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
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

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

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cross Country Captains Announced

By Kat McKay

Last night, Thursday, November 17th, the boys and girls cross country teams both revealed next year’s captains. The 2012 Boys XC will be led by juniors Andrew Xiong and Sean Lee and sophomores Brian Davey, Marshall Huffman, and Peter Kreuch. According to current senior captain Eli Converse the team expects over 100 runners next year, a testament to the enduring popularity of the sport and program.
Girls Cross Country will be captained by juniors Katie Farren, Grace Loh, Sarah Colon, and Ellen Bauer. These four girls were consistently the team’s top runners throughout the 2011 season.
Blue Wave Sports Blog will continue to keep you updated as more captainships are announced.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Girls Volleyball Progresses to Semi-Finals with Win Over Glastonbury

By Kate Fitzmaurice

The Darien Girls Volleyball team had a major win last night (11/15) against the number eight team in the LL division, the Tomahawks of Glastonbury High School, to win the quarter final round of the state tournament.  Glastonbury pushed Darien to 4 games. The scores were 25-27, 25-13, 25-27, 25-22. Darien won the first and second games, went point for point in the third game and, despite Glastonbury’s tough defense, was able to pull out the win in the fourth game. Darien’s determination and all around team effort led them to prevail over Glastonbury. Glastonbury proved to be no match for Darien due to impressive kills by senior Katie Steuber, consistent setting by senior Nina Preston, as well as huge team contributions by junior Kelly Kosnick, junior Riley Sousa, senior Charlotte Stevenson.  Darien’s next game is Thursday, November 17th against number four Southington at Foran High School.

(Photo credit: Stamford Advocate)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blue Wave Sports Blog Receives 100,000 view milestone today

Wave Soccer Rams Home a Win against Rival New Canaan

By Blake Lange           
            Blue Wave soccer took the stage on Monday, November 14, against longtime rival New Canaan. The Darien squad brought home a state tournament win with a 1-0 victory, the only goal coming off an early penalty kick by junior superstar Brennan Branca, #2.
            The game started off slow, as usual with soccer games, until a dreadful New Canaan handball in its own penalty box opened the door for an offensive push. A rocket off Branca’s right foot screamed past New Canaan keeper Scott Levine, giving the Wave its winning goal after just 15 minutes of play. A scare came back for New Canaan just minutes later when junior forward Spencer McMullin, #11, came inches from an acrobatic shot to the back of the net. The ball hit the right side post and ricocheted out of play.
            The Darien defense really stepped up in this one, completing an impressive shutout led by junior goalkeeper Jack Fisher, or “Fish” as he is known by many fans. Fisher made a few outstanding stops. One of them came off a Rams header that Fish just barely managed to punch away, keeping the shutout alive and the momentum in Darien’s favor. The senior-led defense was also instrumental in the win. Seniors Matt Collier, Elliot Helgans, and Geoff Hubbard all made crucial contributions to the shutout, meanwhile senior Eric Kanigan’s height and hard head kept airborne balls out of the goal.
            Join the Blue Wave for the state tournament quarterfinals at Bunnell at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday. Congratulations Blue Wave soccer.

Pictured: Defenseman Marcus Iqbal (photo credit: FCIAC)

DHS Muggle Quidditch Team Attends International World Cup

By Annabel Schneider
This weekend (11/12-11/13) the Darien High School Quidditch team attended the fifth Muggle Quidditch World Cup on Randall’s Island in New York. One hundred teams and 2,000 athletes from high schools and colleges came from around the world for the event. Teams came all the way from Arizona and California. International teams included teams from Canada, Finland, and New Zealand.

The event was played under the rules of the International Quidditch Association (IQA). The sport has similar rules to the famous game played at Hogwarts. All players are required to have a broom between their legs and a hand on the broom at all time (the players were given IQA regulated brooms). The chaser's job is to throw the quaffle (a slightly deflated volleyball) into one of the three hoops on the opposite team's side. The keeper is the goalie. Beaters use bludgers (dodge balls) to throw at the players on the opposite team hindering those players' progress toward the goal for a bit of time. The final position is seeker whose job is to catch the snitch (a neutral player dressed in yellow or gold with a tennis ball attached to flag in their belt). Whoever gets the snitch gets 30 points, the game is over, and the score is calculated.

