Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Turkey Bowl Leftovers: Darien Rolls over Greenwich in CIAC Quarterfinal

By Jack Tierney
Senior Quinn Fay thrashes Greenwich player to the ground. Fay has been a force at defensive end all season (Courtesy DAF).
On Tuesday, November 29th, the Boys Varsity Football Team took care of business against Greenwich at Stamford’s Boyle Stadium. The Blue Wave won 29-3 in a slugfest of a game. It was a rainy Tuesday, which only the most dedicated fans attended. Darien showed resilience through the weather and defeated a strong Greenwich team (7-4). Junior Max Grant started the game off strong with an early touchdown and the team never looked back. Junior Nick Green had an early interception and acrobatic one-handed touchdown that was even more impressive in the weather conditions. This win means Darien finishes off their second straight undefeated regular season heading into the state playoff. On December 5th at 6:30 PM the Wave will face off with the Southington Black Knights (11-0) in the first round of the playoffs. Make sure to show your support!

Boys Varsity Basketball: Season Preview

By Sam Hickey

Senior captain Alex Preston looks to score in a game
last season (Courtesy Mark Conrad Photography). 
It's a known fact that the Darien High School Boys Varsity Basketball team has never won the FCIAC championship and hasn’t won the State championship since the year Alaska became a state in 1958. But this season is a new year and with the new year comes new possibilities. Despite Blue Wave basketball's past seasons, this year looks bright. 
There will be 7 returning seniors including captains Alex Preston, Carter Scott, Zak Swetye, and Riley Stewart. They will look to build on a 7 and 14 record last year. However the road to a championship remains difficult in both FCIAC and State tournaments. Westhill, which won FCIACs last year, will continue to be a formidable opponent and Hillhouse will still be a dominant presence in state competition. But with a little luck and players playing up to form, Darien Blue Wave basketball might finally end the drought.
On his team's expectations for this year, Preston said, “I think we have the chance to make a good run at FCIACs this year. The conference really hasn’t gotten any better and as long as we perform well, I think we can get a good seed.”

Be sure to come out and support the team as they kick off the season playing Trumbull away on December 17th!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Girls Varsity Basketball Preview

By Mary Lawrence Huffman

Last year, the Girls Basketball Team finished the regular season with five straight wins.  “We lost 5 great seniors last year who we depended on a lot for their variety of skills and experience.  We are going to have to change our strategy, also the dynamic of the team will probably change a little bit as well” said senior captain Megan Hobbs.  Two players that the team is going to rely on this season are Katie Ramsay and Chrissy Fiore.  “They are great defensively.  All around they are definitely 2 key players in our line up” said Hobbs.  “I think our goals for this season are to form a strong bond as a team and work hard to do better than last year, but I also want everyone to have fun and enjoy the season too.  I think we are all looking forward to the season!” said Hobbs.  The Girls Basketball Team is going to try to beat Stamford this year, a team that is going to be tough to play against.  The first game is going to be against Brien McMahon this year on December 12th at 5:15 at home.  

Junior Katie Ramsay playing tough defense (Courtesy Darien Times). 

Darien Survies in OT to Beat New Canaan in the Turkey Bowl

By Cord Fox

Darien celebrates after their fifth straight Turkey Bowl win 
On Thanksgiving day Darien traveled to New Canaan to face the Rams in the annual Turkey Bowl. This year it was #1 vs. #2 in the state and the game was given the title of the “Unofficial FCIAC Championship”. The Blue Wave, ranked #1 in the state, started off the game strong with an early touchdown run by senior running back Finlay Collins. The Wave dominated the first half capitalizing on some key mistakes made by the Rams of New Canaan. Darien took a 27-10 lead into the half. A defensive fumble recovery for a touchdown seemed like it would seal the game for the Blue Wave as they jumped out to a 34-10 lead in the second half. Despite the score difference, New Canaan would come roaring back with 24 unanswered points to tie the game with under a minute left in regulation. The game would eventually go into overtime after a failed hail mary attempt for the Blue Wave. Darien got the ball first in OT and ended up kicking a field goal by senior kicker Riley Stewart to go up by three. On the first play of New Canaan’s possession, freshman quarterback Drew Pyne threw an interception caught by Collins and sealed the game. Collins would be named MVP of the game.

This is Darien’s fifth straight Turkey Bowl win and it keeps them ranked at #1. It also extends their win streak to 22 games. The Blue Wave now look to make a run in the state playoffs starting with a rematch against the Greenwich Cardinals at Boyle Stadium Tuesday night at 6:30.

Boys Indoor Track Preview: A Core Four and National Dreams

By Claire Borecki

Feet are hitting the ground again. After a two-week or so break from traditional practices for most of Darien High School’s boys track/cross country athletes (but never a break from running, which is done almost daily and without fail) the Winter Indoor Track season is set to take off. “Indoor” is its usual misnomer; students will continue to run outdoors through the cold and snow, with only competitions taking place on the indoor tracks of other schools.

