Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wave Puck's First Win of the Season

By Arden Cohen

Senior Max Romeyn scores while driving to the net.
The Darien Boy’s Hockey team got their first win against Greenwich on Thursday, December 29th. It was a well fought game and Darien was able to come out on top 4-3. Senior Captain Max Romeyn was able to bury two in addition to junior Will Dickson, who was able to put away the go-ahead goal late in the third period. “Everything just felt right,” said senior captain Harry Congdon, “we just did not give up.” The team’s next game is Wednesday, January 4th away against Notre Dame West Haven. Hopefully the boys can continue the winning streak!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Girls Hockey Dominates Trumbull 9-1

By Taylor Davis

On Wednesday, December 21st, the Darien Girls Varsity Hockey team faced off against Trumbull. The team finally proved to be successful, winning 9-1. There was a surprising standout performance from freshman Katie Daileader. Daileader scored 4 out of the 9 goals. Also, junior Molly Read scored her first varsity goal. Senior captain Cassidy Schiff, commenting on the game, said: “our goal today was to get our scoring touch back since some tough goalies have been shutting us out lately. Everyone got ice time today, too, which encourages us to keep working for our spots.” The team plays Greenwich next, “which is a huge game because they’ve been doing well so far. The team also has a new and tough goalie, who we’re going to need to figure out how to beat,” Schiff said.

Come support the Girls Varsity Hockey Team against Greenwich on January 3rd! 

Senior captain Cassidy Schiff scoring against Trumbull last year (Courtesy DAF).

Monday, December 19, 2016

Qualifer #1 at Staples HS Sends Darien Boy’s Track off to FCIACs

By Claire Borecki

Senior Sam McMullin approaches the high jump.

On Saturday, December 17th, Staples, Darien, Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde faced off in Westport. With hopes for a record season of FCIAC qualifiers, Darien went into the meet ready to compete against a formidable Staples team, but also to challenge themselves- and because qualifying meets are not scored, that is exactly what they did.
25 Darien runners qualified for FCIACs in the 50 meter dash, and senior Captain Keenan Warble placed 7th in the 300 meter dash, missing the FCIAC cutoff by just .15 seconds. Senior captains James Fay and Keenan Warble placed 4th and 5th in the 600 meters respectively, an expected strong finish from two National hopefuls.
Senior James Johnson, junior Alex Klarer, and senior Jimmy Conroy all qualified for FCIACs in the 1000 meters, with Johnson also placing 2nd in the 1600, one of  Darien’s strongest finishes of the day. Darien also represented in field events, with senior Sam McMullin tying for first in the high jump and placing 2nd in the long jump,  qualifying for FCIACs in both events.
When asked about the meet, Johnson said “We had a good amount of qualifiers...but we have a lot of improving we can do.”

Friday, December 16, 2016

Girls Varsity Hockey Falls Short to East Catholic with a 2-0 Loss

By Taylor Davis

Senior captain, Emily Gianunzio, in the net, awaiting
to stop yet another puck (Courtesy DAF).
On Wednesday, December 14th, the Girls Varsity Hockey team lost to 2016 State Championship runner-up, East Catholic. For the first two periods the teams were tied 0-0. However, in the third period, East Catholic finally broke through, scoring twice. Unfortunately, Darien was unable to recover after this. Despite the team’s loss, Darien goalie, Emily Gianunzio, played exceptionally well. Senior captain Cassidy Schiff reflecting on Gianunzio’s performance said, “our goalie Emily Gianunzio played extremely well today and the score would have been very different if she wasn’t on her game.” According to Schiff, “these tough state games are good preparation for the FCIAC games that we have coming up soon. The competition helps us prepare and tells us what we need to work on."
Come watch and cheer on the Girl’s Hockey team this Wednesday against Trumbull! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Girls Basketball Beats McMahon in Season Opener

By Mary Lawrence Huffman

Senior Megan Hobbs playing hard (Courtesy DAF).
On Monday, December 12, the Girls Basketball Team beat McMahon 40-29.  This was the first game of the season and the team did not know what to expect.  The team is very young, but they gave a consistent and strong effort that showed great potential.
Junior Chrissy Fiore had a great game, leading with 10 points and 21 rebounds. Senior captain Megan Hobbs said, “We came out strong and kept up our intensity on defense throughout the game which I think really kept us on top.  We have also been communicating and really working well together as a team.  I think we are really glad that we were able to win our first game on our home court.”  The Girls Basketball Team’s next game is at home on Tuesday, December 20 at 5:30 PM.         

