Friday, March 30, 2012

Athlete Profile: Sophie Long

By Katrina Vassell

Junior Sophie Long began running on the Darien High School track team her freshman year. Her interest in running took off at a fifth grade track meet where she had a memorable experience running with friends. At a seventh grade cross country meet, Long's interest in running took on a new meaning-- she began to consider future running on the high school track team. Long's mother, a former runner herself, served as Long's inspiration by encouraging her daughter to pursue her passion for running.

 Long's favorite event is the 600 in indoor track. "It's a really tough race but it gets you strong and resilient and it has really prepared me for the outdoor season!" Long said.    
Long's practice schedule is vigorous and consists of daily practice. A typical practice begins with a warm up mile, followed by hours of drills. Every other day, the team does additional hard workouts or longer runs.

Long plans on working towards competing in races of longer distances such as the 800, 1600 and 3200. The team as a whole hopes to win both the FCIAC and state titles. In the future, Long plans to run track and cross country at college and continue persevering her passion in the sport.

Darien Softball Season Preview

By Kate Fitzmaurice

The Darien Softball team is yet again starting off the season this spring working hard and hoping to re-live up to last year’s title of FCIAC champs. Although the team has lost last year senior star shortstop Nicole Buch, most of the team’s starting lineup is still solid. This years senior captains Olivia Gozdz and Jessica DeMaio are ready to lead the team to success this season.

The team has already competed in a jamboree against New Canaan, Westhill, and Stamford earlier this week, and also yesterday (3/28) competed in a scrimmage against Greenwich. Both provided the team an opportunity to scope out the other competitors this year. The girls look forward to a great season, hopefully renewing their FCIAC title.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Girls Golf Season Preview

by Amanda Sload
Girls Golf gears up for a rebuilding year this year after losing Kendall Kyritz along with three other girls to graduation last year. Three of the four varsity players were seniors last season. Kyritz, now playing golf at Bowdoin, was the number one player last year.
This year, junior Izzy Lee is playing first and junior Courtney Kyritz second, though the roster will shift as the season progresses. Many players have come out for the first time this season, including Lee’s younger sister Julianna, and the most senior players are only juniors. This will lend the season to development of the newer players and working on rebuilding and strengthening the team as a whole.
Last year, the team did very well, winning FCIACs and placing second at States. The girls may face a challenge defending the FCIAC title due to such losses of seniors, but they look forward to the challenge. “Due to the fact that we lost so many players this year, I hope the team can grow to regain the status of number one in the FCIAC division,” said Courtney.
Courtney says despite the impending challenge, it’s already been enjoyable. She and Lee “have had a lot of fun meeting all the girls and getting to play with them.” Come see the team in action versus Ridgefield at 3 PM on Thursday April 5th at the Ridgefield Public Golf Course.
Pictured: Izzy Lee, a varsity player last year, will be important to the team’s success this season

Boys Volleyball Preview

by Will Steinthal

Last year, the Boys Volleyball team won FCIACs in a dramatic best-of-five final match, where Darien won two back-to-back games against Staples to take the championship. This year, although they lost two seniors, they hope to come back strong and win.
Senior Captain Matt Lee stated, “We lost two great players, but we want to prove ourselves and win FCIACs again”.
The team this year looks promising, and are hoping to have a great season. Senior Captain Sam Bryant commented, “We have a strong group of guys”.
This team is confident in its abilities, and I hope they can prove it on the court.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DHS Dodgeball Tournament Coming Up

By Kat McKay
If you haven’t already heard- or been wrangled into joining a team- DHS is having its first extra-curricular dodgeball tournament next Monday (4/2). The event is being marketed as a part of this year’s  Spring Homecoming.
Community Council representative Morgan Sawitsky crafted the idea for the sophomore class’s fundraiser. Teams of 5-7 are welcome to sign up in the café or Math Learning Connections any time this week.
The event is sure to draw lots of attention, especially because the winning team gets Avicii tickets. Senior Matt Pik says it’s “going to be good. I personally guarantee victory.”

Girls Track: Season Preview

By Holly Gordon

As the DHS Girls Outdoor Track and Field team is just starting its spring season, coaches and athletes are outlining their expectations and goals. Although last year’s 2011 spring season brought great victories, the expectations for this upcoming season have been raised. Last year, Darien’s winning streak came to end when they were defeated by Danbury. Danbury went on to earn the FCIAC title. This year, DHS is hoping to finish undefeated, beating teams like Danbury and Greenwich to ultimately win FCIAC.

For both coaches and athletes, analyzing the recent winter Indoor Track and Field season is an important aspect in setting reasonable expectations and general team goals.

“Our main strength is the jumps. During Indoor we scored half our points in the jumps,” Girls Coach Steve Norris said. 

Coach Norris also added that the team has a huge advantage this year because of the number of athletes participating. In total, there will be 115 girls. Having a large team means greater prospect for success in the team. Coach Norris is very hopeful in the upcoming season, believing there are many athletes bound to improve.

Mrs. Ella Long, Girls Assistant Coach, adds her own comments on the upcoming season. “Sprinters have come back very strong. We are just trying to build on from our recent near miss of first place in States.”

As far as the athletes go, captains are Seniors Claire Gaffney, Sherry Gilronan, Katie Southworth, Katie Donovan and Victoria Komenik. Not only do their coaches have great aspirations for the upcoming season, but the athletes themselves have as well.

“In Indoor we got 2nd in both FCIACS and States, so we have high expectations for this season,” Varsity Track Runner Junior Grace Loh said.

Boys Lacrosse: Darien vs Torrey Pines

By Sam Meyjes
Next month, the Darien Boys Lacrosse team will be in for a treat. For the first time ever, DHS will be competing against a team from California. Be ready to welcome last year’s California State Champions, Torrey Pines High School Falcons.
On 4/14/12, Torrey Pines will be in Darien on an East Coast trip to play some of the best teams around, to begin the battle between the East and West. Lacrosse is an ever expanding sport, and for the first time ever, California is a contender among the nation’s best. As of now, Darien is ranked between #10 and 21 (according to a variety "Lax Power", "Inside Lacrosse", "Underarmor", ESPNHS, etc.)  in the country. But of course, this is preseason, and with a young and inexperienced defense as compared to last year’s exceptionally strong unit (the exception being seniors Tony Britton and Tommy Lyons), we know little of the Blue Wave’s capabilities out back. With two or more returning seniors in each position, however, the boys team looks strong enough to live up to its expectations.
But the top teams in the nation are no longer all in the east coast. More and more, the sport of lacrosse is spreading, all the way out to California. And there are few better teams in California than that of Torrey Pines High School in San Diego. Last year, The Falcons won the California - San Diego CIF 1 Championships, one of the best leagues on the West Coast. With their two returning superstars, Seniors Sean Doyle and Lucas Gradinger, who together, scored 4 out of the 10 goals needed to defeat Poway High School 10-7 in last year’s San Diego CIF 1 final game.  Doyle and Gradinger are 2 of the 6 Torrey Pines players committed to play on Division 1 college lacrosse teams. As compared to our 7 D1 commits, and many other D3 commits, this is shaping up to be a good fight.
The main weakness of DHS is that the team is young, especially in the defense and second line midfielders. Torrey Pines has the experience, with many returning third year senior and second year juniors.
But, anything can happen. This is lacrosse, and it can go either way. But you can be sure to see a great game.