Sunday, December 23, 2012

Girls House Basketball Week 3 Rankings

By Kat McKay

Week 3 is in the books. Yet again, two teams remain undefeated and two are yet to win. What’s interesting about this league, as of right now, is that teams at the bottom of the rankings continue to score more than teams at the top—they just are not scoring more than their opponents. The number of close games this week indicate growth and potential for a very heated round of play after the holiday break.
1. Huskies- W, 29-27; 3-0
The Huskies have regularly sat at the penultimate position on this list. This week, junior Alexa Sheldon’s group surpasses the Tarheels because they put up a significant number more points. It will be interesting to see when these two unbeaten teams face off. My money is on the Huskies.
2. Tarheels- W, 18-14; 3-0
I saw the ending of this game, and what this win against the Wildcats does not show in its final score is how physically exhausted each player was. It would seem that this low-scoring match was not as one sided as you would expect from teams ranked first and fifth last week, respectively.
3. Hoosiers- W, 24-14; 2-1
You do not want to play senior Kristy Gilbert. You really, really do not want to play her when she has the help of senior Riley Sousa. Since that’s the way the Hoosiers are going, expect this team to seek revenge for its week one loss throughout the rest of the season. A powerful duo such as theirs could very well mean permanent success.
4. Sun Devils- W, 30-28; 2-1
This was the team against which I played, and the most surprising thing about this game was its pace. The Sun Devils bring House basketball up a level, and so the issue on the table is whether or not their opponents rise to the challenge. The answer to that will determine if this team ever sees a position on the list higher than its current number four.
5. Wildcats- L, 14-18; 1-2
According to junior Morgan Sawitsky, her team was beating the Tarheels for the majority of this game. The Wildcats have fight—but that and a token get you on the train when you tie for lowest points scored across the league.
6. Bears- L, 14-24; 1-2
A shaky sixth place for the Bears, who seem ready to topple into seventh or eighth any week. A loss to the powerful Hoosiers is understandable, though, as it may be the future standard.
7. Cavaliers- L, 28-30; 0-3
Even though we lost again, my own team actually stepped it up significantly this week. Parker Hamill lead in scoring (and demonstrated very, very impressive ball handling) to keep the Cavs in it. The largest deficit we overcame was a solid 9 points, which is beyond decent for girls House.
8. Blue Devils- L, 27-29; 0-3
Senior Caylee Waters helped boost the score, but not the record. Let’s see the Blue Devils get lucky…or better.

That’s it for Week 3. No rankings next week… Enjoy your holiday break.

Girls JV Basketball Faces a Tough Loss against St. Joseph

By Viara Radoulova
On Thursday, December 20th, the JV Girls Basketball played against St. Joseph at 5:15pm at the gym in DHS. The final score was 37 to 65, with Darien on the losing end. According to sophomore Kate Richter the team is “improving every game and can only get better.” Hopefully Darien achieves a second win in the next game. Come support the Darien JV Girls Basketball team on the next game to see Darien take on Trumbull on Friday, January 4th at the Main Gym in Trumbull at 5:15!
Photo caption: Darien faced tough competition while playing St. Joe's
Photo credits: Lily Boe

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Darien Boys Hockey Ties New Canaan 0-0

By Brendan Ferguson

This past Wednesday, December 19th, the Darien Boys Hockey team took on rival New Canaan and ended up in a zero-zero tie. For the second consecutive game in a row, the two teams found themselves battling it out in a period in overtime.

Unfortunately for the Wave, there were no goals scored in the period causing the game to be forced to a tie due to rules in the FCIAC.

It was truly the two goalies, Darien goalie and senior Mike Collins and New Canaan goalie Chris Koennecke, who stole the show with 67 saves in total between the two.

It was indeed Collins who kept the Wave in the game with 29 remarkable saves throughout the game.

There was a bit of controversy in the student section that game. Apparently, many students were not allowed into the student section by authorities because of “overcrowding”

One anonymous student that was in the student section comments, “Crowding?? We [the student section] had more room than we ever have had. There were sections that were very open.”

All in all, it was a great performance by all the players; come check out the team tonight at 7:30 at Darien Ice Rink as the team takes on Notre Dame of Fairfield. 