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

11/12 House Ball Rankings: Week One

By Will Pegler

Before I get started I'm going to explain how the rankings are going to work this year. Cord Fox and I will be switching off week to week for the entire season. That's pretty much all I needed to explain, so hopefully that cleared things up for everyone.

Anyway, the first week of house ball is already over and a couple of teams have established themselves as championship contenders, while others have not had as much success so far. Something to keep in mind, though, on Wednesday many teams were missing their star players who were football players,  so they were not at full strength. With their full rosters back going into week two,  things may change. Enough of the intro, lets get right into it.

() indicates previous ranking; [] indicates record

1. Spurs (1) [2-0]
Cord had this team at number one in the preseason, and they have certainly lived up to the hype so far. In their first game they were missing their best player in Quinn Fay but were still able to win, and this past Sunday they pulled out another W. Nick Percarpio has been key for this team in complementing Fay and running the point, and will be another threat for them throughout the season. It's fitting that this team is named the Spurs, because the man at the helm of this ship, Tim Percarpio, could easily be considered the Gregg Popovich of this league, a long time coach, he looks to lead this team to a championship. Other players that have contributed so far are juniors Connor Percarpio, Hank Rech, and Logan McGovern (who is back from a two year hiatus), as well as senior Ryan Jones. My final thought on the Spurs is this, don't sleep on junior Nick "Ice in his veins" Casciari, the kid is deadly from the three point line.

2. Hornets (5) [2-0]
A lot of big names on this team. Nick Green, Craig Triano, Pablo Martinez, Cam Raia, Mike Neary... the list goes on. So far the Hornets have been able to mesh all of their young talent together well and are off to a strong 2-0 start, winning both games fairly handily. Nick Green is definitely the leader of this team, but junior Craig Triano follows close behind, as he is a solid defender and a good mid-range shooter. Senior Pablo Martinez adds an element of speed to this team, as the soccer star is always hustling down the court for fast break opportunities. Junior Mike Neary will need to be strong on the boards this season, but I have no doubt that he will be able to succeed in this role. While this is a very young team, I think their youthful abilities will carry them far this season.

3. Nets (4) [2-0]
The Nets are one of the strongest all around teams in the league, looking through their roster it's tough to find any weak spots. This team is led by a big three unlike any other, Justin Van de Graaf, Ethan Ehlers, and Mitch Pryor will give other teams headaches on both sides of the ball. Van de Graaf, a long time house player (despite the years he wasted time in the travel league), is known for his ability to drive to the basket and knock down free throws, while Ehlers will be the other half to this strong back court, as he is a strong shooter and talented on the defensive side as well. Pryor, on the other hand, will be tough to stop as he can easily drive to the basket and play great defense with his size and strength. Senior Ryan Corcoran will also needs to play well this year with his good height and solid shooting ability, along with junior Charlie Baylis who will give this team unwavering hustle.

4. Warriors (2) [1-1]
The Warriors are still one of the best teams in the league despite their .500 start. With MVP candidate Jack Beatty running the show along with knockdown shooters Benny Boy Bidell and Jack Campbell, this team is in a good position to make a run at the championship this year. With strong junior talent coming from Blake Sommi, Henry Nolte, and of course "funny guy" Cole Armstrong, the Warriors have good depth and a knack for ironic comedy (shoutout Cole). Senior Morgan Kennedy will also add value in the defensive department.  Keep in mind that the team's one loss came against a number one ranked Spurs team and only by two points.