Most of the teams were from colleges; however, there were teams in the high school division whom DHS Quidditch played against. Despite a 0-5 result during the competition the team had a great attitude. It was one of their first competitions and it was great just to participate.

In game three the snitch was caught by freshman Mallory Zabrocky ending the game. The team still didn’t win the game, but it was a great feat to have caught the snitch.

            Captain junior Caroline Golino said, “It was loads of fun, and it was great to be able to meet so many other people who enjoy the game just as much as we do! We learned a ton, and we know we're going to rock the World Cup next year!"

Find more info on the sport and event:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Boys Cross Country Team

The 2011 Darien High School (DHS) Boys Cross Country Team completed its historic season by earning a spot on the list of New England’s Top 10 high school boys cross country squads. In a season of historicachievements, the Blue Wave added this latest ‘first’ to the DHS history books at the 77th New England Association High School Cross Country Championship meet, held on November 11 at Ponagansett High School in North Scituate, RI.

The BlueWave out ran 21 of 30 of the region’s most elite high school cross country teams from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The team had already made DHS history by even qualifying for the meet, so its top 10 finish was an unanticipated final flourish to its incredible season. Each of the 30 teams competing at the meet represented the ‘best of the best’ of New England’s boys high school cross country programs: all were state champions or runners up in their respective divisions. So this field of 30 was pared down from the approximately 500+ total teams across the five New England states that participated in their state championship races.

Running under perfect early fall conditions with bluebird skies and a brisk wind, the Darien harriers scored 319 points, earning them a 9th place finish overall, and fourth of the Connecticut teams in the meet. In a field of 275 runners, the Blue Wave put two of its runners in the top 100 and four in the top 150.

Finishing first for Darien and 40th overall was co-captain Michael Johnston, who posted a time of 16:40 for the 5K race. Second for Darien and 100th overall was co-captain Charlie Baird, who crossed the finish in 17:09. Co-captain Michael Coe finished in 17:19, third for the Blue Wave and 124thoverall. Sophomore Marshall Huffman finished behind Coe in fourth for Darien and 135th overall, coming across the finish line in 17:23. Freshman Alex Ostberg was the Blue Wave’s fifth finisher in the race, and 154th overall, with a time of 17:30; co-captain Eli Converse came in at 17:53, for 203rd place; and sophomore Peter Kreuch finished in 18:41, in the 254th spot.

According to DHS Boys Cross Country Head Coach Tyson Kaczmarek, the Blue Wave’s strong showing at the New England meet was a fitting end-of-season statement, not just about his runners’ talent, but their dedication. “They deserved to be here. They earned this. It was awesome. The whole experience was great. This group of boys worked so hard this year. I’m so proud of them. We earned our place in this meet,” Kaczmarek observed.

"The meet was a lot of fun. It was a fitting end to one of the best seasons this team has ever had,” noted co-captain Eli Converse. “Everyone had been working hard since the very beginning. This was the reward for our effort."

“We started off this season telling people ‘we mean business,’ and we proved it,” said co-captain Charlie Baird. “We beat Danbury. We won Wickham. We went undefeated, won the Class L State Title, and did so well at the State Open that we qualified for New Englands. So making the Top 10 teams in New England is just the icing on the cake for just us. What an awesome season.”

Fisher saves season for Wave

By Jay Alter - The Darien Boys Soccer team extended their season Monday (11/14) with a fantastic win over rivals New Canaan, beating the Rams 1-0. The goal was scored off a penalty kick by Brennan Branca in the first half and the defense took it from there. Seniors, Elliott Helgans, Geoff Hubbard, and Matt Collier played brilliant defense in the second half and kept New Canaan from scoring. Junior Jack Fisher had his best game of the season (in my opinion) as he kept a clean sheet and had 2 or 3 breathtaking saves. "We keep winning because we don't want the season to end," said Hubbard after the game. The team received a "storming of the field", the second of the season. The other came in a 3-2 OT win against Westhill in the FCIAC quarterfinal. Now, the Wave advances to play Bunnell on Wednesday at a time TBD.