Darien Wrestling losses to Fairfield Ludlowe

By John Eng

Darien wrestling faced off against Fairfield Luldowe on Wednesday in their first meet of the season. 
DHS got blown out of the water by Ludlowe. Only senior captain Patrick Daigle managed to win a match.
Coach Joe Vano said “ I knew it would probably end like this, keep in mind Ludlowe has an excellent youth program. Even their freshmen have been wrestling for years.”
Ludlowe was more experienced and that became increasingly obvious as the meet went on, but one of DHS’s biggest problems was its lack of heavy weight wrestlers. Darien forfeited every weight class above 160 making it virtual impossible to win. Recruitment is a large issue for the team this year.
A rough season is predicted for the wrestling team this year but that certainly won’t stop them from working hard.
Standard wrestling practices go from 2:30 until 5:30 everyday and everyone on the team is willing to work hard for their wins, and it’s always a disappointment when something like this happens.

Captain Profile: Eleanor Smith

By Kyra Conciatori

The Girls Indoor Track and Field team at Darien High School has high expectations for this season. They have been training hard, running laps around the track in the rain or shine, jumping hurdles, and throwing shot put. And Eleanor Smith, one of the four senior captains of the team, is ready to make her mark before she graduates.
Smith can run, but it is in her field events where she truly excels. She joined the DHS Track and Field team freshman year at the urging of her friend, and now fellow captain, Lizzie Heaney. Although she was hesitant to join at first, after her first practice she never looked back. “I’m actually really glad she did [that Lizzie convinced her to join] because of all the opportunities it has brought me,” she said.
Smith competes in three events in the winter-- pole vault, long jump, and high jump, and adds another to her repertoire in the spring--triple jump. Since she competes in the maximum events allowed in each season, they often overlap, so she gets her fair share of running as she runs from one event to the next. Each event is very different, so she does not majorly favor one over the other. “I don't really have a favorite, I guess it changes on a day to day basis. Vaulting takes up all my time and I really only train for that, so the fact that I have stuck with it and dedicate so much time to it probably shows that is is my favorite,” Smith said.
Training for these events takes time; Smith practices everyday after school until 5 pm. She starts off by running with the sprinters, then goes to the gym and the weight room. Pole vaulting practice is especially rigorous: “We lift weights like the bench press and pull down, and do core, pushups, squats, pull ups, etc. We practice gymnastics for balance and forming muscle memory that is used during the vault by doing backward rolls overs, handstands, and doing practice turns on a rope,” Smith said.
Last winter was one of Smith’s best seasons on the team. Despite facing several injuries, she qualified for States and attained personal records in each of her events, clearing 4’8 in high jump, 14’9 in long jump, and 8’6 in pole vaulting. However, she is ready to improve even more this year. “My hope is for the team to win FCIACS, States, and State Opens. And individually I would like to PR [personal record] in all my events or at least match my PRs,” she said. With her versatile athletic ability, leadership as a captain, and drive to succeed, Smith is an essential member of the team.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blue Wave Boys Basketball vs. Ridgefield

By Jenn O’Neill

Last night (Tuesday, December 18th) the Blue Wave Boys Basketball varsity team played their home opener against Ridgefield, a team that is notably the best team in the state of Connecticut.  Newcomer Matt Staubi scored a total of 14 points for the Wave to add to their 30 point total. Unfortunately, Ridgefield was able to hold true to their title and win the game with a total of 63 points. Notable moments of the games included the first half where the boys were only down by 10 or 15 points at a time, winning the tip at the beginning of the game (thanks to newcomer Chima), and the referees’ seemingly unfair calls against Darien.
This was the biggest turnout for the first game that this team has had in a while.  Many students were eager to watch the performance of the new additions to “Wave Ball”, Henry Baldwin, Matt and Chima Staubi. The timing of the game also allowed for many DHS alumni to attend, most home for the holidays. Blue Wave Super Fan Taylor Cockerill said, “I thought the boys played really well, a lot better than in the past. The younger players did a great job and seemed to be an important part of the team. I thought we played well, but Ridgefield has a really talented team too so it was a good game.” The next game for the basketball team is this Thursday December 20th at St. Joes.

\Photo Caption: Waiting for the hopeful swish, 00 Chima takes a free throw for the Wave. 