5. Knicks (3) [1-1]
Spencer Jarecke, Chris Magnusson, and Peter Marren are three strong players that will continue to lead this team on offense. All three have the ability to shoot while Jarecke has good height and can come in big in games when rebounds are key. On defense, junior Tommy Murphy will need to be strong down the stretch this season. I personally have no doubt in Murphy's ability, if you ever need to see how hard he's working, just take a look at how much the kid is sweating. I've heard rumors that he starts to sweat the night before games when he's watching tape, and I wouldn't question it, the sweaty Irishman has a competitive fire unlike any other. Hopefully Murphy will be able to fire up players such as junior John Gianatassio, someone who suffered greatly from back injuries last season.

6. Suns (6) [1-1]
This .500 team has yet to move from their preseason ranking. A very young team, the Suns have a lot of junior talent, Brian Minicus, Max Grant, and Kevin Grune are some of the big names. Hopefully all of this speed and athleticism will make up for the size that this team lacks. Junior Matt Gould will have to play the role of big man this year, while other juniors Max Gasvoda and Nate Hadlow will have to play well also. My one worry about Hadlow is the fact that he's Canadian, while his natural caring and generous nature is usually a plus, he will need to stop uttering the words; "Sorry, eh?" if he wants to succeed in this physical league.

7. Raptors (10) [0-2]
I realize this team started out last in the preseason and have yet to do anything to prove that ranking wrong, but I think they're going to come around as a real contender to win very soon. Seniors Brian Keating and Teddy Burke are two players who will add size and speed to this roster. Late in the season when rebounds become key, these guys will be tough to deal with. Junior talent comes from David Volz, Alex Murray, and Cole Stevenson, three guys who will need to come up big if this team wants to go anywhere. Also shoutout to Ryan Griffin, I'm assuming he was going to start bothering me if he didn't get a mention, so here it is. I could be completely wrong about this team and they don't win a game, but hopefully they don't make me look stupid and live up to the hype I've given them despite their slow start.

8. Bulls (8) [1-1]
Jackson Vaught has been big for this team so far and will need to continue to be if they want to succeed. Although Vaught is a great shooter, he is making a tough transition, coming from JV basketball to house. The two games are completely different, one is a time for everybody to get together and just shoot some hoops with friends, the other is a ruthlessly competitive league where players will do anything to win (yes, house ball is the second one). Other than Vaught, senior Jack Farren (who somehow didn't get picked until the third round) will need to be a big part of this teams offensive scheme. Other players who will add some talent are Will Rehm, Jackson Mcnear, and the Englishman Ben Hayes.

9. Celtics (7) [0-2]
It seems the Rayhill dynasty has dissipated over the past few years, and that trend may continue this season. The Celtics have stumbled out of the gate so far with two losses but look to rebound somehow this weekend. Seniors Nick Trager and Brendan Berrigan have the potential to be a good one-two punch this season, and will need to do so if the Celtics want to win some games. Junior Sean Collins will also add some talent at the point, while big men Alex Phillips and Harry Rayhill are reunited once again. Who could forget that notorious hair duo from last year?

10. Cavaliers (9) [0-2]
The Cavs have struggled to find any form of success so far. Senior Cord Fox did miss the first game of the season, so once they get their main source of size back they may be able to get back on the right track. Senior Matt Meyjes will need to have a big year, and if junior Fin Batson gets hot from three this team may able to win some games. As of now, though, they sit at 10.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Girls Hockey Falls to Simsbury

By Mary Lawrence Huffman

On Saturday, December 10th, The Girls Varsity Hockey team fell to Simsbury in the final two minutes after a hard fought battle.  “We had a really good first period, moved the puck very well and broke it out of our defensive zone, got shots on net and ended up scoring.  Unfortunately as the game went on we kind of went downhill.  If we want to get back to where we were last year, we are definitely going to have to work on playing all three periods and not falling apart.  I think it was just an off game on our behalf, we’re much more capable than what happened in that game,” senior captain Emily Gianunzio said.  Simsbury is going to be one of the harder teams that the Girls Hockey team plays this year, along with Hamden, East Catholic, and Greenwich.