Caylee Waters changes commitment from Maryland to UNC

By Jay Alter - Junior Caylee Waters, told the University of Maryland on November 1st, 2011 that she would be joining them for their 2014 season. However, this weekend Waters decommitted from the Terrapins and is now a UNC Tarheel. "Every since I was younger it has been a dream to go to UNC and after I committed to Maryland, I had a gut feeling that I didn't make the right decision," Waters said. Waters is currently the starting goalkeeper for the state champion, Darien girls lacrosse team and teammate, Senior Captain Brynn Gasparino said, "Caylee is a hardworking, amazing goalkeeper and will be a great addition to the Tarheels."

Girls Field Hockey Recovers

By: Lily Boe

The Girls Varsity field hockey team defeated Pomperaug 4-0 in round one of the CIAC Tourney on Friday (11/11).  This victory was key for the team, which finished its regular season undefeated, but lost the FCIAC Semifinals 0-1 to Staples last Thursday (11/3). “This win was really important to us because obviously FCIAC Semifinals was a big loss,” senior captain Galen Rohn said.

            Senior captain Lilly Cassidy started off the team strong, scoring the first goal of the game with 23 minutes left in the first half. Sophomore Hollis Perticone then scored followed by another goal by Cassidy. The girls finished the first half ahead 3-0. In the second half, Cassidy scored again with 18:37 left in the game. She was the only one to score in the second half, thus allowing the girls to take the victory 4-0.

This recovery win gave the girls hope for the rest of the playoff season. “We’re all really pumped to show ourselves in states,” Rohn said. On Monday (11/14), the girls will play in the CIAC Quarterfinals versus Guilford. The game will take place at 2 p.m. at the DHS Stadium Field. Be sure to come cheer on the team as it strives to rebuild its winning streak!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Girls Soccer Wins First Round of States

 by Sara Shaker
                Girls varsity soccer won the first round of States yesterday (11/10) against Fairfield Warde 1-0. After not playing a game for more than a week and half, “The team came out strong and played consistently well throughout the game,” senior captain Leslie Yuen said (pictured). “We played as a team.” Sophomore Dillon Schoen scored the only goal of the game at the end of the first half off of a corner kick. The team was able to hold Warde off with big help from its goalie, sophomore Phoebe Taylor, for the remainder of the game to come out with a win. The girls play at 2PM tomorrow (11/12) against the #1 seed, Glastonbury, at Glastonbury. “If we play our game we can definitely win,” Yuen said. Come support the team in its next round of states!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why run when you can Row?

By Caroline Cone

These days all you hear about is how well the football team or the field hockey team did over the weekend at their games. But what about the sport that Darien High School does not offer to its students: Rowing. Almost every weekend rowers all over Darien wake up at 6 am and drive 2-4 hours to the racecourse hours before they actually have to be out on the water. Not meaning to poke at other sports but rowing is one of the hardest sports a young student athlete can do, both physically and mentally. “It’s a good way to keep in shape, and it pushes you to be your best,” Felicity Cain, a sophomore at DHS said. Cain rows for Saugatuck Rowing Club, which is located in Westport. While rowing can challenge an athlete physically, it challenges one mentally. If you ask any rower you know the thing that they are most scared of is testing. Yes, even a sport can have testing, and to a rower it is awful. While it can show how good an athlete is, it makes them nervous and scared at the same time. While it is a great sport, it has a few minor setbacks; however, they might not bother you after a few months. 1. Blisters- a painful experience for new rowers and even ones who have been at it for a while. 2. Strange Bruising on your shoulders- carrying most of the boat when your teammates do not. 3. The erg- the most feared machine to ever be invented. What all testing is done on. 2K, 4K, 5K, 6K . . . the possibilities for testing are unlimited. There are many great boathouses that you can join, really at the start of any season. Those include MRC/New Canaan, CBC, Norwalk River Rowing, Greenwich, SONO, and Saugatuck. At any of these boathouses you will feel like it is your second home, considering the fact that it is the place between home and school.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blue Wave Swimming Ties for Fifth at FCIACs