2013 Varsity Football Captains Announced

By: Colin Sullivan

            After an incredible season ending win against New Canaan, the Varsity Football team finished with a record of 7–3. Despite the season ending less than a month ago, the team is already preparing for next year. Last week, four new varsity captains were announced by Coach Robert Trifone. These captains are juniors Silas Wyper, Nick Lombardo,Tommy Gasperino, and Myles Ridder.
            The captains were announced on December 13 at the team’s football banquet. While four captains were announced at the banquet, Trifone said that there is going to be a fifth captain who will be announced in August. There was a three-way tie for this fifth captain spot, and Trifone decided to let the football team revote for this captain in August.
             Wyper will be the starting quarterback for the team next year and will attempt to fill the shoes of Henry Baldwin who has led the team at quarterback for the past two years. Students are expecting a great season out of Wyper and he is already preparing for next year, working out almost everyday. Regarding the up and coming season, Silas said, "I think we will have a really strong team next year. We are a young team with a lot of potential playing a difficult schedule that will make for some really exciting games and I can't wait to play the defending state champs Hillhouse week one." Despite their tough schedule, Silas is confident that the team will have just as good or even a better season than this year’s.
            Lombardo will be the running back for the team next year. By far one of the fastest players, Lombardo was one of the team’s top scorers this season. Lombardo is currently running track where he smokes the competition.
            Gasparino will be a lineman for the Blue Wave this coming year. He sadley suffered an injury towards the end of the season that kept him from playing. However, Gasparino is a great player who is unstoppable at the line.
            Ridder will be the team’s middle linebacker next year. With an incredible interception during in the Turkey Bowl that gained Darien an early lead of 15-14, Myles is a fierce player with a lot of energy. No one gets by him on defense, and Ridder is currently running track with Lombardo.
            These four captains are definitely the people you want running the Darien football team. In August, we will find out who the fifth and final captain is, but for now, make sure to keep a look out for these four star players in the gym as they prepare for next year’s season.

Photo Caption: Captain Nick Lombardo (center) running for a touchdown during this year’s Turkey Bowl.

Photo Credits:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Indoor Track Athlete Profile: Caity Lowden

By Holly Gordon

Senior Caity Lowden began her first Indoor Track season her freshmen year and has been running ever since. Lowden originally did track in order to stay in shape for lacrosse, but eventually realized she actually preferred track over lacrosse.

This year, she is competing in the 600 meter, 800 meter and 1600 meter, her main event. Lowden aims to run the 1600 meter in 5 minutes and 20 seconds, a time that would make her highly competitive for the University of Miami track team she hopes to walk on to next year. She enjoys competing against her own times each meet and is looking forward to improving throughout the upcoming season.

“I like Indoor Track because when you’ve improved, you know you deserve it,” Lowden said. We wish Lowden and her fellow teammates the best of luck this Indoor track season!

Come see the Girls Indoor Track and Field take on other teams around the Fairfield County area in this Saturday December 22nd morning meet at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut.

Caption: Caity Lowden, accompanied by Katie Donovan, senior Sarah Colon and senior Claire Walker in a track meet last year.

