Saturday, July 30, 2011
By Jay Alter - Jon Bradley has spent since 2006 as the Darien High School's Girls Soccer Varsity Coach and was an assistant coach from 2002 to 2004. But after nine seasons with the Girls Soccer program, Bradley will move his famous coaching chair across the turf to coach the Boys team. "It was a very difficult decision to leave the girls program but I am ready for a new challenge with the boys program," Bradley said after he was named the Boys Coach early saturday morning (7/30/11). Bradley brought the girls team to the FCIAC finals in both the 2006 and 2007 season and the girls have traditionally made both the FCIAC and CIAC tournaments when Bradley was coaching. Bradley also serves as the Coaching Coordinator for the Darien Soccer Association and is a part of a private soccer club in the area, Eastern Soccer Academy.
The coaching change comes a month before pre-season starts for both the boys and the girls teams, so the time to adjust is not long for both teams. The boys position became open after Nicolae Piperea stepped down after five seasons coaching the boys team, only getting to the FCIAC and CIAC tournament once and recording a mere 18 wins. "I'm confident that Jon Bradley is a man who, with his experience at the varsity level with the girls, can step right into the new position without any problems, and help turn the boys program around," said Senior Eric Kanigan. Jon Bradley will now have the reigns for the boys as he now tries to rebuild that program, but abandons a strong girls team. The girls made it to the FCIAC semi-final and the CIAC semi-final this past season and now are left without a coach. Sources say that Leigh Parsons is the top candidate for the job. Girls Captain Leslie Yuen said, "obviously getting a new coach is going to take some adjusting to but we have a lot of talent on the team and should be able to make the changes necessary to have a successful season. Jon has done a great job to build up our program and we hope to continue to carry on his efforts in the right direction."
Saturday, July 23, 2011
By Jay Alter - Gettysburg Women's Lacrosse is having themselves quite the year. The Bullets women's lacrosse team defeated Bowdoin 16-5 in the NCAA Division III title game to win Gettysburg College's first national championship. And to put the cherry on top, Senior, Emily Tropsa will be taking her talents to Gettysburg as well. Tropsa and the Darien Girl's Lacrosse team lost in the FCIAC finals, but bounced back to capture the State title. Tropsa was named to the all-fciac and all-state team and will be the captain of the Blue Wave Girls Lacrosse team in her senior season. Tropsa's teammate Brynn Gasparino also committed to playing lacrosse in college. Gasparino will be taking her talents to join her older sister, Paige, at UC Berkley. Berkley was in jeopardy of losing their program but due to large financial contributions was able to retain the women's lacrosse team. But before these two studs start their college career they will be faced with winning the FCIAC and State title in their senior season.
By Jay Alter - After spending the last 14 seasons coaching Trinity Catholic, Chris Gerwig will return to his roots of Darien Hockey and hold the same position. Gerwig started his passion for hockey as a member of Darien Youth Hockey Association and even works in Darien at the best hockey shop in the town, Blueline, owned by Jaime Tropsa, Darien Girl's Varsity Assistant Coach. "I'm a product of Darien Youth Hockey. It's where I work, where I spend most days, so it's a nice opportunity," Gerwig said. Gerwig will replace Larry Vieira who spent two years at the helm of the hockey team, but was let go after two seasons despite having winning records. Vieira's faults came because the team was not able to advance deep into the FCIAC or CIAC tournaments. Darien's Athletic Director thinks Gerwig will be a better fit, "We are very pleased to have a person with Chris' background and experience come to Darien," said John Keleher. "His experience, practice and conditioning plans, ad his bench demeanor and discipline were all factors in his selection," Keleher continued. Senior Captain Hank Glick said, "We are excited about the new addition to the hockey team and we're hoping he can bring us deep in both the fciacs and ciac." It is now up to Gerwig to get the wave back on track and hopefully capture a State title, something the Blue Wave haven't won since 1969.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
By Jay Alter - Nicolae Piperea will be stepping down from the Boys Varsity Head Coaching position after five years running the program. At Darien High School during the fall, soccer does not gain much attention due to the success of the Volleyball, Field Hockey, Football, and Swimming programs who have all won an FCIAC and/or STATE title in the last two years. During Nicolae's tenure as Head Coach he recorded 18 victories in five seasons, however, last season he recorded only two victories as the program took a step backwards. Piperea highlight as a head coach was taking the 2008 soccer team to the FCIAC and STATE playoffs, however, in the 5 years as Head Coach he never recorded a post season victory. In a public statement issued to the members of the team, Piperea was optimistic about the future of Boys Soccer at Darien High School, "This is a good opportunity to step away now. There's lots of talent in the program and the new coach will have a lot to work with." Darien is forced to hire a new coach in just about a months time because pre-season for the Boys Soccer team opens in Late August. There is not a lot of time to select a new coach and that makes it difficult to transition into next season. However Piperea will try to make the transition "as smooth as possible" as he said, "I will work closely with my former assistant coaches to make the transition as smooth as possible." Senior Eric Kanigan commented on the change, "Obviously when you lose a coach there is a potential risk involved with the need to bridge the gap between old and new. However, I feel that for the past few years the program has been at a standstill, and this could be the change that the team has been waiting for, a change that can trigger the start of a bright future for Darien High School soccer." Rumors have been circulating that Girls Varsity Head Coach, John Bradley, may be interested in the position. More Details regarding the new era of Boys Soccer at DHS to follow...