The Girls Hockey team’s next game is this Wednesday, December 14th against East Catholic at Terry Connors ice rink at 5:10pm.  

Senior Captain Emily Gianunzio in goal last year in a game against New Canaan (Courtesy DAF).

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Boys and Girls Squash Teams Compete at Poly Prep Invitational Tournament

By Mary Lawrence Huffman

On Saturday, December 3rd, the Boys and Girls Squash Teams had their season opener at the Poly Prep Invitational Tournament in Brooklyn.  Seniors captain for the girls team Mia Dursht said, “We played two very strong teams right away, with our only win coming from freshman Schuyler Coughlin, our number five player.  Our final match was against Brearley and it came down to the final match that went to a fifth game.  We ended up winning that one 4-3 to get our first win of the season which was really exciting.”  Senior captain for the boys team Walker Wind said, “Our team did really well and we are very happy that we got second place and beat the second best public school team in the process which was great.  We had some really good showings throughout the ladder, with senior Harrison Gill at the top and strong performances from juniors Dillon O’Shea and Albert Nguyen.”  The Girls Squash Team’s next match is against Rye on Monday, December 19th at 8:30PM at Chelsea Piers.  The Boys Squash Team’s next match is against Bronxville on Wednesday, December 21th at 7:00PM at Chelsea Piers.   

Girls Squash team (Courtesy Darien Times).

Monday, December 5, 2016

Preseason 11/12 House Ball Rankings

By Cord Fox

 It’s finally that time of year again. The weather is getting colder and Christmas decorations are going up. However, this year Christmas came early with house ball draft. With the draft comes the promise of a new season and a new start for all. This season will be one to remember. Names will be made and friendships will be broken, but above all a champion will be named by the end. Happy house ball season!

Here are the power rankings that I have created. Admittedly, I have limited knowledge going into the season and I have a lot of names to learn. There are bound to be people who disagree with these. If you don’t like them don’t read them. Hope you enjoy.
 1. Spurs
 The Spurs have arguably the best player in the league with Quinn Fay. This kid can do it all from playing in the low post to being a point guard. Nick Percarpio will be a great compliment to Fay with his shut down defense and ability to score points. This duo will be deadly. Logan McGovern, Patrick Burke, and Ryan Jones are all very solid players and will make this one of the strongest starting 5 in the league.

 2. Warriors
Big man Jack Beatty is the leader of this team and is one of the hardest kids to guard. Like Fay he can do it all and with three point snipers in Ben Bidell and Jack Campbell this team will have no problem scoring points. Outside of Beatty this team lacks some size, but scrappy play by Blake Sommi, Morgan Kennedy and Brett Durbin will help with that problem. Luckily for the Warriors, they play the Spurs without Quinn Fay the first game.

3. Knicks
 Spencer Jarecke and Peter Marren are both forces to be reckoned with and will be a very strong duo that will be hard to stop. Jarecke has made the switch from high school basketball to house ball. The question is will he be able to make the adjustment. The knicks also have QB1 of Blue Wave Football (enough said there). Chris Magnusson will also be able to help this team offensively.

4. Nets
 Mitch Pryor and Justin Van de Graaf are amongst the best juniors in house. Their youth and lack of experience might be a problem down the road. The hefty lefty Ethan Ehlers is known for his three ball and ability to drive to the basket and he brings some much needed experience to the team. Teddy Brannigan and Ryan Corcoran bring size that will help out this team a lot.

 5. Hornets
 Nick Green is one of the best all around athletes in house and kids fear him on the court. I am a little concerned with his supporting cast, but if wave ball brothers Charlie Olsen and Mike Neary can establish some chemistry this team will be hard to beat. This is also one of the youngest teams in the league with 7 juniors.

