team did pretty well. We had some nice swims and we were able to put up some good times. I know we still have a lot of work to do as a team, but being the second meet I would say that I am overall happy with today's performance.” The boys have high expectations for the rest of their season. According to Gould, “My expectations are high for our team only because I know that we have a great amount of talent and the potential to do great things this year.” Last season the team finished both second at the state open and second at states. However, this year the team has moved up to Class L. Gould explains that, “I believe that we are capable of winning states, and quite possibly state opens. Last year we had a solid performance at FCIAC's. My only goal for this year would be to place better than we did last season.” The Blue Wave Boys Swim Team will compete in its next meet at the Staples High School pool against Staples on 1/6 at 3:45 pm. Come support the successful swim team!

Indoor Track: New Haven Invitational results


Michael Coe

The Darien Indoor Track season kicked off this  pastFriday at the 10th annual New Haven Invitational at Hillhouse. Both boys and girls teams had a strong showing with several contestants running personal records and/or qualifying for FCIACs and States.

Boy’s Class L or “states” qualifiers included senior captains Charlie Baird (10:15.11) and Michael Coe (10:15.39) in the 3200 meter race, senior captain Michael Johnston (4:41) in the 1600 meter race, junior Spencer McMullin (7.02 sec.) and C.J. Raia (7.08 sec.) in the 55 meter dash, junior C.J. Raia (5’8’’) and sophomore Cameron Smith (5’8’’) in the high jump, senior Windsor Hall in pole vault (10’6’’), sophomore Nicholas Lombardo (20’4’’) and junior Spencer McMullin (19’9’’) in the long jump, and junior Will Lochtefeld (42’7’’) and senior Reed Coots (38’2’’) in shot put.

Sophomore Brian Davey qualified for FCIACs in the 1600 meter race with a time of 4:56.

Other notable performances include those of sophomore Nicholas Lombardo (24.73 sec.) and sophomore Cameron Smith (25.80 sec.) in the 200 meter dash, senior captain Matt Pik (53.02 sec.) and junior Marcus Iqbal (56.87 sec.) in the 400 meter dash, senior captain Matt Pik (2:05), junior captain Judson Bergman (2:15) in the 800 meter dash, and senior Eli Converse, junior Sean Lee, senior Billy Siemers, and junior Andrew Xiong (combined time of 9:01) in the 4X800 meter race.

                Girls Class L qualifiers included junior Sarah Colon (5:34) in the 1600 meter race, sophomores Catherine Lacy (4’10’’) and Leah Hotchkiss (4’8’’) in the high jump, sophomore Jessica Thornbury (8’6’’) in pole vault, freshman Maggie Schneider (14’6’’) in long jump.

Girls FCIACs qualifiers were juniors Ellie Bauer (12:32) and Katie Farren (12:53) in the 3200 meter race and senior captain Victoria Kominek (26’7’’) in shot put.

Other notable performances include those of sophomore Catherine Lacy, freshman Maggie Schneider, senior Sherry Gilronan, and freshman Elizabeth Fucigna in the 4X200 meter race (combined time of 1:53), junior Sophie Long, sophomore Cassidy Stauffer, senior Claire Gaffney, and junior Liz Heaney in the 4X400 meter race (combined time of 4:30), senior Alex Pear, junior Caroline Weihs, senior captain Katie Donovan, and sophomore Dillon Schoen (combined time of 10:17) in the 4X800 meter race, and freshman Anne Johnston, senior Katie Donovan, senior Lily Cassidy, and senior Meredith Ott (combined time of 13:33) in the DMR (distance medley relay).

The next Darien Indoor Track meet will take place on December 28th at Hillhouse in New Haven.

Photo: relaxing between heats, some members of the Blue Wave boys team stop for a photo

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Girls basketball Defeated by Trumbull


By: Lily Boe

             Darien Girls Basketball suffered a tough 35-47 loss to Trumbull on Tues. (12/21).

            The team started the game with a burst of energy. Junior Kate Bushell scored the first basket of the game within the 40 seconds of the first period. Bushell made a basket yet again with nearly four minutes left in the period. Junior Meg Marren was Darien’s high scorer for the period with seven points. Sophomore Emily Stein also scored two points. The team maintained a strong wave of defense in the first period and finished ahead 13-9.

            The girls performed solidly yet again in the second period. With 2:42 left in the period and Darien up 19-14, a frustrated Trumbull called a time out. Following the time out, Stein scored another two points and brought the team to 21-14. Trumbull then rallied, scoring another four points and ending the period with a close score of 21-18 Darien.

            Following halftime, Marren stepped up to the free throw line for a set of two foul shots. She made the first and missed the second. Darien successfully rebounded the ball and passed it to Stein who then made an astounding three point shot. Just before the end of the period, Trumbull scored three points in foul shots, bringing the game to an incredible a 29-29 tie.

            By fourth period, Darien lost its strength. Trumbull made the first basket of the period, followed by an amazing three-pointer by Bushell. In the final two minutes of the game, Trumbull scored seven points from foul shots alone. Darien fought hard but ultimately could not take down the energized team.

            The girls, still early in the season, now have a record of 2-2. Despite the recent loss, senior captains Amy and Susan Biggart have high hopes for the team. “We’re really optimistic about the season,” Amy said. Susan added, “We faced two of the toughest teams in the past two games.” The team will play Foran next Tues. (12/27) at 6 p.m. in the DHS Main Gym. Come support the girls bounce back with a victory!

Pictured Above: Senior captain Amy Biggart looks to pass the ball to an able teammate.
Pictured Below: Senior captains Amy and Susan Biggart after the game.




