Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Girls Tennis is Prepared for the Season Ahead

By Kyra Hammer
The sun has been making its appearance in the last couple of weeks, just in time for the girls to start hitting on the courts. The tennis team started its tryout process yesterday, March 23. However, the team only has about four spots to fill. The rest of the team will consist of returning players from last year.

Projections are already in place and Blue Wave Tennis is expected to win FCIACs and states. Last year, the team made it all the way to finals in the FCIACs but unfortunately lost by one match to Fairfield Ludlowe.

Sophomore Katiri Martin is a player to look out for. She played number one singles last year as a freshman and dominated, winning state singles. Martin will continue to play at that level this year. “This is the strongest the team has been in all of my high school years and I am looking forward to the season”, said Senior captain Catherine Hatfield.

The girls’ first tennis match is home at Darien High School, April 8, against Bridgeport Central. Come support the team at its first match of the season.
Girls pose for a team photo taken for the 2013-2014 season.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blue Wave Sail has begun, braving freezing temperatures, first regatta this week

by Wynn Hollis

Blue Wave Sailing is a rather unheralded sport at DHS, as most people barely even know how a regatta even works. The team is coed, with new captains Megan Berry, Taylor Hart, and Chris Milne this year, and has experienced a lot of changes for this season. There was a great turnout at tryouts this year, with 33 people trying out for 24 spots, although upperclassmen do not have to try out. Captain Megan Berry said that the conditions were great for tryouts, with light winds but also gusting 30 knots, so there was room to see how everyone performs in different conditions. 
There is also a new coach this year, Mr. Connor Brady. 
Regattas have a pretty poor fan turnout, and most parents don’t even show up because they are so difficult to watch, but this year Blue Wave Sail plans to get a banner in front of the oval to try and get a better turnout. 
Berry also said that this year, “People started to realize that we don’t just ‘float around’, we actually race”. In the simplest terms possible, a normal regatta has six boats with first place getting one point, second place getting two, and so on- and whoever has the least amount of wins.

Although sailing tends to go under the radar, they do not lack funding from the Darien Athletic Foundation. This fall, the team had a car wash to raise money to buy new 420 boats. Normally, there are two people in each boat but that can change based on the weather conditions. However, there aren’t enough boats for everyone to be on the water at the same time. 
Sailing is also pretty costly: each person needs a drysuit, boots, gloves, and everything one would normally wear skiing underneath the drysuit. Practices normally last from 2:30 to 6pm, a rather lengthy schedule, during which they work on plays and gear up for regattas. 
Senior Emma Janson also said that the team “looks forward to beating Brunswick this year," who is normally their biggest competition. Blue Wave Sail has a regatta at home this week against Fairfield Ludlowe. Come support the team!

Girls Softball formally begins 2015 season

by Lauren Cicero

On March 23rd, the Darien High School softball team has their first official day of practice. The ability for the team to be able to start practicing on the dirt field will be new, but the players are not at all rusty from the winter season. In fact, the softball team has been working hard to prepare for the spring season since early September.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays the girl worked out in the Darien High School weight room in order to gain some strength for the upcoming season. There have also been practices at Chelsea Piers and open gym, for batting and pitching practice, to keep them busy. Now the warm weather is finally approaching, and the team is ready to hit the field!

The softball team is coming off of a 21-3 record in the FCIAC from last year. It will be a hard record to beat, but many players are confident about the ability of this year’s team. “We have lost a few strong players from last year, a couple of them were in our starting lineup, but we are still looking like a solid group,” junior Lexi Lopiano said. Despite its strong record, the team faced a heartbreaking loss in the FCIAC Championship game last season with a loss against St. Joseph (12-1). The team is hoping to improve its record in the post-season this year.

“We were able to stay consistent for the most part, but hopefully we will able to push through to end and come up with a couple of championships this season,” Lopiano said.

Based on the time and effort this team puts in, not only in the spring, shows that they are going to be a strong and popular team to watch this year.

