Monday, March 31, 2014

Girls Lacrosse Battles Yorktown in First Scrimmage of the Season

by Mary Brown

On Saturday, March 29th, the Blue Wave Girls Lacrosse team traveled to Yorktown, New York to play the Yorktown varsity team in the first scrimmage of the season. Although the teams did not keep track of the score, many Darien players are confident that they took home the victory.

The team showed a tremendous performance across the board with great efforts from players in all grades. Senior captain Hollis Perticone did an excellent job taking the draws and played very well with fellow midfielders and senior captains Emily Stein and Dillon Schoen. Juniors Elizabeth Fucigna and Caroline Benitez, as well as sophomore Katie Cronin, also played as midfielders, with Cronin winning many draws for the team.

The attack consisted of sophomore Kaeleigh Morrill, juniors Anna Moorhead and Mariah Matheis, and senior Julia Black. Freshman Gabby Noto also saw some time on the field and showed her great potential and skill as a young player on the team. All of them contributed to great fast breaks and set up plays that they hope to see improve more as the season continues.

Junior goalie Sammy Nielsen and senior goalie Kyra Gardner both played and had great saves, with help from their strong defensive players, including seniors Ellie Bennett (captain), Kelly Karczewski, and Jackie Brokaw, as well as junior Julia Arrix.

“I would say overall everyone looked really good for the first scrimmage, but we still have some improvements, such as getting to know the plays on offense and communicating more on defense,” said Matheis. Best of luck to the team, and be sure to come support them in their first home scrimmage on Saturday, April 5th, against John Jay (NY) at the DHS Stadium Turf.

Senior captain Emily Stein with the ball in a 2013 season game.

Erika Osherow Commits for College

by Lindsey Holek

Erika Osherow, a softball prodigy at Darien High School, has had numerous successes in her athletic career.  After playing softball for the majority of her life, Osherow recently decided to pursue her passion by committing to the University of Virginia, starting her freshman year of college in the fall of 2015, a decision that came after a short recruitment process.

Osherow began playing softball in third grade, after playing baseball up until then.  After some fear that she may not experience the same love for softball as baseball, she soon learned that that would not be a problem.  Osherow realized that her love of softball was the same and it became one of her greatest passions.  “Softball is an amazing sport that teaches you not only about the game but about yourself.  It is a sport filled with challenges and successes, excitement and anticipation, strategies and thinking, and concentration,” Osherow said.  Osherow loves the feeling of a team sport where everyone has to contribute individually in order for the team to succeed, and can’t wait to continue this sport into college.

Osherow plays shortstop and is also a pitcher.  As a pitcher, Osherow “loves having command of the game and each new obstacle every inning/batter brings”.  For the recruitment process, Osherow did not do much traveling.  “I loved UVa when I visited.  I was really looking for a place that held high values for both academics and athletics without sacrificing the other,” Osherow added.  Congratulations to Erika Osherow for such great successes throughout her athletic career at DHS!

Osherow pitching during a high school game in 2012.

DHS Sports by the Numbers: Lacrosse

by Britton Barthold

It’s spring time at Darien High School, meaning the DHS lacrosse dynasty is ready to rise up once again. As we get ready for mid-calf tans, long hair and championships, we look back at some of the most impressive numbers and records held by the Boys Lacrosse team.

483: Number of wins Coach Brameier has entering into his 31st season as head coach.

355: Total career points by Case Matheis from 2008-2012; school record.

198: Career goals Case Matheis scored from 2008-2012; school record.

157: Career Assists Case Matheis had from 2008-2012; school record.

25: Consecutive trips to the state Final Four (1988-2012)

6: Consecutive number of years DHS Lacrosse won the State Championship from 2005-2010.

4: Number of players who were named All-Americans from the 2012 season.

3.8: Average goals allowed per game during the Blue Waves’ 2008 state championship season.

2: Highest National Ranking held by the team during the 2011 season.

I look to do these for every sports team at some point, so hopefully I can get one of these out every week, so look out for your team.

Matheis (center) celebrates a state title with his teammates in 2012.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Blue Wave Baseball Defeats Westhill in Scrimmage

This morning, Saturday, March 29, the Darien High School Baseball team participated in its first game of the season, a preseason scrimmage against Westhill, at home on the turf baseball field. Although the score was not kept, the Blue Wave dominated in many aspects and all players made significant contributions to the team's success.