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Girls Ice Hockey Wins Again


by Caitlin Keady

Girls Ice Hockey defeated the Stamford Black Knights in a home game on Monday, December 19. The Blue Wave scored early in the first shift with two goals from sophomore Ellie Bennett, making the score 2-0. A third goal was made by freshman Christy Conley that ended the first period. Darien had control of the puck for the duration of the period. During the second period, freshman Julia Arrix scored a short-handed goal. Shortly after, freshman Sammy Nielsen scored, raising the score to 5-0. Bennett scored the final goal of the game during the second period, giving her a Hat Trick for the game. The final score was 6-0 giving the Blue Wave another win. Head Coach Al Gurney said that it was “a feel good game” although “not all the games will be this easy.”


Boys Hockey Win Season Opener Over Rams 6:1


by Annabel Schneider
The Darien Boys Hockey team had its first home game last night against the New Canaan Rams. Despite being on a Monday and being at 4:00 pm, the stands were filled with students in white representing the Blue Wave. The boys won the game 6 to 1 even with a handful of players out sick or playing under the weather. The team took the lead early in the game with two goals early in the first period. The boys continued the streak scoring exactly two goals each period. New Canaan managed to get in a goal in the second period, but the puck was kept on New Canaan’s side for the majority. DHS had a lot of great spirit and cheers this game. Hopefully they keep it up. The team’s next game is this Friday at 1:50 against Notre Dame.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Boys Basketball Start Season Slow

By Danno Rizzuto - The Boys Varsity basketball team fell in their home opener to St. Joes at the Darien High School this past Friday. The Blue Wave had a hard time matching up to their opponent being defeated 76 to 34. St. Joes is a top FCIAC Team and following the loss last game to Ridgefield, the basketball team now sits at 0-2. The team’s next game is away on Tuesday December 20th when the Blue Wave face Trumbull.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Girls Hockey Wins Second Game


By Sara Shaker - Girls Hockey beat Fairfield 7-3 on Friday (12/16). Fairfield came out strong with a quick goal in the first period. But Darien did not take long to score two of their own, from freshman Sammy Neilson and senior Galen Rohn. Fairfield scored two more times but Darien did not let them ahead. There were more goals from junior captain Lily Christensen, sophomore Sage Thacher, and a hat-trick from sophomore Ellie Bennett. “We moved the puck really well and had a lot of good opportunities,” senior captain Emily Tropsa said. “We had a ton of shots on net. It’s a good start to the season, and we expect to improve every game.” Come support the girls in their first home game on Monday (12/19) against Stamford at 8PM.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Support our Track Runners at the Raindeer Relays


by Katrina Vassell

As the new track season commences, Junior Claire Walker urges the DHS community to support our winter track runners at this weekend’s Reindeer Relays. The meet will take place this Saturday (12/17) at Wilton High School. While the runners’ bus leaves early in the morning, spectators are encouraged to come at 9 am to support our athletes. “I hope that people come to cheer us on because usually people only watch sports like volleyball or football. People don’t really get how hard we work,” said Walker. Claire went on to describe the rigorous workouts of a track athlete in preparation for the season. Each school day, the runners jog 4 to 5 miles with the team and are also expected to run independently. On Tuesdays, the runners take part in a sprinting workout which consists of sprints. In total, our schools indoor track athletes run from 20- 50 miles a week.  While the runners cannot qualify for FSIACS at the Reindeer Relays, the race is an important way to boost the morale of the athletes and raise blue wave spirit for another successful year.

POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 2) 11/12

By Matt Brown - This Sunday and Wednesday posed the first opportunity for teams to show that they deserved to be in the blog. However, this Wednesday’s games lost a good amount of senior talent to the Wave Puck game against Hamden. It is hard enough to gauge a bunch of house teams, harder now that 8 out of the 10 have identical records. Away we go.
1.Suns (2-0) - I am inclined to throw the Suns the number one spot. I am not completely convinced that they are the best team in league, and it is clear that the league is competitive enough that the first place spot will be up to grabs after almost every game. However, that is not to take away from the Suns, who beat up on the Rockets 47 to 30 in the first game. The Rockets aren’t amazing, but they aren’t awful either. Senior Bobby Minion and junior Jack Sherwood have commanded the greatest offensive attack in the league so far. Their last game was a showcase. They dropped 67 points on a Kings team (minus Bobby Weaver ). 67 points! In a league where breaking 50 is unusual. Impressive? Yes. Convincing? Not entirely. The Suns will have to do more for me to consider them a powerhouse.
2.Kings (1-1)- Yep, the team that led up 67 points, is still the second best. This team was without stud senior Bobby Weaver and another strong player in Kyle Mangan. Weaver and Mangan, when they are there to help out junior scorer Craig Lamantia and junior athlete Carter Rae, will propel this team past the dark hour of a 35 to 67 point lose. Let’s also remember that this loss did come from the best team in the league, and they also pulled out a good win versus a good Lakers team.
3.Lakers (1-1)- The Lakers lost a close game to the Kings but then also beat out the Spurs for a win in the Wednesday game. The reason they are so high, is because of their potential. While they lost their first game, that could just be an ode to the strength of a Weaver-present-Kings team. There win Wednesday is more telling. They played without senior Corey Eppley, whose speed makes a difference in the game no matter opponent. They have a wealth of size in the likes of Dillon Duncan, and a good Wednesday night showing from Fairfield Prep senior Alex Vegliante.
4.Spurs (1-1) – This is a team that I liked from the beginning. The combination of all around height and skill of GFA senior Eric Walsh has surprised many people around the league. They present a tough match up to every defense in the league and have the height to dominate the boards.
5.Trailblazers (1-1) – This team is very solid and presents most of the characteristics for a stereotypical good house team. They have a great guard in Brunswick senior Jack Voigt and the very athletic senior Ryan Minion. Their win over the Grizzlies was exciting and showed a lot about their toughness, Jay Alter showed defensive prowess in order to seal the deal. The reason they are below the Spurs is simply because they lost to them.
6.Grizzlies (1-1) – The skill and athleticism of Luke Osherow is this teams focal point. Osherow is made for house basketball and has showed it on the court. His supporting cast, however, is what has earned this team the 6th spot. Senior Scott Plank dropped 14 points in their first showing and senior guard Cal Kevorkian is another great addition.
7.Mavericks (1-1)- Opened spots allowed for two new faces to come off the waiting list and onto the Mavs. Junior Spencer McMullin and senior Matt Pik are exactly the guards that this team was missing. Sam Gillespie is an absolute force in the paint that few teams can manage to stop.
8.Thunder (1-1)- This team struggled in its first game against the Grizzlies, when their zone defense completely stalled their offense. However, this Wednesday we pulled off a good team win with no subs due to the hockey game. However, the team we played had their best player missing too. The Thunder are ok at best right now, and probably should be 9th, but whatever.
9.Rockets (1-1) – The Rockets lost by 17 in their first outing but bounced back to squeak a win out against the Mavericks. Their offense and good team chemistry make them a formidable matchup.
10.Nuggets (0-2)- Although I was unable to move the Nuggets up at all due to their record, I do regret some of the statements I made. I mean, somebody could have told me that senior Nicky Neville was really good and that Reed Coots is huge. They were missing Neville for their Wednesday game, and frankly, it could have been the difference