Behind the Scenes of the Ski Team

By Molly Bell

The Squash team has Squash Alley in Stamford. The Boys’ Swimming and Diving team as well as the Gymnastics team have the Darien YMCA. The basketball teams have three gyms. But what about the ski team? Without a nearby mountain to practice on, and living in a town with an elevation of a mere 52 ft, the casual onlooker would not see the Darien High School ski team as a serious contender. However, the team, one of the four co-ed teams at DHS, has enjoyed great success in recent years. In 2010, the girls’ team won the state championships (even though the team is co-ed, boys and girls compete separately). Just last year, the girls’ team placed first in the Class L division, while the boys’ team placed third.
According to Captain Fay Rizzuto, (who was also a captain last year) some of the team’s aspirations are to “Place well in states. Another goal is to get several people on the Darien ski team to qualify for the state team and go to Eastern championships. For the past five years we have had only one person represent Darien on the team”. Despite the loss of superstar skier Meg Del Col, there is great potential for a successful team. Del Col’s younger brother, Junior Peter Del Col, the MVP of the boys’ team for the 2011-2012 season, is a talented skier to watch out for this season. Rizzuto, also the MVP of the girls’ team and one of the team’s best skiers, brings great skill and experience heading into her fourth season.
One might ask, how does the ski team train for the strenuous season? Without any local mountains, the actual skiing time is limited. Rizzuto explained that from the start of the season until Christmas break is the pre-season. Often, the team will run to Middlesex Middle School and play a sport, such as dodgeball, in the gym and then run back to DHS. They also take advantage of the newly-built team room to strengthen their muscles for the season. After Christmas break, the real season begins. The ski team practices about once a week on Woodbury Commons, a small mountain in Woodbury, Connecticut, located about an hour from Darien. Although it may not be ideal, with only 9-10 gates, it does provide an important training location.
As for the races, they take place on Mount Southington, in Southington, Connecticut. Like most of the DHS teams, the ski team usually races once a week. These long commutes to races and practices require members of the ski team to have extraordinary dedication. Also, many of the skiers have been skiing since their early childhoods. This experience is one of the reasons that the ski team has been able to thrive.
However, despite all of this hard work and dedication, many students do not regard skiing as an actual sport. For the talented skiers of DHS, they can often burn 475 or more calories an hour at racing pace. Also, skiing requires great core and lower body strength, as well as great cardiovascular endurance, which are all areas the team focuses on in their pre-season, which is often called “dry-land training”. Ski team requires some of the most commitment out of all the DHS teams, as practices are not just for a couple of hours at DHS, but instead for a couple of hours with an hour long bus ride there and back. Overall, the ski team is an on-the-rise program, and with great senior leadership, another successful season is under way for both the boys’ and girls’ teams.

Pictured above: Senior captain Fay Rizzuto on the slopes for the Blue Wave. Photo credit: Darien Patch.

Athlete Spotlight: Dom Hansford

by Annabel Schneider
The Darien High School Squash team has always been our school’s little secret. Because the team does not practice or compete on DHS’s campus, sometimes the team gets forgotten in all of the Blue Wave Pride of other winter sports. However, after ending the 2011 winter season 42nd in the nation this year the Boys Squash team is no mediocre team and hopes to make top 30th in the nation.
As a regularly new varsity sport many of the players are new to the sport, starting either in high school. However, for senior captain Dom Hansford he’s been hanging around the courts for a while. “I started in 7th grade because my dad used to play.”
As well as being the treasurer of Post 53, a captain of the Boys Varsity Tennis team and an honors student Dom manages to practice three times a week and fit in a match. “I find the sport enjoyable.”
Dom along with senior captains Jonathon Gill and DJ Brown has high hopes for the team this year. “Fortunately, we did not lose many people so we hope to be successful by working hard and improving our skills,” said Hansford.
Hansford is excited to finish off his last year of squash at DHS and this year will be practicing and competing with his freshman brother Toby who may just beat his older brother. Make sure to follow the Hansford boys and the rest of the team this season on the sports blog.

Blue Wave Hockey Beats West Haven 5-1

 by Sam Meyjes
The Blue Wave Boys hockey team topped the West Haven Blue Devils on Saturday 5-1, giving the team its second win this season.

Senior Captain Trent Bergin scored first, putting a nice backhand by the keeper halfway through the first period. Senior Jack Knowlton scored second, off a rebound 4 minutes into the second, which was followed closely by Senior Captain Brendan Hathaway.

The Wave controlled the game all the way through, keeping the chippiness up, and subsequently the “You Got Jacked Up” chants from the student section. Unfortunately, Junior Robbie Juterbock was thrown out of the game in the second as a result of two questionable calls. He will not be able to play in Wednesday’s New Canaan game, which will leave a large hole in our roster.

A tired looking West Haven team finally scored in the third, but their hopes were quickly eradicated by second goals from both Bergin and Knowlton, ending the Game at 5-1.
Come see the team take on New Canaan on Wednesday at 4 at Darien Ice Rink. Get pumped.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wave Puck defeats Hamden in Home Opener

Brendan Ferguson

This Wednesday at the Darien Ice Rink, Darien Boys Hockey defeated #3 seeded Hamden High School 2-1, showing that they are contenders for it all this year.

The action started 28 seconds into the game where senior captain Brendan Hathaway put one past the Hamden goalie to make the score 1-0.  Hathaway comments on his performance, “Hamden is a very good team, but we came out amped up and ready to get the win.”

The outcome of the game was unexpected because of the temporary loss of key players, juniors Nick Allam and Connor Davis.

Hamden came back with a lucky goal past senior Michael Collins with about 5 minutes left in the first period to tie the score at 1 apiece. Collins finished the game with 19 saves for the night.