Senior Andrew Nault started on the mound for Coach Mike Scott's team, commanding the strike zone and using his off-speed pitches to keep the opposition off balance at the plate. Ground balls to the middle of the field were routinely swallowed up by the dynamic senior tandem of shortstop Bobby Fitzpatrick and reigning All-FCIAC East second baseman Brendan Donohue.

In the bottom of the first, Darien set the tone for the remainder of the game by taking an early 4-0 lead. The Blue Wave capitalized on walks, stealing bases and slapping hits into the gap to bring runners home. From there on out, it was all DHS, with little resistance from Westhill. In the hitting department, no one for Darien struck out, and the juniors specifically dominated : Mike O'Malley had two RBIs, Mikey Maccarone had a triple to the fence, Jack O'Neill had two singles, and Danny Siemers had a clutch double on the first pitch he saw.

Succeeding Nault on the mound were senior Ames Murray and junior Stephen Barston. Consistent fielding play from numerous individuals ensured that any contact made by Westhill against these two pitchers was insignificant in the end.

O'Malley was very impressed by the team's overall performance. "I thought we looked fantastic. We were aggressive at the plate and on the bases, and our defense was spot on. There was a lot of energy in the dugout and that contributed to how well we played."

Come see the Blue Wave take on Wilton in a scrimmage on Tuesday, April 1 at Wilton High School at 4 pm.

Senior Luke Mangan pitches during a 2013 game against New Fairfield

Girls Varsity Lacrosse: A New Season and Another Title to Win

by Isabelle Perticone

The Darien High School Girls Lacrosse Team played their first official scrimmage today, March 29th, at 1 o’clock against Yorktown on the opposition’s home field. According to senior captain Dillon Schoen, “We don't know a lot about the team” but she hopes that it will be a “good close game because they are from New York.” The team’s goal is to “compete with them to show Connecticut lacrosse is up there with the good New York teams”.

The girls spend a lot of their time doing team-building activities on the weekends when they are not playing games. At the first pasta dinner it’s a ritual to play icebreaker games to make the team closer to help improve communication between everyone. The varsity team has players from every single grade so it is important that all the girls get to know one another.

The first real game will be against Norwalk and the girls plan on leaving the field with the first win of the season. “As long as we are playing our game, we will have a pretty good shot at winning. It will be a good time to clear the bench and work on our new plays for the season,” Schoen said.

This is the final season for Schoen before she goes to college to play for the Stanford lacrosse team. “There is going to be a transition for sure. I’m excited to play at the next level with people who are passionate and good at the sport,” she said. But before she leaves for the college level, she has some goals for this season: “Hopefully we will all finish off our high school careers on a positive note with FCIAC and state titles.”

Schoen rocking the new lacrosse attire.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Clayton Kershaw Scratched From US Home Opener

by Jake Frasca

Opening day, in any sport, has always been one of the most highly anticipated games of the season, especially when it kicks off in the Sydney Cricket Grounds of New South Wales, Australia. The Dodgers took on the Diamondbacks, and two time Cy-Young award winner Clayton Kershaw was given the. As expected, the Dodgers’ prized ace struck out seven and only allowed one run through six and a third innings pitched. Los Angeles’ bats continued to shine for the remainder of the game as they won 3-1. All was fine for the first game of the season, except for Kershaw who seems to have aggravated an already-inflamed muscle in his back. Although it does not seem to be a long-term problem, the Dodgers will without a doubt be cautionary with the highest-paid pitcher in the MLB. With the continuing pain in his back, Don Mattingly, the Dodgers’ manager, was forced to scratch him from the start for the second game of the season.

When avid Dodgers fan and senior Ames Murray was asked about who would start the U.S. opener for the Dodgers, he said, “Most likely [Hyun-Jin] Ryu; he pitched well in Spring Training and the Dodgers will most likely not move Greinke up in the rotation because they like the matchup.” Ryu put up tremendous numbers for the Dodgers last season and seems to be in the front running for the start. No matter who gets the start, Kershaw will be treated for his sore back this weekend and continue to rehab. 

Kershaw showing discomfort as a result of a similar back injury last season.