Monday, December 12, 2011

Blue Wave Football Joins “Wreaths Across America


by Ryan Barthold

Over 30 former, future, and current members of the Darien Blue Wave Football Team participated in “Wreaths Across America” on Saturday (12/10) at the Spring Grove Cemetery. The team, along with many members of the community including the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, helped distribute 500 wreaths to the graves of veterans. At the head of the wreath-laying ceremony was VFW Commander Phil Kraft, who noted that the ceremony directly coincided with the ceremony being held at Arlington National Cemetery. Prior to the event, 2011 captains Corey Eppley, Patrick McDonald, Mike Stovall, and Brett O’Donnell and 2012 captains Henry Baldwin, Ian Vanderhorn, Matty D’Andrea, and Andrew Maley helped bring the wreaths to the cemetery and prepare them for distribution. The team and the community were able to distribute 500 wreaths in less than 10 minutes, bringing a little holiday cheer to the graves of the fallen.

Pictured (from left to right): Captains Corey Eppley, Henry Baldwin, Andrew Maley, Ian Vanderhorn, Brett O’Donnell, Matty D’Andrea, Patrick McDonald, and Mike Stovall.

2012 Darien High School Football Captains Announced

by Caroline Cone

The Darien Blue Wave football team recently announced its captains for the 2012-2013 school year.  Congratuations to:
Matt D'Andrea
Peter Gesualdi
Andrew Malley
Ian Vandehorn
Henry Baldwin

Thursday, December 8, 2011

House Basketball Power Rankings: Week One


by Reed Barthold
The problem with pre-season rankings (and being a sophomore) is that you really don’t know the skill of the players and new freshmen until you can see them play. Evidently, the rankings were way off. The last place team should really be in the top 5 and the first place team was very over ranked.
Knicks (W) 1st Place:
The Skolds twins certainly did not disappoint last night as they scored 32 out of the team’s 36 points. The game was certainly not a blow out as the Celtics put up a good fight by only coming short of a win by a few points. Key player(s): Skolds twins.
Bulls (W) 2nd Place:
The Bulls were matched up with the first place ranked 76ers and I was sure the 76ers would shut out the Bulls early. As usual, I was wrong. The Bulls took control of the game early and although the 76ers kept the game close, the Bulls showed no sign of slowing down. Key player(s): Blake Lange with the Traver brothers falling close behind.
Wizards (W) 3rd Place:
I was lucky enough to make this game to really witness the skill the Wizards have. Myles Ridder was thought to lead the team this year but the talent is really spread out. The Heat certainly isn’t the best team, but a win is a win. Key Player(s): Myles Ridder, George Reed, and Jack Griffiths…His rebounds are unreal.
Nets (W) 4th Place:
The Nets are one of the biggest threats this year with a few surprise players on the roster. There was no surprise Chris Chiamulera would lead the Nets to a victory last night, but that’s really beside the point. Colin Meier, dubbed “C-Money” by his team, drained a few threes. I’ve never really considered Meier a key player, but he seems to be proving me wrong. Key Player(s): Chris Chiamulera and Colin Meier.
Raptors (W) 5th Place:
Dylan Carruthers dominated the floor all night leading his team to a victory over the Bucks by about 12 points. Jay Patrick was also contributed to the team’s rebounds by almost getting every rebound available. There are also a few freshmen on the team that have serious skill; they just need to learn to pass. Key player(s): Dylan Carruthers, Jay Patrick, and a couple freshmen that I really have no idea who they were.
76ers (L) 6th Place:
Dropping down 5 spots is a bit rough, especially for the number 1 pre-season ranked team. The Bulls simply out played the 76ers throughout the game. The 76ers also decided to implement a new rule to the house league; if you are frustrated with the other team, hit one of their players to the ground. Self-proclaimed “Face of House Ball” himself, Carter Watt, enforced the new rule last night with a cheap shot against Key Player Blake Lange. #YouCantDoThat Key player(s): Harry Gillespie and Grayson Smith both put up a solid number of points for the team.
Cavaliers (W) 7th Place:
The only reason the Cavs are so low in the rankings after a win is because they didn’t play the strongest team last night. The Cavs beat the Bobcats by more than twenty points by more than 20 points with Kevin Pendo leading the team with 15 points and Ryan Forman draining a few threes throughout the night. Key player(s): Kevin Pendo and Ryan Forman.
Celtics (L) 8th Place:
The Celtics took a tough loss from the Knicks last night with a loss by just two points. If it was any other team they may have pulled out a win over the course of the game. Not really sure what else to write, the Brannigans helped keep the score to a close margin. Key player(s): Brannigans and Brendan Donohue.
Heat (L) 9th Place:
The Heat is above the bottom three teams because they lost to a much tougher team than the rest, they also managed to keep the game close. Zach Basu surprised everyone with his ball handling and finesse. Best dressed? Alex Gunn. Key Player(s): Zach Basu, Brian Walsh, and Jack Feeley.
Pacers (L) 10th Place:
I’ve hit the bottom three team again and I’ve really ran out of things to comment on. The Pacers were simply out-performed by the Nets and it really showed through. I was told all three of their key players failed to really carry the team which puts me in an awkward spot to choose their key players from last night’s game. Key player(s): Curry Bloom and Brad Magnusson.
Bucks (L) 11th Place:
We came in cocky. That’s really the reason for our loss last night. We came into the game telling ourselves that the Raptors were the last place team and playing them would be a breeze… More like a hurricane. We came out soft and simply watched Carruthers and his squad run over us. Brendan Cassidy’s missed three-point-shots from 4 feet behind the line also contributed to last night’s loss. Key player(s): Brian Davey and Kyle Gifford.
Bobcats (L) 12th Place:
They just couldn’t get it done last night. Key Player(s): Andrew Vegliante and Cooper Drippe.