I sat down with senior James Johnson, a veteran of the team and 3-season runner, to discuss the upcoming season. Johnson is one of four indoor captains, whom this year are not only captains but also the 4x800 relay team: seniors Jason Flynn, James Fay, Keenan Warble, and Johnson. This core four has some of the most impressive prospects of any runners this season.

In both the winter and spring track seasons of 2015/2016, Fay and Flynn were pronounced all-state athletes for their performance in the 4x800, and placed  7th and 6th (respectively) in the 800m individual at the Class L Championship last spring in outdoor. Johnson himself has had impressive finishes throughout the fall 2016 XC season.

"We have a solid chance of winning FCIAC East, getting a record number of kids qualified for FCIACs, and sending a 4x800 team to new balance nationals,” said Johnson, “Coach Pat has been training that 4x800 team since last year.”

Outside of these captain’s dreams of New Balance Nationals (the same four runners placed fifth at emerging elite new balance nationals for outdoor track 2016), this season is promising for other athletes as well. Junior Henry Vossler placed 3rd in the state for pole vault, and is a threat to the school record. Rumors of senior football star and Michigan-commit Andrew Steuber’s return to throwing could mean plenty of points for the team. Junior Alex Klarer leads the long distance, and junior Ari Singer-Freeman was already making waves with his hurdling during his sophomore season.

“We have a lot of big hopes for the very near future,” said Johnson, before heading off: he needed to run.

James Johnson, placing second in the Class L Championship for the 2016 XC season 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Girls Hockey: Season Preview

by Taylor Davis

The Girls Hockey Team poses happily for a photo after winning the 2016 State Championship
(Courtesy Doug Schiff, father of captain Cassidy Schiff).
The DHS Girls Hockey team had a successful season last year, finishing undefeated as  FCIAC and State champions. The team hopes to win it all again this year and is led by captains Cassidy Schiff, Emily Gianunzio, and Courtney Lowe.
Despite the team’s successes last year, with the loss of last year's seniors, the team has a lot of rebuilding to do. Senior and Captain Cassidy Schiff said, “It’s definitely going to be a challenge to rebuild because the seniors from last year were such dominant players and they had important roles on the team. For example, our power play was entirely seniors.” The juniors will have to step up this year especially Corinne Bevill, Sally Cassidy, and Elise Maro on offense and Kiki Tropsa on defense. Since the team lost their two top defensemen, Chandler Kirby and Katie Zaro, Kiki Tropsa needs to fill their role starting at defense.
The team will face tough competition this year. Primarily, its biggest competitor this year will be rival, New Canaan. However, Greenwich this year could make an impact in the FCIAC due to their new goalie, according to Schiff. “East Catholic, Hamden, and Simsbury are all really strong teams in the state that we’re looking forward to playing,” Schiff said. The team has big shoes to fill and their goal “is to keep the legacy alive and build off of what the seniors left us,” Schiff said. There are so many incoming freshmen players, so for the first time ever they have had to make cuts.
Don’t forget to come out and support the Girls Hockey Team in their upcoming season. See you there!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Wave Girls' Field Hockey Takes the Plaque Back

By Carson Halabi

On Saturday, November 19, Blue Wave Field Hockey fought hard to win the Class L State Championship. The final score was Staples-0, Darien-0 in OT, and the two teams became co-champions. (It will be interesting to see how the two teams share the plaque.) Quoted as “one of our best games” by head coach Mo Minicus, the Wave battled the strong Wreckers in a game that was expectedly going to be a tough one. BWFH had tied the Staples team in the regular season, and had lost to them in the FCIAC semifinals. Senior Kallie Coughlin had a terrific hold on the goal, per usual, saving 4 would-be goals for the Darien team. Sophomore Katie Elders had an opportunity to score in a penalty shot in OT, but missed. The game closed in the second OT with a draw. BWFH closes their season with the State plaque back in its right place--displayed in Darien High School.

Senior captain Campbell Matheis lunges for the upper-hand against a Staples player 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Girls Swim Team Class L Champions

By Mary Lawrence Huffman

Swimmers jumping into the pool at a recent meet
(Courtesy DAF).
On Tuesday, November 15th, the Girls Swim team competed at the state meet.  For the sixth straight year, the team won the Class L Championship, scoring 729.5 points compared to Cheshire’s 666.5 points.  Senior Aislinn Florio said, “I would say that overall everyone did amazing.  We’ve worked so hard and last night it all came together.  Kaki Christensen had an amazing swim in her 100 breastroke at 1:01.93 minutes, which is the fastest in history.  Our relays did a really good job of staying in their places and moving up.”  Junior Christensen broke the state record with her time.  Christensen also won the 200 individual medley, and senior Phoebe Slaughter won the 100 backstroke.  The 200 freestyle team, consisting of Slaughter, sophomore Cassandra Maroney, junior Carly Rutledge, and Christensen, also won. The Girls Swim Team will be competing at the State Open meet this Saturday at Yale.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Boys Hockey: Season Preview

by Arden Cohen
Senior Tom Sulger wins the hustle battle against Notre
Dame high school last season (Courtesy DAF).