While the second period was uneventful in terms of goals, the Blue Wave crowd kept the game entertaining. “Shout out to the fans for getting rowdy and helping wave puck throughout the entire game,” says Hathaway.

Junior Tommy Watters put the Wave ahead with 9 minutes left in the third after a dangle and tic-tack-toe work of his line mates, juniors Owen Koorbusch and Robbie Juterbock.

Helping the Wave keep Hamden shots to a minimum were defensemen senior captain Dana Wensberg, junior Kevin Love, junior Jack Massie, and sophomore Nic Tuz. “Although we didn’t really play our game of puck possession and relentless for-checking we pulled out a win. Our studs like Watters and Hathaway stepped up when we needed them too. This year we will hear a lot about those two [Watters and Hathaway],” Wensberg says.

Come and check out the Wave take on West Haven High School tonight, Friday, December 15, 2012 at 5:00pm at Darien Ice Rink! “We look forward to more exciting games with the team and with the help of the superfans” Hathaway says. 

Caption: Junior Tommy Watters celebrates after his goal

Thursday, December 13, 2012

11th/12th Grade House Power Rankings Pre-Season

Matt Brown

Tis’ the season to ball yet again my friends. Despite my early retirement, I’ll still be posted up here giving all the 11th 12th grade House league squads the coverage they so desperately deserve. Here is my extremely researched analysis of lists of names lathered with vague memories of you playing.

Bulls: Looking like a solid compilation of ballers for Bulls this year. Ben Highton has the speed, ill handles, and an uncanny ability to make those around him better. Jack Travers will likely join him in the backcourt, who will be a strong driver and hurt teams if he hits his foul shots. Dan Murphy is the epitome of solid, Cameron Magida has an incredibly high basketball IQ, and Will McCoy will troll the paint and consistently lead the team in rebounding. I look for these guys to struggle early but find their groove and start to do some things as the year goes on. X Factor: Coach Martin Magida

Cavaliers: These guys will cause some problems for the league if they live up to their potential. Eric Christensen is huge and changes the complexion of the game through rebounding and shot-blocking. Then Peter Traver will be repping his high socks and what not in the backcourt for these guys, Traver is one of the league’s most underrated guards and is definitely a huge part of this team. Dylan Carruthers is a great athlete, but I have no idea if he plays basketball or not. X Factor: Carruthers if he plays.

Celtics: The Celtics are a senior laden bunch filled with seniors. Casey Burke is a deadly sniper when he’s on his game. Paul Genco is an aggressive defender who makes sure his presence is felt at some point in every contest. Carl Stowell is yet another good senior player who can hit a shot or take it to the rim. Graham Helgans is a big kid who I’m sure can more than contribute in the points category. X Factor: Casey Burke’s Jumpshot

Heat: The Heat is filled to the brim with kids that I’m not sure are good or not. Carter Rae, the lone senior, will have to step it up for this team to be any sort of competitive. Other than Carter, Max Skolds is a great talent that will be hard for any squad to come close to stopping. Also, other teams should tread carefully around the rim if Alex Gunn is in the building. X Factor: C-Rae

Kings: The Kings are an athletic bunch this year. Brendan Donohue is a speedster who should do well at point guard this year. Jay Harrison is strong and fast, not sure if he is good or not though. Andrew Maley is a silky shooter who might be looking to dunk if you leave him alone on a fastbreak. Myles Ridder should be a solid contribution as well if he can manage not to get injured. X Factor: Jake Bowtell

Knicks: The Knickerbockers will be led by Danny Coyle. Coyle’s size and speed set him a part as one of the best players in the league. Jack Nichols could nail a few threes over the course of the year, and Jay Patrick is a solid big man who is the paint presence that every good team needs. Chris Chiamulera is a natural scorer that will definitely carry his weight over the course of the year. X Factor: Danny Coyle

Lakers: The Lake Show is looking pretty sweet this year. Jackson “J-money” Whiting will be looking to make it rain. His twin, Pierce Whiting, is a nice 6’3 with the ability to hit layups that is so underestimated in the league today. Matt Vossler is an absolute tree, and Drewby Dirvin will be looking to nail Tre-Balls all day long. X Factor: J-Mulah