Game(s) to watch on Sunday (12/11):
Bulls vs. Nets at 11 AM in the MMS Large Gym.
Raptors vs. Wizards at 10 AM in the MMS Small Gym.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blue Wave Ski Team Overview


by Jenn O’Neill

Ski Team preseason has officially started this year led by head coach, Mr. Brian Zeyer. The boy’s captains this year are Juniors Will McCoy, Chris Brophy and Andy Mogenson. Girl’s captains are Senior Kailin Edgar, Junior Fay Rizzuto and one more who will be named as the season progresses.


So what exactly does preseason entail? Usually it’s pretty easy going. The team runs from Darien High School to Middlesex Middle School and partakes in a variety of activities such as lifting weights in the weight room and playing mat ball or dodge ball in one of the gyms. The team then runs all the way back to the High School. This kind of "dryland" training usually goes right up to Christmas break.

                The real season starts when the team takes buses up to Woodbury, Connecticut to practice or up to Southington to compete, both of which are only about an hour away.  The girls’ team had a lot of good skiers graduate last year, so this season will be tougher than previous years, especially if there are not enough recruits. The team in general has made it to states four times in the past four years and they hope to make this their fifth year running.  There was no comment made towards how the boy’s team will do this year. DHS wishes both teams the best when the season begins and the Blue Wave Sports Blog will keep you posted with results throughout the season.




Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Girls Indoor Track: A Stacked Team Once Again


By Jessica DeMaio

 Despite the team’s loss of many talented graduated seniors, the girls Indoor Track team has high expectations for the 2011-2012 winter season, and with a solid senior foundation, many capable underclassmen, and much experience in field events, the team is sure to be successful for yet another year.

This year’s girls Indoor Track team is missing graduated senior captains Megan Keane, Amanda Dobler, Sarah Dailey, and Elizabeth Crafford. Keane and Dobler were all-state distance runners, Dailey was both a sprinter and high jumper, and Crafford was the top pole vaulter last year. The team also lost sprinters and pole vaulters Charlotte Phillips and Lee Bolton to graduation, but the girls are assured these losses will not stop them from doing big things this season.

This year’s captains are seniors Katie Donovan (distance), Claire Gaffney (sprinter), Victoria Kominek (thrower), and Sherry Gilronan (sprinter). “We see the losses of the graduates as a weakness but our team is very strong and has a lot of depth,” Donovan said. The team has a lot of returning members that they hope will fill the gaps of last year’s seniors. Standout distance runners include seniors Katie Donovan, Alex Pear, Lilly Cassidy, Emma Davis, and Meredith Ott and juniors Grace Loh, Sarah Colon, Ellen Bauer, Katie Farren, and Caroline Weihs. Impressive sprinters include seniors Claire Gaffney and Sherry Gilronan; juniors Lizzie Heaney and Sophie Long; and sophomore Dillon Schoen. Talented throwers are seniors Victoria Kominek and Niya Wright.

The team’s goals this season are to maintain their FCIAC east title, and improve to win the top spot in FCIACS and Class L Championships. The girls hit the track for the first time December 16th and 17th and begin what is sure to be another successful year for Coach Norris and the girls Indoor Track team.

Photo Caption: Amanda Dobler (graduate), senior Katie Donovan, junior Grace Loh, and sophomore Dillon Schoen celebrate after a distance relay.

2012-2013 Girls Swim and Dive Captains Announced


By Kat McKay

Yesterday, Monday, December 5th, next year’s captains for the girls swim and dive team were announced. The dive team will be headed by junior Caroline Ashcraft, and leadership for the swimmers will be shared between juniors Caroline Orem, Olivia Leunis, and Claire Treesh. This year’s team, coached by Marj Trifone, was the state champ for its division. Sophomore swimmer Megan Slaughter says that the selected captains “will be great leaders"; hopefully they’ll be able to pull together as successful a season as this one was.
The Blue Wave Sports blog congratulates the girls on their captainships and will continue to keep you updated as more are announced.