New Camo Jerseys for Wave Baseball

by Anthony DiMeglio

The Darien Blue Wave Varsity Baseball team will be representing their school proudly with new Digital Camo Jerseys.  The baseball program hasn’t gotten new jerseys since 2006, and many players feel that this was the right time to get them.  Junior centerfielder Michael Maccarone expressed his excitement and said, “I cannot wait to represent this school in these uniforms, especially [in] what is believed to be our best season [in recent memory].” 

Fellow junior and third baseman George Reed said, “These jerseys have loads of swag, and I’m really excited to wear them.” As said before, it is about time that the baseball team got new jerseys, and it will certainly add fuel to the fire with the hype surrounding this year’s team.

Good luck to the baseball team this season!

Julian Green: The Next Big Thing for the USMNT

by Stephen Barston

On Monday, March 24th, Stars and Stripes manager Jurgen Klinsmann learned some fantastic news that instantly made the American soccer future that much brighter: FIFA approved the nationality change for Bayern Munich youngster Julian Green.

Green, who played previously for the United States at the U18 level in a friendly versus the Netherlands, has represented Germany at all other youth levels. He has even gotten limited time with the Bayern first team, entering a UEFA Champions League game against CSKA Moscow a substitute for fellow wunderkind Mario Götze and scoring goals in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Klinsmann and his assistants have poached players before, convincing Aron Johansson to switch to the USMNT from Iceland in the summer of 2013; however, Green’s decision is easily the most noteworthy development for Klinsmann in his tenure as manager so far. Green is an attacking midfielder/forward known for his technical ability and his composure around the net, and his commitment to the United States quells some fears that aging superstars Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey would have no viable replacements.

Green’s first call-up to the senior international team occurred this week as well, and he is available to play in the April 2nd friendly against Mexico in Phoenix. If he does appear, it will be interesting to see if he can truly compete consistently against tough competition. Be sure to tune in next Wednesday at 11pm to catch a glimpse of the American soccer future in action.

Klinsmann (left) and Green (right) chat it up during a recent USNMT training session.

Wave Lax Takes on Salisbury in Preseason Scrimmage

by Brad Magnusson

On Wednesday, March 26, the Blue Wave Lacrosse Team traveled to upstate Connecticut to take on the Salisbury School in a pre-season scrimmage. The Wave technically lost 9-8, but when they pulled their starting players, they were winning comfortably 8-4. Sophomore Jack Kniffin led the way with three goals and was complemented by fellow attackers and seniors Peter Lindley and John Reed. Senior captain Brad McCarthy, who was sidelined with flu-like symptoms, said, “I was very happy with this scrimmage and feel like we are coming together as a unit and have already made major improvements since our Deerfield scrimmage.”

Look out for the Wave to stay hot leading into the regular season. 

McCarthy ready to pounce on the opponent during a game from the 2013 season.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wave Puck Falls Short in State Championship

by Colin Flynn

It was a tough day Saturday as Wave Puck came so close to clinching its first state championship in over 20 years against Fairfield Prep. Ultimately, the Jesuits claimed a 2-1 victory in overtime.
Darien scored in the opening minutes of the first period from a goal by senior Robbie Juterbock.  Darien then proceeded to hold a one-goal lead until late in the third period thanks to the superb skills and pure athleticism from senior goaltender Mike Colon. 

“It would have been a completely different game if it weren’t for Mike.  Mike was standing on his head the whole game and gave us a fighting chance against a very talented Prep team.  It came down to us giving a good effort, but Prep giving a great effort,” said junior Craig Miller.

The game went into overtime and late into OT, Prep managed to slip the puck into the net.  “It was incredibly disappointing to lose the game after such a great season.  It’s also tough having to say goodbye to the seniors, who have worked incredibly hard all season long.”  Congratulations on a great season DHS Hockey.

Juterbock celebrates his early goal against Prep on Saturday.

Blue Wave Rugby Preview

With the spring sports season set to heat up, few at Darien High School seem to be aware of what’s going on behind the scenes of the Blue Wave’s newest addition to the varsity community, the rugby team.

Led by coaches John McCarthy, Simon Little, and James Palmieri, the Wave is looking to capitalize on momentum carried over by last year’s very successful inaugural varsity season. Senior Alex Gunn will captain the team for the second straight year while senior Zach Basu will assume the role of vice-captain after the departure of last season’s star scrum-half Jimmy Weinstock.