The Darien Boys hockey team has had a promising start during the recent clinics at Stamford Twin Rinks, and hopes to carry this momentum into the season. Senior Captain Harry Congdon has really stood out, scoring at least three goals during the last scrimmages using his signature toe drag. Senior Max Romeyn’s energy and playmaking skills are definitely going to be an asset. In his words, Romeyn is “looking forward to getting out in front of the Blue Wave Super fans and continuing the winning tradition. Although he has not fully recovered from his concussion, Tom Sulger has gotten his quick release shot back to its original quality. There is definitely more pressure on the younger players this season due to the number of graduates last year, but I am sure that our preseason work will pay off.” Tom Sulger, senior captain, said that this season is going to be different in terms of the roster:  “We lost a lot of kids to graduation and prep schools but a core of the returning groups of seniors and juniors will provide the needed experience to lead a younger squad to another successful season.” When asked what excited him about the upcoming season, Congdon's only response was “Wave Puck, Baby.” Senior Brendan Bumgardner has stood on his head the last couple of practices and plans to carry on with this energy as the season kicks off. All of the captains agree that juniors Will Johnston and Will Dickson will contribute immensely with their fast hands and quick feet. Although the official schedule has not yet been released, Darien will have the alumni game Saturday, November 26th.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blue Wave Field Hockey Takes Down Cheshire

On Friday November 11th, the girls DHS Field Hockey team took on Cheshire High School at home. Darien proved to be successful with a 1-0 win. However, Darien actually scored two goals but one of the goals got called back because the referee had already blown the whistle. Seniors Abigail Hancock and Courtney Lowe had outstanding performances, as well as junior Kendall Wisinski, who scored the goal for Darien. Junior Kerry Blatney reflected on the game saying, “I think we really played well together and truly worked as a team. Everyone was connecting passes and definitely gave it their all.”

On November 15th, come support the team in the semi-finals against Glastonbury at 6 P.M.!

Junior Kendall Wisinski is cheered on by the team (Courtesy DAF).

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Varsity Field Hockey Advances to State Quarterfinals

By Madeleine Ostertag

Junior Kendall Wisinski aiming for the goal
(Courtesy DAF).
Girls Varsity Field Hockey started out at states on a high note, with a 6-0 win in the Class L tournament over Amity on Wednesday, November 9th. At the half, Darien was ahead 4-0, with junior Kendall Wisinski helping to assert its dominance, by scoring two goals and contributing one assist. Junior Lindsey Wallach netted her first varsity goal. Other goals came from sophomore Katie Elders, junior KiKi Tropsa, and senior Izzy Howe.

No. 4 Darien now stands at 14-1-2-0, as it prepares to take on No. 5 Cheshire. Senior Kallie Coughlin said, “Cheshire’s a really good team, but we are really prepared. At this point in the season everyone is comfortable playing with each other and we all want to win together. I’m really excited for the rest of the postseason and hope we come out with the state title.”

Be sure to come out and support the team at home on Friday, November 11th, at 2 PM!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Undefeated Girls Swimming Advances Into Post-season

By Ellie Nelson

Freshman Kelsey Vrooman dominating in butterfly against Fairfield Warde earlier in the season (Courtesy DAF).

On Tuesday November 1st, the Varsity Girls Swim and Dive team competed in their last meet of the regular season, out-racing Greenwich in nearly every event 110-76. The team finished their season with an undefeated record, and head into post-season as slated victors. Notable performances came from junior Kaki Christensen and senior Phoebe Slaughter. Both girls were double winners, getting first place in two of their respective individual races as well as first place in their relays. Other first place racers included seniors Lauren Picard, Leigh Harrison, junior Isabel Blaze, and sophomore Cassie Maroney. “It’s so cool to be undefeated going into the post-season. [The team] consists of a lot of really fun girls and we all get on so well. I think we all feel collectively confident heading into post-season because we have just such a strong group of swimmers,” junior Regan Keady said.

Be sure to support the team at the FCIAC finals in Greenwich on 11/3!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Girls Volleyball Slams Bridgeport 3-0

By Ellie Nelson
This past Thursday, Wave Girls Varsity Volleyball celebrated their senior day with a huge win against Bridgeport. The team won all three sets, shutting Bridgeport down by more than 12 points each set. This match was the last time the team will see their home court as the regular season comes to a close, marking a bittersweet ending for seniors Maddie Corman, Kyra Balenzano, Kitty Crosby, Susie Alptekin, Thea Bolton and Maggie Reilly.

Despite the seemingly impending doom that may be the 2017 season for the team after experiencing such heavy losses as the veteran seniors head off to college, spirits are high for the underclassmen. The team features an impressive line of juniors, notably Caroline O’Malley and Caroline Martzolf. The JV team has had a strong performance this year, and it goes without doubt that next year the varsity team will maintain its laudable momentum. The varsity team’s final regular season record sits at 11-9-1 as they head into playoffs.

Junior Callie Fay keeps the ball off the Wave’s side of the net earlier in the season.