Pictured: The girls swim team stands together before a 2011 season meet.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Power Rankings 11/12



by Matt Brown

            As fall sports season came to a close, last week marked teh dawn of a new season. Perhaps the most exciting night for House ballers school wide, the draft was completed, and rosters posted on the Darien YMCA website.  With the posting of the rosters, comes the preseason power rankings. Enjoy.

1.      Kings- This team stuck out to me as clearly the most complete in the field. Head to toe, the Kings definitely look like the toughest team to beat. At the helm is probably the best player in the league, senior Bobby Weaver. With the retirement of Tony Britton, Bobby is looking to take over the throne of league MVP. He will seldom find someone to guard him and has the ability to score in bunches. Also, junior Craig Lamantia is one of the best. He is capable of scoring while driving and shooting from the perimeter, plus his size allows him to match up well defensively. The Kings will also find great athleticism in the likes of Carter Rae and a quiet sharpshooter in Carl Stowell.
2.      Lakers- The Lakers are the most athletic team in the league. They have two players who pose the dual threat of size and speed: seniors Corey Eppley and Elliot Helgans. Plus, the Lakers hold a natural scorer and simply a strong basketball player in the likes of senior Jon Magnusson. If this squad can get out in transition through good defense, they will run away with games.
3.      Trailblazers – The Blazers lack size, but they make up for it with a very standout BIG 3 and a lot of depth to back them up. Seniors Jack Voigt, Ryan Minion, and Jay Alter all have reputable names in the house league and should lead the Blazers to a good season by running up the score with their ability, however, they will have trouble with rebounds as they do not have a prominent big man. Watch out for Mitchell Wiz-kid with the three ball and junior Jack Travers to provide crucial support if this team is going to go far and contend for a championship.
4.      Rockets- This ballclub is one of the most interesting  in the league. They will score, and they will score a lot. Junior Jackson Whiting was quite clearly the MVP of the 9th/10th grade league last year and can score at will on good days. The team has another outstanding offensive player in senior Russell Palmer as well as the most underrated player in either grade, Ben Highton, at point guard. The Rockets will almost always be able to score points, however they must hope that their scoring can compensate for a lackluster defense that they will likely present.
5.      Thunder- Ah, my team here (Matt). Trying to be as fair and balanced as possible, we are actually fairly well rounded. Andrew Maley is making the transition from varsity ball to House. This is the same jump that legends Tony Britton and Bobby Weaver made with ease and prosperity. While he might lack some of the athleticism that the two last year greats have, he will be one of the best ball handlers and the most consistent shooter in the league. Senior Thomas Carruthers is also a great athlete who will be able to score off the drive on a regular basis. Our problems will most likely come defensively and will need senior Joe Puzio to step up in order to solidify the post.
6.      Spurs- The height on this team is scary. Junior Eric Christensen and the tree, senior Harlan Smith, are two of the tallest players in the league this year. On top of the skyscrapers in the post, they have one of the best guards in the league. Eric Walsh is a great dribbler, good shooter and pesky defender. The combination the height and Walsh will make for the Spurs to have a solid year.
7.      Mavericks- The Mavs’ roster boasts a name that intimidates the majority of the league: junior Matt Forelli. Forelli stands at around 6'3 and claims to be 235, he can run with anyone in the league, jump with anyone, and can actually play basketball. He will be an unstoppable force in the paint. He will be accompanied by a tall and strong senior Sam Gillespie as well as shooters Billy Siemers and Mack Glavin.
8.      Grizzlies- This team will rely on the athleticism of Danny Coyle and the skill of Luke Osherow. Osherow is a great athlete and good basketball player, but I am skeptical to if he has enough of a supporting cast to make a run.
9.      Suns- The Suns are a small team, and although low in the rankings, they really aren’t that bad. Senior Jack Rehm showed scoring ability during his championship run, and Jack Sherwood put up 20 points in almost every game during his last House campaign. It is just a question of if these two scorers can keep the Suns a float all year.
10.  Nuggets- The squad isn’t that bad, but I mean, they are sort of pretty bad. They have a good point guard in Christian Bognar who will play hard and make the occasional big three. Tommy Nicholls and Geoff Hubbard will need to perform well for them to be contenders.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rams Stampede Blue Wave in Turkey Bowl

By Jack Rehm

Another Turkey Bowl, another disappointment for the DHS football team. The Blue Wave was trounced by New Canaan yet again yesterday in the most recent installment of the rivalry, which dates back all the way to 1928. The final score of the rout was 42-21 with Darien receiving scoring contributions from senior Harlan Smith (2 touchdown receptions) and junior Peter Gesualdi (1 touchdown reception).
New Canaan’s offense came out blazing, scoring on their first drive of the game to take an early lead. Darien would later tie the game in the second quarter on one of Smith’s touchdown catches but that is as close as they would get the rest of the game. New Canaan scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to take a 42-7 lead and Darien could not recover. The Rams’ offense, led by quarterback Matt Milano, was unstoppable and carried the team to a first-round state tournament game where they will play New London.
Junior Henry Baldwin led the Blue Wave both in passing and rushing yards, throwing for 251 yards and adding an additional 25 yards on the ground. Baldwin threw three touchdown passes on the day but was also intercepted four times.
Darien finished its season with a record of 8-2 but unfortunately will not qualify for the state tournament.

’12 Recruits Seniors wrap up their last seasons at DHS, ready to play next year



By Kylie Maier

Four years of running laps and sprinting drills have finally paid off for several DHS seniors.  As the senior class anxiously waits to hear back from their favorite colleges, these senior athletes are lucky enough to already know what colors they will be repping next year.