Mavericks: Austin Crane is absolutely disgusting at the guard position. He will control ballgames and turn heads all year. The rest of the squad holds great potential from lengthy Mackenzie Glavin, and good player Brian Weil. Let me reiterate: Austin Crane is sick. X Factor: Crane

Nets: Jack Sherwood is the best player in the league. He’ll knock down J’s or drive it down the lane. He plays for the Brunswick varsity squad and will not be stopped. He will receive help from solid shooting guard Nick Pettit, along with big man Christian Cochran. X Factor: Jack Sherwood

Nuggets: The Nuggets are a youthful bunch this year. Cameron Smith is one of the league’s freakiest athletes. Blake Lange, is a very well rounded basketball player who pours the ball in the net. Tyler Hatfield and Matthew Pendo are trees who can also run the court, which adds versatility to the lineup. X Factor: Can Cam Smith dunk!?

Thunder: Spencer McMullin is the league’s fastest man. His speed will wreak havoc on the league.  Chris Rehm is a tall athlete who should be a very solid piece of this team. Carter Watt is a great player but leading the league in technical fouls like he did last year will hurt the Thunder more than his play will help. X Factor: McMullin’s speed

Wizards: Interesting addition to the league is Drew Martzolf. Former captain of the varsity squad he now brings his talents to the league. He will be a force rebounding and one of the league’s best midrange shooters. He will be joined by solid player Andy Mogenson as well as swagged out guard Curry Bloom.

9th/10th Grade YMCA Basketball Power Rankings 2012 Week 2

By Stephen Barston
After one week of action, there have been some serious upsets. Here’s round two of the power rankings. 
* *In parentheses are the record from the past week and the team’s previous ranking**

  • Michigan State (2-0, #5): “The Magic Man” Feeley will accept nothing but a win for the Spartans, and his teammates have caught on. Two easy wins over Kentucky and Stanford, led by seamless chemistry between sophomores and freshmen, puts Michigan State atop the rankings for this week.
  • North Carolina (2-0, #4): Philip Rech has been quite the consistent scorer so far into the season, and Ryan Murray has added points when his team needs them most. An easy win over Kentucky and a close win against Georgetown makes UNC one of the three remaining undefeated teams and pushes them up two spots in the rankings.
  • Texas (2-0, #10): George Reed, MVP of Wednesday’s games as declared by Joe Marzano, has undoubtedly produced and spread the wealth for UT so far this year, with the Klingman brothers as valuable backcourt players. Matthew Hayes has cleaned the boards and Jack Garfield has stood tough in in the interior, despite taking numerous hits. Wins against opponents towards the bottom of these rankings, however, put the Longhorns as the last of the undefeated teams.
  • UCONN (1-1, #2): A tough loss on Wednesday night marred the week for the Huskies, but they came back strong with a big win over Indiana, almost doubling their opponent’s score. If Conor Davey can avoid getting into foul trouble, UCONN should be able to win their upcoming games.
  • Stanford (1-1, #9): With Aidan Coyle back, at least for this past Sunday’s game, the Cardinal may be able to make quite the run. A big win over Syracuse helped Stanford end the week on a high note after an 8-point loss to #1 Michigan State.
  • Duke (1-1, #1): The upset of the week came on Sunday as Georgia Tech defeated the Blue Devils by 3 on Sunday. This game, however, was played without versatile Dylan Cunningham; I have faith that this team can rebound and return to the form that led them to a victory over Georgetown.
  • Syracuse (1-1, #8): Daniel Traver and Timmy Lochtefeld led ‘Cuse to a convincing victory over UCONN, but the team couldn’t hold their own in a 6-point loss to Stanford on Sunday, ending the week on a sour note. In the upcoming week, look for them to have their way against Indiana and Georgia Tech and move up even further.
  • Georgia Tech (1-1, #12): A huge upset against Duke moves the Yellow Jackets up four spots this week, but a loss against a lower-ranked Missouri team still concerns me. However, a relatively easy upcoming schedule means that Georgia Tech could move up even more and continue to shock the world.
  • Missouri (1-1, #11): Mizzou and their sophomore veterans found a close win against Georgia Tech, but their most impressive game of the week came in a loss against Texas. After containing George Reed to an extent, the Tigers stuck with UT for the majority of the game, only losing by 4. If they can shore up their team defense, Mizzou can move up more.
  • Kentucky (0-2, #3): The Wildcats may have fallen quite a bit since the original rankings, but their losses this past week came against the top two teams, UNC and Michigan State. As they continue to work on their chemistry, Kentucky and Peter “Wham Bam I Jam” Archey face Stanford and Indiana in the upcoming weeks and can work their way back towards the top.
  • Georgetown (0-2, #6): The Hoyas put up quite a fight without Kevin Pendo against a strong Duke opponent, led by the Costantinos, and only fell to North Caroline by one point. If Pendo attends all of the future game, Georgetown can move up in the standings; they face a true test, however, against Michigan State on the 19th.
  • Indiana (0-2, #7): A close loss to Texas was a disappointment for the Hoosiers, as they could not contain George Reed, but the real letdown came in a 16-point loss to UCONN. Once the players jell and work together well, Indiana might be able to move up to the middle of the pack, or even the top.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Girls House Basketball Power Rankings: Week 2