BY RebeccaLiu

DHS’s Varsity Swim team travelled to Greenwich High School to compete in FCIACs on Friday, 11/3. Darien tied with Norwalk for fifth in the county. Although it was a rough meet for most of the team, some swimmers shone in their individual events.
Senior Caroline Kearney, in her last FCIACs of her high school career, truly went out with a bang. With two lifetime best times, she showed everyone her true potential. She went 2.17 minutes in her 200 yard Individual Medley along with 1.01 minutes in her 100 yard Butterfly. Freshman Courtney Ferriera in her first ever championship meet also did a best time, going a 5.29 minutes in her 500 Free, 20 laps down the pool.
Junior Olivia Leunis was a FCIAC first team qualifier in the 100 Breastroke, placing third overall with a 1.08.03.  Senior Captain Cammie Kirby said, “We had a tough meet but we are keeping our heads held high and looking forward to competing in states.”
Blue Wave Swim and Dive will compete in State Trials in Monroe, CT on 11/12. Wish these swimmers good luck!

(Caption: Junior Caroline Orem poses with Greenwich Senior Lauren Church.)

Wave Diving Scores Well at FCIACs

By Rebecca Liu

The Blue Wave Diving team competed in the FCIACs on Friday, 11/3 at Westhill. After months of practices and 5 AM workouts, they stepped up to score major points with the judges.
Junior Caroline Ashcraft placed 4th overall, senior Katie Witschi placed 15th, along with sophomore Olivia Piazza placing 16th. It was Katie Witschi’s first championship meet and she certainly rose to the occasion. Freshman diver Elizabeth Fitzpatrick was unable to compete in FCIACs for Darien as she was at an Olympic training camp in Colorado for the week.
Witschi comments, “I’m really proud of all the divers, everyone did so well all season. It was my last time diving in high school and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”
Congratulations to the Blue Wave divers. Their next meet will be State Championships in Hamden, CT on Wednesday 11/9. Wish these divers good luck!
(Photo Caption: Sophomore Olivia Piazzi dives at FCIACs).

Wave Dominates at JV Swimming FCIACs

By Rebecca Liu
Last Friday, (11/4), some of DHS’s varsity swim team headed over to Norwalk High School to compete in JV FCIACS.  The name JV FCIACS is often misleading. In swimming, only top four in each event on a team is able to compete in FCIACs. Thus, often talented varsity swimmers swim in JV FCIACs.
The group of Blue Wave swimmers, consisting of seniors, sophomores, and freshman rose to the occasion at their final championship meet. Many had swims of a lifetime. Notable swims include sophomore Jessica Selensky’s 5 minutes and 58 seconds in the 500 yard freestyle. In this difficult event, the swimmer swims 20 laps in a 25 yd. pool. Breaking the 6 minutes mark is a big milestone.
Senior Monica O’Brien went a 2.14 minutes in her 200 yd. freestyle. Fellow teammate senior Chapin Tricarico had lifetime best swims. Tricarico went 26.58 seconds in her 50 freestyle as well as a 1:11.87 in her 100 breastroke, placing third overall in the 50 free and winning the 100 breastroke event.
For these seniors, the meet was bittersweet. They left the pool with amazing results, even best times, but sadly, it was the last swims of their high school career. “I was really excited going into the meet because all of the girls had worked so hard.  It was their moment to shine and everyone stepped up and showed what they could do. When I looked up and saw my own times, my heart stopped. It was one of the best moments in my high school career and I’m glad I could go out with a bang” says Tricarico.
Congratulations to these swimmers on their final swims of the season!

Photo caption: Senior Chapin Tricarico is all smiles after her swim.

Athlete Profile: Varsity Girls Volleyball Kelly Kosnik

By Emily Caccam

It is no news that BWVB is spectacularly sensational: the team’s perfect 21-0 record for this season says it all. But not all of these girls, including junior middle hitter Kelly Kosnik, were born on the court with volleyball in hand. Like many other Fairfield county kids, Kosnik had played soccer since kindergarten. But after playing volleyball at both her summer camp and Coach LaRusso’s summer camp before freshman year, Kosnik made the trade of cleats and shin guards for active ankles and kneepads.