Brynn Gasparino- UC Berkeley
Galen Rohn - Brown University
Tony Britton - Cornell University
Case Matheis - Duke University
Tim Murphy - Gettsyburg College
Emily Tropsa - Gettsyburg College
Charlett Stevenson - University of Richmond
John Magnusson - University of Richmond

*This is not a complete list of recruited seniors.

 Photo: Case Matheis, a Duke lacrosse recruit.

Rohn Says the Title Will Live On


By Lizzy Steinborn

The Darien High School Blue Wave Field Hockey team was successful for another season this year. Although losing their first games in the state and FCIAC seasons ended their winning streak, the girls’ team defeated the number one team in the country. MVP, senior Galen Rohn, told NEIRAD her thoughts on her last season playing for Mo Minicus and her hopes for the juniors next year.

Galen said that this year really was a “great season,” even though Rohn was the only returning starter. From the loss of starters, “many people did not think that we were going to have such a successful season,” Galen said. With the well-known and accomplished coach, Mo Minicus, the field hockey team proved these doubts wrong in the regular season, staying undefeated.

Members of the team credit Rohn with motivating her teammates as well.  “She really was a great leader and teammate because she motivated the underclassmen,” senior Lily Cassidy said. Galen was known on the field hockey team as a team player constantly inspiring other players. Rohn was the only returning starter out of 13 seniors who graduated last year, some moving on to play field hockey in college.

“She really did just put a smile on everyone’s face” Cassidy added. Even in school, DHS students can always find Galen smiling and joyful. Her optimistic personality was helpful on the field helping keep the other girls positive through their first losses before their winning streak.
The field hockey team had the opportunity to play the number one team in the nation. “For me, beating Lakeland was the highlight of the season,” Galen said. “Mo did not tell us that they were the number one team so that we wouldn’t get nervous.” The Lakeland field hockey team scored the first goal shortly into the game but Darien’s offense stepped it up and won the game. To some of the field hockey players this was a better accomplishment than winning states. “It was by far the most memorable game for me throughout all of my four years on the Darien High School Field Hockey [team]” Galen commented.

It was disappointing that we were not able to defend the titles during our post season, but I am still very proud of our team for all that we accomplished” Rohn said. The end to the season was unexpected but the field hockey is ready for next year to win the FCIAC and state titles again.

Galen has committed to play field hockey for Brown University and is excited to start another hockey career as a college athlete. “I will really miss Blue Wave Field Hockey,” Galen confesses. Anyone watching a field hockey game can see the team dynamic and sisterhood that are created by Rohn.
To see Rohn in action DHS students can go to the girl’s Ice Hockey jamboree this coming Saturday at Shelton High School.



2012’s Girls Volleyball Captains Are Revealed


By Emily Caccam

At the team banquet yesterday evening (Tuesday 11-30), the captains for the 2012 girls volleyball season were announced. Current juniors Kelly Kosnik and Riley Sousa (pictured) will fill the shoes of former captains Charlotte Stevenson, Katie Stuber, and Amanda Sommi as leaders of the team.

Kosnik and Sousa, who have been both playing since freshman year, say they are honored and ecstatic for their newly assigned roles. “I’m excited for next season,” Kosnik said. “We’re going to have a lot of great people coming back, but we’re going to miss our seniors.” These leaving seniors, in addition to the captains, include Nina Preston and Lexi Ashburne.

Although the season does not begin until next school year, the new captains are already fulfilling duties, from meeting with their coach to prepping for off-season training.

“I’m so honored [to be captain!]. I’m confident and hopeful for our team next year,” Sousa said.

The school congratulates Kosnik and Sousa, as well as the rest of next year’s captains. Check Blue Wave Sports Blog to get the news on the 2012 field hockey captains, which are scheduled to be announced at their Saturday (12-3) banquet.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Squash Season Preview


by Cameron Van de Graaf
  
Many students closely follow major winter sports such as hockey and basketball. However, another game is slowly gaining traction at Darien High School. Squash is a sport rarely associated with public schools, but the DHS squash team has done a great deal to change that perception. Ranked as the number one public school team in the nation, the team looks to retain that classification and make headway against stronger private schools. Leading the charge are junior stars Jonathan Gill and Dominick Hansford as well as senior captain Kincade Webster. Although the team has lost seven seniors, Webster remains positive, “We've got a young team, as there’s only 1 senior in the top 7… but that is in no way going to hold us back as we push hard through the year.” Juniors make up the bulk of the varsity squad, as no underclassmen are currently starting. According to Webster, the primary long term goal for the team is improving its divisional ranking at Nationals in February. The team kicks off the season with a match against Greenwich Academy on 11/30 at 3:30 PM.

Check out the profile of star Darien player Jonathan Gill at http://bluewavesportsblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/athlete-profile-jonathan-gill-squash.html
A more in depth profile of the team can be found in the upcoming January edition of Neirad.

Photo: Last year's championship team.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Athlete Profile: Jonathan Gill: Squash Prodigy


By Jenn O’Neill
          Junior Jonathan Gill does it all. He started on the Boys Varsity Soccer team, maintains good grades as an honor student, and this year he plans on leading the DHS Boys Squash team to FCIACS as well as States, just like his twin sisters Madeline and Leslie Gill did last year for this girls.
          Jonathan got started at a very young age. His dad played for 40 years so when Jonathan was old enough to walk, a squash racquet replaced toys. He has been playing for 9+ years now and it certainly has paid off.  As of right now, Gill is ranked 2nd in the country in the Boys U17 bracket and 10th in the Boys U19 bracket. Not to mention, he is the star player for the Darien Squash team!
          So how is this sport played? Squash is similar to racquetball. Basically, one hits a ball against a wall, and has to retrieve an opponent’s shot within one bounce. There are various ways to improve, such as drills to improve power and accuracy, and sprinting to boost stamina.
          As a whole, squash is one of the smaller sports teams at DHS. Gill encourages everyone to try out squash. “I’ve never met a person who disliked squash—try it sometime!”