By Kat McKay

The second week of House has passed us by, and with it, some dramatic games and finishes. There are two teams that have dual wins, a slew that are split, and another two that have lost both. But I expect things will heat up next week, since there were some significant roster changes and additions involving senior ex-travel heavyweights Riley Sousa and Caylee Waters. But that will come. For now, the power rankings of Week 2:

1. Tarheels: W, 28-14; 2-0
The Tarheels stay on top this week because they won, again by a significant margin. They doubled the points of the Sun Devils, which is indicative of both good defense and good offense. If Liz Style’s team continues to score as well as it has been, this could very well be their season.
2. Huskies- W, 21-15; 2-0
The Huskies put up a less impressive stand than they did in their previous game, but still came up with a win against the Wildcats. According to senior Emma Hamilton, a lot of their shots just did not go in—a defect that could keep them below the Tarheels, who do not seem to have this problem, for a while. That being said, once junior Alexa Sheldon heats up, so very well could this team.
3. Hoosiers- W, 33-14; 1-1
Some Devils are easier to beat than others. Week 1, the Hoosiers lost to the Sun Devils by 17 points. This week, they beat the Blue Devils by 19. They more than tripled their total points in a short seven days, a transformation that, especially in this league, is almost unbelievable. This differential probably stems from the fact that senior Kristy Gilbert got the assistance she needed from trade-in Riley Sousa. It is unnerving that a team that had so much potential before now actually has the ability to realize it. Depending on how things play out, expect them to continue to move farther away from last week’s 7th place ranking.
4. Sun Devils- L, 14-28; 1-1
Brooke Connors’ team was ranked third last week. But anyone who scores half the amount of her opponent is bound to fall in rankings, and in a close competition like House, that means a dip. I think that a loss will propel the Sun Devils to come back in week three with fire, which should get this aggressive group back up. And keep in mind that they beat (an altered) Hoosiers team last week, and lost only to the number one Tarheels.
5. Wildcats- L, 15-21; 1-1
The reason the Wildcats are not at number six is because they have superstar Troy Bolton as their playmaker…! Actually, this team, fronted by junior Morgan Sawitsky, earns their spot because of solid defense. I would consider this team as a wildcard. If they can heat up and score, they will do well. If their points stay in the teens, they will not.
6. Bears- W, 28-25; 1-1
After securing the closest win of the week, the Bears stay steady at sixth. This team, led by sophomore Celia Martzolf, is tall for House, which could provide the difference between winning by three points and losing by as many. I do not know if they can continue to get wins, especially after being torched last week by the Huskies, but maybe they can continue to stay where they are. They seem solid. I would not find it surprising if the Bears provide consistently mediocre results.
7. Cavaliers- L, 28-25; 0-2
Again, my team. Again, another loss that was painfully close. This game was a rare House classic—it came down to the final 1.4 seconds, so the entire gym was animated and nervous. I was on the bench, but I did not sweat as much in any part of this game as I did during its last minute and a half. Interestingly, this team fouled a total of twelve times, which is well above the league average. Perhaps some tightening up will help Parker Hamill’s Cavaliers notch a win.
8. Blue Devils- L, 14-33; 0-2
Another disappointing, one-sided finish for Evie Horn’s Blue Devils. Rumor has it powerhouse senior Caylee Waters got added to this roster over the weekend, which is very, very good for the Blue Devils and very, very bad for everyone else. Her playing could very well take this team way beyond last place, putting them in a significantly better position for the playoffs.