For those unfamiliar with the rugby vernacular, the positions are split into two categories, forwards and backs. Last year’s forward pack was among the most dominant in Connecticut Division 1 rugby and was lucky enough to have only lost two seniors to graduation. Returning in the front row will be Gunn, junior stud Jack Griffiths, and senior Bill Petti. Other notable forward veterans include seniors James Foster, Tyler Hill, and Robbie James; the varsity pack will also welcome sophomore Spencer Stovall and senior Brad Magnusson.

While the back line may have lost five seniors to graduation, McCarthy and his coaching ensemble will ensure that this season will not be devoted to reconstruction. Inside centre Basu is joined by senior bruiser Andrew Morgan, whose hard-hitting and exceptional kicking ability proved to be instrumental in the team’s success last year. First time varsity men Mateo Riveros (senior) and Peter Starkie (junior) will likely play at scrum-half and fly-half, respectively, while Ben Giorgio will join them at fullback.

Though the team will be competing against perennial powerhouses like Greenwich High School and Fairfield Prep, expect nothing less than all-out performances on a consistent basis by the Black and Blue Wave. Come watch the rugby take on Cheshire for a friendly match this Sunday at 1 pm at Royle School Field.

Senior Andrew Morgan takes on a host of Fordham Prep players in a friendly last season.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wave Lax Battles Deerfield in Preseason Scrimmage

by Brad Magnusson

On Sunday, March 23, the Blue Wave Mens Lacrosse Team defeated Deerfield Academy 4-3 in a pre-season scrimmage held at the DHS stadium field. There were 3 varsity quarters followed by 2 JV quarters in the friendly matchup. Sophomore Jack Kniffin started off the game by netting a goal midway through the first period, and his performance was followed up by goals from seniors John Reed, Peter Lindley and Kyle Cornell. Senior captain Brad McCarthy said, “I’m happy with how the scrimmage went, especially because it is so early in the season. I think we have a good squad.”

Senior Sam Meyjes takes the ball away from his opponent.

Lombardo Makes College Decision

by Brad Magnusson

Athletic phenom Nick Lombardo has made his college decision, one that so many people have eagerly awaited. Lombardo will attend Bucknell University next fall and will be a member of the Bison Track and Field Team. Many believed he would continue his football career in college, but he surprised many by ultimately choosing track. Nick said, “I’m going to miss football, but I love track just as much. It’s nice not having to worry about where I’m going to end up next year. Now I can focus on doing well in my final season as a DHS athlete."

Congratulations to Nick and best of luck in his athletic endeavors.

Lombardo competing in the long jump at the 2013 FCIAC Indoor Track Championships.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Baseball Season Begins with Pitchers and Catchers Week

Today, Friday, March 21, will conclude the end of the pitchers/catchers week for the Blue Wave Baseball team. It has been a long, intense week for the ten pitchers and four catchers that were invited to the camp. First time invitees from the sophomore class include pitcher Andrew Winsch and catcher Tyler Grant. The junior class was represented by pitchers Peter Archey, Conor Davey, Stephen Barston, and catchers Anthony DiMeglio and TJ Adiletta. DiMeglio also served as a pitcher for the week. Finally, the seniors consisted of pitchers Ames Murray, Andrew Nault, captain Brendan Donohue, Cameron Smith, Luke Mangan, and catcher Dylan Carruthers. Unfortunately, Smith and Mangan were not able to participate in some of the exercises because Smith is recovering from a torn ACL and Mangan a broken wrist.

The week is very strenuous to put it bluntly, with many of the athletes using throwing programs to get their arms prepared for the activities this week. Pitchers were split up into two groups, with one throwing a bullpen session on Monday and Thursday and the other throwing on Tuesday and Friday. Each pitcher threw 50 pitches per session, not an easy task for the very beginning of the season. Then, after the bullpen sessions were complete for the day, the whole squad had conditioning drills to get their body in shape for the upcoming season. Running stairs, agility exercises, and a two-mile run were just some of the workouts completed during the week.

When asked about his thoughts on pitchers and catchers week, Donohue explained, “This is a perfect way for the program to start off the season and I’m happy that the pitchers and catchers had this time to gel as a unit. We’re looking to have a solid season and with the talent shown this week we have a very good chance to improve from last year.”

Come support the first varsity scrimmage for the Blue Wave against Westhill on March 29th, 2014!

DiMeglio throws out a baserunner during 2013 regular season action.