“I talked to the coaches, girls on the team, and former players, and it sounded like such a great program so I wanted to be a part of it,” Kosnik said. “Riley Sousa was also one of the main people that convinced me to play.”

Today, Kosnik is a vital member of the team, and to say that she is committed is an understatement. Right after the freshman year season ended, Kosnik played for the 15s National Team at CT Impact from November through June, ending with the Nationals Tournament. As a sophomore, Kosnik played her first year on varsity. A back injury kept Kosnik from playing at CT Impact after Darien’s season, but “when I was cleared to play in June, I did any camp I could over the summer and a lot of conditioning,” Kosnik said.

Even with a heavy academic workload, Kosnik stays dedicated to the notoriously demanding sport. “Volleyball really helps you with your time management skills. I am much more efficient with my time when I’m in season than when I’m not in season because I have less time after school,” Kosnik explains.

Like any athlete, Kosnik has some technical things she wants to improve on this season. “But overall,” Kosnik says, “volleyball is a game that can always surprise you so I want to become a more consistent and reliable player every year.”

“It was disappointing to end on a sour note,” Kosnik said of the 2010 season, where BWVB was runner-up at the State Championships. “But this year, we came into the season ready to redeem ourselves and have been working hard ever since. Now that were in the post season, we’re going to keep giving it all we have.” And, after Saturday’s championship win in three straight sets, it looks like BWVB is doing just that.

Don’t forget to vote BWVB for Overtime FCIAC Team of the Week before noon on Wednesday (11/9).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Season Overview: Blue Wave Cheer

By Jenn O’Neill
                One sport that typically goes unnoticed throughout the fall season is the Darien High School cheer squad. Recently however the squad has not only gained more girls but more experience. The 26 girls are led by captains Hannah Carmondy, Jordan Irizzary, Claire Linegar and Cameron Luttrell. When asked about how the season has gone overall, this is what they had to say.
                Blue Wave Sports Blog: How do you think the season has gone this year?
Cameron Luttrell: I think this season has gone really well so far! We have a lot of new girls, but they've all put in so much time and effort and it's paid off.
Jordan Irizzary: I've had a lot of fun and I feel like a lot of new friendships have been made throughout the team between the girls along with old friendships that have grown even stronger.
                BWSB: Will everything you’ve worked on for the fall season cross over to the winter season?
Irizzary: The girls are working really hard with their stunt groups and also at the gym, and if they keep up the hard work we will definitely have an amazing routine for competition season.
                BWSB: What has been the best part of the season?
Luttrell: I think the best part of the season has been bonding with the team. I think our squad this year is a lot closer than in the years past and we do things outside of practice together, like cheering at the soccer game, going to sleep away camp, and doing the walk for breast cancer. It’s been fun getting to know everyone better and I feel like there isn't a divide between the grades
Claire Linegar: We became much closer as a team. Also in practice and football games, and pasta dinners, I think our team has the greatest connection that I’ve ever seen.
                BWSB: Is there anything that could be improved?
Linegar: I think we can improve our goals as a team. Each girl has so must potential has a cheerleader, and everyone is pushing themselves to become a better athlete.
Irizzary: What could use improvement is the pace at which we learn things. I feel like stunting wise we all could do a lot better. We are still on basics and it’s almost the end of the football season. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that were still on the basics, but I feel like if we all just pushed a little harder (including myself) we could be into more intense and harder stunts.
                BWSB: Any final thoughts?
Irizzary: I feel like we get a lot more credit this year than we have in the past. Fans are getting more involved with our cheers along with the generous gifts we received from the football captains. It shows that they do appreciate the time and effort that we have been putting in throughout the past four years and that it really pays off.
Luttrell: I’m really happy to be a captain this year, I love my fellow captains, and I feel really lucky to have such great coaches!
Linegar: I feel so lucky to have a team that I can consider a second family. I love everyone so much and I love our coaches! We are so lucky to have such wonderful girls who dedicate themselves every day. I know the season will only get better!