6. Suns
Junior Brian Minicus is one of the fastest kids on the court and is nearly impossible to guard. I don’t see too many stand out players on this team, but I think they will be very consistent and could produce a very solid starting 5. This team lacks playmakers which is key to success in house, but consistency and teamwork will bode well for this team.

7. Celtics
Brendan Berrigan might not seem like a first round pick, but this kid is an animal on the boards and will block just about any shot. Nick Trager will compliment Berrigan well as a point guard with the ability to shoot the deep ball or feed it to Berrigan in the low post. Zack Dimonekas will need a big year in order for this team to have any success. They also need their bench to perform well or it will be a rough year.

8. Bulls
 I can see this team struggling a lot this year with the lack of depth that they have. Third round steal Jack Farren and first rounder Jackson Vaught will be the leaders of this team. If they want to win games this year their late round picks are going to have to show up ready to play.

 9. Cavs
 As this is my own team I try to leave out any personal bias and that is why we are sitting at a very modest 9. I predict that this team will struggle a lot this year. It is filled with some mediocre players and we all know that gets you nowhere in house. Matt Meyjes will be a big factor on this team and he will have to rely on his crippling chirps to tear down any confidence the other team has.

10. Raptors
Last and very possibly the least are the Raptors. Led by Teddy Burke this team lacks big name players and a strong offense. Christian “the italian stallion” Fiorenza is the heart and soul of this team. He has the heart of a lion, but his skills on the court are lacking. Big man Brian Keating will need to have a solid year if this team wants to win some games

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Get Ready to be Squashed: Boys Squash Season Preview

By Carson Halabi

Senior Will Granath with his eye on the ball (Courtesy DAF). 
The Blue Wave Boys Squash team usually flies under the radar, but it is one of the most accomplished group of athletes for its size. Last year, the team went undefeated in the Fairwest League (their version of the FCIAC), and won Division II nationals, an incredible achievement for a Darien team. The boys are ranked 17th in the nation, and hold the spot as the best public school team in the country.
 Senior captains Harrison Gill, Will Granath, and Walker Wind hope to lead the Wave and leave the same wake behind as in the 2015 season. Harrison Gill is a champion player, ranked number 3 in his division for the US, and is certainly a paradigm for the team this season. Up and coming players include juniors Dillon O’Shea and Albert Nguyen, who will look to fill the (court) shoes of the seniors next year.
 A common misconception is that the squash team is co-ed. The two teams are separate, but certainly share technique and passion for the sport. More to come from “Squash Alley” this season, so stay tuned!

Girls Indoor Track: Season Preview

By Ellie Nelson

As the weather gets colder and winter rapidly approaches, one would guess that the track runners at DHS would be hanging up their tank tops and shorts and hitting up the warm, heated gym in preparation for the start of the season. In reality, the Girls Indoor Track team (indoor track being the most ironically named high school sport ever), are already bracing themselves for their daily outdoor practices. Following an incredibly successful 2015-16 season, the team is excited to hit the track once again. While there was a laudable performance from graduated seniors last year, it appears as if their absence will not be a hindrance on the team’s success in 2017. The team currently has some of the strongest sophomores and juniors it has ever seen. Sophomores Lauren Sulger and Cameron Appleby are expected to be a formidable force on the track, while veteran juniors KC Grady and Kerry Blatney plan on propelling the team toward a state title once again. Come support the girls at their first meet of the season on December 17th at Staples High School.

Junior Abigail Cragin races for a head start during a sprint last season (Courtesy DAF).