The Girls Hit the Ice



By Julia Cobb
As the fall sports season draws to an end, Darien High School athletes pack away their cleats and shin guards and prepare for the new winter sports season. The Girl’s Varsity Ice Hockey team is looking forward to an exciting and competitive winter. The team was a strong competitor in the championship tournaments last winter but ultimately lost in the finals of the FCIAC championship and in the CIAC tournament semi-finals. Senior captain Emily Tropsa is optimistic about the upcoming season. “Galen Rohn is back playing again this year and will have an impact. Junior Lily Christensen will play a huge role and we expect Sophomores Ellie Bennett, Katie De Haas, and Sage Thacher to really step up this year. Sophomore Shannon Hall is returning in goal and should have a strong year,” said Tropsa. While the team graduated key defenders Ellie Bullitt and Lauren Perkins, and Emma Tuz on the forward lineup, the team still has high expectations for this season. “We are trying to rebuild the team this year. One of our biggest goals is to get everyone on the same page and playing together as a team,” said Tropsa. With hard work and early morning practices the girls hope to contend for both the FCIAC and CIAC championships. The team starts off its season with its first game against Glastonbury on December 9th at Newington Ice Arena at 8:40PM.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Athlete Profile: Will Smelser


By Katrina Vassell

Along with his fellow swimmers, junior Will Smelser has begun training for the upcoming season. Tryouts are a week away, and he is working hard to achieve record times—this year he hopes to cut down his freestyle time to 4:45. With high goals in mind, Will hopes to help his team win FSIACs, Class L, and State Opens. “I think that we have a really strong team and if we work hard enough we can definitely win the champion meets,” said Smelser.

Smelser began swimming at the age of seven at the Darien YMCA and has achieved his goals with the help of supportive coaches and friends. Immersed in a tightly knit community of swimmers, Smelser has learned the value of teamwork. Most importantly, Will learned the value of hard work and determination. His hard work finally paid off when he broke his five minute record in the 500 freestyle last year.

 Currently, Smelser is able to maintain his devotion to the sport while balancing his schoolwork as a junior. By using each moment in school productively and working diligently during free periods, Will is able to save time for swimming. “I have found that swimming helps me with school because I’m a lot more responsible and better at managing time,” said Smelser. Swimming is a major aspect of his life and has helped him become a dedicated individual. In the future, Will pictures himself swimming in college and eventually winning the YMCA national meet.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

House Basketball Power Rankings Are Back!

by Reed Barthold
Last year, The Blue Wave Sports Blog took the liberty of ranking and giving our opinion on the 9/10 and 11/12 House Basketball boys league. The articles received a tremendously positive response with over a thousand views for the first few articles.
This year the rankings will be led by me covering the 9/10th grade teams and Matt Brown following the 11/12th grade. The House rosters are to be released in the next two weeks or so and be sure to expect a Power Ranking prediction before the season starts. Stay tuned to the blog for upcoming articles on the league and any upcoming pre-season Power Ranking predictions.
For the 9/10 league If you want to contribute to the rankings by reporting scores and stats of your game, please feel free to email rebarthold@darienps.org.

The 12th Man

by Danny Rizzuto

This Boys Soccer Season has been a wild ride for the team.  Coming off a disappointing season last year, a majority of us were not excited for the year coming up.  That all changed when Jon Bradley was named coach.  There was a glimmer of hope for the program now, and the entire team was ready to give their all.  The season did not start off as planned, suffering a demoralizing defeat to Westhill by a score of 7 to 1, which was luckily overturned.  Away from home our first game, our team did not expect a turn out.  But as the game progressed, it seemed as if we had the home field advantage.  The girls team after practice had come to our game, and they were making twice the amount of noise of anyone else there.  Even as we were losing, the girls team supported us until the bitter end.
The Girls Soccer Team are the loudest bunch of people I think I have ever met.  They out screamed any other crowd we faced, making every game they attended for us have the feeling of a home game.  From their loud “BLUE WAVE SOCCER” chants to their odd fascination with Goalie Jack Fisher, the girls were an integral part of our team.  While seniors Eric Kanigan and Elliott Helgans fought for the ball on the field, seniors Marieke Bravo and Sara Shaker took the fight to the stands with their words and voices.  I don’t believe I know a girl out there louder than Sara Shaker, and I expect her to lose her voice in college.  She said of the season, “I lost my voice at the Brian McMahon game at the beginning of the season and I am yet to get it completely back.  I have never had so much fun going to a sporting event as I have had at the boys (soccer) games.  The team has brought a lot of spirit to this school.”  All the girls deserve complements for their encouragement, and without them I seriously doubt we would have achieved as much as we did.
As the season progressed, we started winning.  We liked the feeling of winning, and so we did everything we could to keep winning, and the school took notice.  Slowly students started making their way to our games.  One individual, Senior Jack Rehm, is someone I have to recognize as our greatest fan.  This kid came to almost every one of our games.  Whether he was in the stands cheering with friends or in his car escaping the cold, I knew that Jack Rehm would be watching the Boys Team.  Before every game, in school, he would seek out soccer players, walking up to them, pushing them around and say, “Are you ready?” psyching us up for the game to come.  His pump up speeches in Journalism made me excited for every game; I could not wait to get on the field.  “You guys did a good job of interacting with the fans and made every win feel like a win for the crowd and every loss hurt us just as much as it hurt the team,” said Rehm.
With Rehm came many more people, people I never knew would ever be interested in our team.  I don’t know if it started as an excuse not to go home or genuine support for our team, but soon we had a following.  Familiar faces returned every game to root us on; to rally us through trying times and difficult games.  At every game there was someone there and at the big games there was everyone.  The crowds at the New Canaan games were phenomenal; thank you for everyone who came out.  Looking over and seeing such a profuse number of fans motivated us more than any speech could.
The Westhill game remains special to many people who were there; at what other sport can people storm the field and it be ok?  The turnout to this game was amazing.  I could not comprehend the amount of people who decided to attend the game and neither could the rest of us.  We were no longer only playing for ourselves; we were playing for everyone in the crowd.  “It was an overwhelming feel of ecstasy watching the game.  As I was watching I would turn to my peers and state ‘This IS soccer,’” said senior Cal Kevorkian. 
The Football Team wasn’t our number one fan going into the season.  It was clear that there would be a quiet rivalry between the two teams.  Except, it didn’t stay quiet.  It was soon obvious through trash talking that each team wanted to do better than the other, silently wishing for the other to lose. I hate to admit it, but Football’s unbeaten streak outlasted ours.  On the other hand, our unbeaten streak consisted of more games.  This rivalry was so heated that after our 1-0 loss to Wilton, the Football team went into a cheer on their bus.  However, as our season went on, I started to see some football players attend our games.  There still may have been a rivalry, but I knew that there was a respect (at least from some players) forming between the teams.  After practices some players would come over to watch the end of our games.  We may not have the best relationship, but I still feel the football team deserves a thank you; for motivating us to do well and for eventually coming to support us. 
The point of this blog is to say thank you to everyone who came to our games.  It felt like we had 12th man on the field when everyone was cheering for us.  The fans made this season special to the team, and I can only hope that next year’s team will earn the same respect.