Caption: Lexi Lopiano on the field for warm-ups. Credit: DAF

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Blue Wave Baseball Concludes Pitchers and Catchers Week

Yesterday, Saturday, March 20th, the Darien High School Varsity Baseball team concluded its week of preseason activities. From Monday to Saturday (excluding Friday, due to the snow), 10 of the program’s pitchers and catchers convened in the DHS North Gym after school to prepare for the season. The sophomore class was represented by Cord Fox, a catcher, and Casey Brown, a pitcher. Juniors who participated included pitchers Andrew Winsch and Nick Walter, as well as pitcher/catcher Richard Brereton. There were also five seniors involved: pitchers Conor Davey, Jake Frasca, and Stephen Barston, catcher TJ Adiletta, and Anthony DiMeglio (who plays both positions).

The week was strenuous for all who attended. The eight players who are vying for starting pitching positions were split up into two groups of four. The first group threw simulated games of around 50 pitches (a rather difficult task considering it’s the very beginning of the season) on both Monday and Thursday, and the second group did the same, but on Tuesday and Saturday. After each day, all 10 participants also worked to improve their conditioning and agility, doing drills such as running stairs and running 2 miles on the track.

When asked how he thought the recent pitchers and catchers week went, senior captain Conor Davey said, “It went well. It allowed everyone to get back into their grooves and is a good indicator of how we’ll be this season.”

Come support the Blue Wave in the team’s first scrimmage against New Hampshire’s Monadnock Regional High School next Saturday, March 28th.

Darien senior catcher TJ Adiletta (left) puts the tag on an
Avon runner during last year's State Playoffs action.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

All-Americans Crowned at New Balance Nationals

By Chris Drake
This past Friday at the Armory in New York City, seniors Alex Ostberg, Carter Ashcraft, Arthur Cassidy, and junior Army Noonan competed in the distance medley team event at the New Balance Nationals. Noonan ran the opening 1200 meters for the team, Ashcraft the following 400 meters, Cassidy the next 800 meters, and Ostberg the final 1600 meters. The relay team finished in 2nd place for the event with an impressive time of 10:05.47, good enough to earn the four runners All-American status. Their time also breaks Staples’ FCIAC and State records and ranks 12th in the United States all-time.
    Two days later, Ostberg and Noonan also competed in the 2-mile event at the Armory. Ostberg shattered his previous school and FCIAC record he set at this year’s New Englands of 9:00.58 and set a new state record with a time of 8:48.88, finishing 3rd in the event and ranking 8th all-time for United States indoors. Noonan also turned in an impressive performance, finishing 15th with a time of 9:16.80.
    Noonan, Cassidy, and Ashcraft all received their 2nd All-American honors, while Ostberg earned his 6th. Noonan commented,“coming home with a new FCIAC and State record and two-time All-American accomplishments is just incredible, and it’s an even better feeling knowing that all of this was achieved through teamwork.” The four runners also placed second in the outdoor track Nationals last year in the distance medley, and Noonan says that their experience together has been incredible. “I’ve never had a closer group of friends in my life, and to share the moment of a close second place finish with them was unreal,” Noonan said. The team isn’t done, however- look for them to be back for more during the outdoor track Nationals this year and try to be tops in the nation after their second place.

Cassidy, Noonan, Ostberg, and Ashcraft wearing their All-American crowns after their 2nd place finish in the Distance Medley finish last year.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Wave Puck Drowns New Canaan in FCIAC Semifinal

By James Fox
Last Wednesday, Darien Boys Hockey took on rival New Canaan at Terry Conners Rink for the FCIAC Semifinal.  Blue Wave shutout the Rams with a final score of 2-0 after three periods of exciting play.   The hype leading up to this game was almost unparalleled, as students from both sides took to the game’s Facebook event to debate the merits and shortcomings of each town. On the afternoon of the game, teenagers packed into the rink for what may have been the loudest student section in Wave Puck history.
And the game certainly matched the intensity of the fans.  Darien dominated possession for the majority of the first period.  With only minutes to go, sophomore Max Romeyn scored a deflection goal assisted by Carter Joyce.  Early in the second, Darien struck again with back-of-the-net ripper from senior captain Craig Miller assisted by junior Jake Kirby.
Darien’s shutout is largely due to the goalkeeping from senior Will Massie, who finished the game with a total of 27 saves.
Wave Puck takes on Greenwich for the FCIAC Final this Saturday at 3:30 pm, and its a game you don’t want to miss.

Craig Miller celebrating his goal.  ©Stamford Advocate