Friday, December 2, 2016

Girls Gymnastics: Season Preview

By Mary Lawrence Huffman
Junior Isabel Hansen doing a floor routine (Courtesy DAF).  
Last year, the Girls Gymnastics team placed first in the preliminary invitational, earned second at FCIACS, and finished fifth at states.  “Both Nikki Carlo and I made it to state-opens, and we also completed at New Englands,” senior captain Sam Aparicio said.
“We have three new freshmen this year, who are all experienced gymnasts, which is really exciting, as they will all be competing in the varsity meets and contributing to the team’s all-around score.  We also have four returning sophomores," Aparicio said.  Sophomore Carlo is expected to do well this season, as she is one of the highest scorers on the team and is always consistent during her meets.  “Her specialties are beam and floor, so we’re expecting high scores from her on those apparatuses, just like last year.  She made first team All-FCIAC status last year,” Aparicio said.  Sophomore Sofia Fea is also one of the leading gymnasts on the team this year.  “She held the third highest scores last year on floor and beam and has only improved since then," Aparicio said.  Aparicio herself is a significant contributor to the team and has been for the past three years.  Last year, she was second All-Around for FCIACs, sixth All-Around for State-Opens, tied for second on the vault at New Englands, and First Team All FCIAC and All American.    
Greenwich, like last year, is going to be the Girls Gymnastic team’s greatest competition.  The team came in second to Greenwich at FCIACs.  “Nikki, Sofia and I compete with some of the Greenwich gymnasts on the same club team, so it’s actually a very friendly competition,” Aparicio said.
“This season, we’re really trying to build up the skills in everyone’s routines; the harder the skills, the greater the start value, which ultimately means a higher final score.  If we can increase the difficulty in most of the girls’ routines, then we’ll be set for a strong upcoming season,” Aparicio said. 
The Girls Gymnastics team’s first meet is the Pomperaug Invitational on Saturday, January 7th.   “If we start out as strong as we did last year, winning the first invitational, I’m sure we’ll continue as a competitive team throughout the season," Aparicio said.   

Boys Ski: Season Preview

By Arden Cohen
Senior Brooks Daley racing around the marker at Mount. Southington.
The Boys Ski team is definitely something to watch these next couple of years. Although the boys did not do as well as the girls, who barely missed winning states, senior captain Will Brandon, is excited about “getting a lot of freshman with previous ski racing experience, which means we will definitely do a lot better this year.”  Fellow senior captain Brooks Daley also agreed that “the team is showing a lot of potential. With all of the young kids on the team, the next couple of years should turn out to be positive.” Sophomores Jack Lowitz, Alex Barlow, and Folke Bruno are expected to get “impressive times” this year.
The first race is at the beginning of January at Mount. Southington, so get excited!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Girls Ski: Season Preview

By Mary Lawrence Huffman

Last year, the Girls Ski team finished third at State Opens going 24-1. Senior Maggie Skeats was named All-State and to Team Connecticut, and sophomores Devin Hart and Lane Anderson were named Honorable Mention All-State.
The Girls Ski team captains this year are Skeats and Carly Schoudel. “The girls have high hopes that we can stay in the top 3 for most races and do well at states." Schoudel said.  As for predictions for key racers this season, Schoudel said, “We can most definitely expect great things from Skeats, as she is a great asset to our team.  Anderson, who made the Connecticut Team last year, is also expected to do well."
The Girls Ski team is also hoping to see great things from the new freshmen on the team, as many of them have prior racing experience. “This season the girls team hopes to make it to states and keep up with the Fairfield Girls Ski team, which came in first last year,” Schoudel said.
The Girls Ski team’s first race is on Wednesday, January 4th at Mount Southington at 4 PM.
Senior Maggie Skeats racing fast (Courtesy Darien Times).  

House Basketball Draft Date Set

By Cord Fox

Last year’s 11th/12th grade champions (Courtesy Darien YMCA).
As fall sports draw to an end, the focus of many of the basketball players at Darien High School turns to the house basketball season ahead. There has been a lot of talk about when the games will begin and who will be on what team. Many of those questions will be answered on Saturday, December 3rd, after the highly anticipated draft will take place. Everyone has a good idea about the first and second round picks, but any true house basketball follower knows that the heart of the team falls in the mid to late round draft picks. These players can make or break a team.
The new house basketball season brings the promise of a fresh start. It is a time to make a name for yourself and prove your worth in the league. It is a molder of men and only the toughest survive in this league. Ten teams will battle throughout the winter but only one will come out with the coveted title of champion. Happy house basketball season to all!