   

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Fall Season in Review




By Jay Alter - As the fall season turns to Winter, I reflect on the season that passes us by…

Girls Field Hockey – They lost 14 seniors and only returned 1 starter, but they beat the #1 team in the country earlier in the season, Lakeland, and finished the regular season undefeated. It looked like the genius of nationally recognized coach, Mo Minicus, was clicking on all cylinders as they kept getting wins heading into the postseason. They were looking for their 5th consecutive FCIAC and State title, but the drive for five ended when they fell to Staples in the FCIAC semi-final and Wilton in the state semi-final. The team had a lot to overcome, losing a lot of key players and trying to play with an entirely new team, but they found success in the regular season with an undefeated record, it is unfortunate they were not able to bring home a postseason trophy. MVP: Galen Rohn; Most Improved: Kat Huber
Boys XC – The Boys Cross Country team beat Danbury in the regular season for the first time since 2004 as they went 17-0 in the regular season. However, they fell to Danbury in the FCIAC finals and came in 2nd place. They went on to win the state tournament and place 9th in New England’s, which is an amazing feat. MVP: Charlie Baird Most Improved: Marshall Huffman
Girls Soccer – The Girls Soccer team had a lot to overcome this season. They lost their longtime head coach, Jon Bradley, to the guys team and lost superstar goalie, Charlotte Phillips, and striker, Georgie Highton. Fortunately, they overcame the losses with a great season. They qualified for both FCIAC and State tournaments, but did not bring home any hardware. MVP: Leslie Yuen/Marieke Bravo Most Improved: Dillon Schoen
Boys Football – They only returned 3 starters from a team that won the FCIAC championship last season and had a lot of attention and pressure coming from the amazing season last year. Junior QB, Henry Baldwin, and the Darien tenacious defense silenced all the doubters early as the Boys finished with an outstanding 8-1 record as they prepare for the Turkey Bowl against New Canaan. The winner of the games season will continue to the state tournament while the loser will be done for the season. MVP: Henry Baldwin Most Improved: Harlan Smith
Girls Volleyball: After going undefeated the entire season, Darien Volleyball was not able to come up with the State title for the second year in a row. They still captured the FCIAC crown and were dominant all the regular season, it is just unfortunate they could not have their “perfect season”. MVP: Katie Stueber Most Improved: Nina Preston
Girls Swimming: I am still trying to figure out how this team could lose to New Canaan in the regular season, then lose to them again in FCIACs and then BEAT them in States. The reason on how they beat the rams in states really doesn’t matter, what matters is Darien Swimming did take home the state title this year after finishing tied for 5th in FCIACs. MVP: Olivia Leunis Most Improved: Caroline Orem
Girls XC: The girls went 15-2 in the regular season and were FCIAC In-season Champions. Besides qualifying for State and State Opens, the team had one All FCIAC runner, junior Grace Loh, and two 2nd FCIAC Team runners, junior Ellen Bauer and senior McKinley Stauffer. At the banquet, Coach Steve Norris expressed how proud he was of all members of the team, from Varsity to J.V. to Freshmen. The Varsity top seven will only be losing three seniors for the 2012 season, Stauffer, Alex Pear and Meredith Ott, so Darien High School can expect another great year from Girls Cross Country next Fall. MVP: Grace Loh Most Improved: McKinley Stauffer
Boys Soccer: This team had 2 wins last year and now with a new coach and a new motivated team they were able to record 14. They made it to the FCIAC semi-finals and the State quarterfinals and won the FCIAC east regular season division. This team defied all odds and made a name for themselves in the FCIAC and State this season. Darien Boys Soccer is not only not a “mockery” anymore, but now they are bordering a powerhouse as they look to return FCIAC player’s of the year, Spencer McMullin and Brennan Branca, as well as Goalkeeper Jack Fisher. MVP: Elliott Helgans Most Improved: Jack Fisher