That’s it for Week 2… look for updated rankings next week, after the aforementioned team changes take effect.

Photo Caption: The Hoosiers best the Blue Devils. Photo credit to Molly Bell.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wave Puck 2012-2013 Preview

By Ryan Filippone (with assistance by Brendan Ferguson)

As the leaves fall off the trees and the days seem to get shorter, you know what time it is: Time for the 2012-2013 Darien High School Boys Ice Hockey season to begin.  Darien Hockey, nicknamed Wave Puck in recent years, is always a student-favorite sport for DHS students. Even with the increased hype surrounding this year’s DHS Basketball team, Wave Puck still seems to prevail and expects a very successful season.
The team is coming off a strong season last year with the record of 15-5 in the regular season. They also had a few heartbreaks such as a bitter loss to Ridgefield, 3-2, in the FCIAC Finals as well as a loss to Glastonbury, the number one ranked team in the state, losing 3-2 in the States CIAC Division 1 Quarterfinals.  They went 2-2 in the postseason, but hope to do better this year.   
The team had its job of re-organization this year with nine slots for varsity open due to the loss of seniors from last year. Among these include former captains like goalie Max Rothston, defenseman Hank Glick and forward Nick Bruno. While they will all be missed, it left room for new talents to be found.
Senior Captain Dana Wensberg commented on the issue, “What we have lost, we have gained more in a more mature and skilled offensive core, with [juniors] like Tommy Watters, Connor Davis, Robbie Juterbock, and Owen Koorbusch pacing for break out years.”
 He continues to say “Overall I’d say we are a better team in every facet except maybe goaltending”.  They team will look for the juniors and Jack Pardue to help out with the seniors.
This year’s team is led by Coach Chris Gerwig, his second year coaching at DHS, and senior Captains Dana Wensberg, a bone crushing defenseman, Trent Bergin, a blue collar forward, and Brendan Hathaway, a sniper. 
Holding the line on defense is senior captain Dana Wensberg and returning juniors Nick Allam, Jack Massie, and Kevin Love.
Coming from the captains, the team goal is to win FCIAC’s and go far in States.  Senior Captain Brendan Hathaway mentioned this year’s goals for the team: “Beat New Canaan, start with a 3-0 record, and to win FCIAC, which we have not done since the 07-08 season.” 
Completing the 3-0 goal to start the season will be a tough one due to the rough schedule in the first few games consisting of Hamden, West Haven, and rival New Canaan, all of which are contenders for the state crown. Coach Gerwig mentioned the team’s goals: “We want to try to get to the [semi-finals] in states and get to the FCIAC Championship Game [for the second year in a row].” 
The team looks to younger talents this year to help its success. This includes sophomores Nic Tuz, a defenseman who was on the team last year; Aidan Loh, a defenseman  of the JV team last year; Brendan Cassidy, a defenseman who played for Darien Youth Hockey (DYHA) last year; Craig Miller, a speedy forward who also played for DYHA last year; Tiger Sullivan, a classic blue collar, power forward also coming off of DYHA; and Jack Pardue, a forward from Mid-Fairfield youth hockey, who was a major contributor in the fall league season and looks to do the same this winter. Also, the team looks to get help from freshman defenseman, Sam Knowlton, a younger brother of senior Jack Knowlton and a member of Mid-Fairfield youth hockey previously.
They open up the season vs. Hamden on Wed 12/12 at Darien Ice Rink at 3:45pm, a team they played once last year, losing 2-0.  They then go on to face two more important games against West Haven and New Canaan, both at Darien Ice Rink. Coach Gerwig says, “[We have] a strong schedule with six teams outside our conference…We feel we have the opportunity to be one of the better teams.” Senior Captain Trent Bergin said, “Our tough opponents are Hamden, West Haven, Notre Dame [of West Haven], who are the defending champs, Notre Dame of Fairfield and Prep.” Indeed, this season looks tough, but it will be an exciting one for sure. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Darien Girls Basketball Trumps Wilton

 by Marielle Ravosa

Darien High School’s Varsity Girls Basketball team beat Wilton with a 55-42 win at Wilton Field House on Wednesday (12/5). Darien led by 17-8 after one quarter, and by 28-21 at half time. Senior Meg Marren and sophomore Kelly Karczewski both scored 18 points each. 
              Senior Kate Bushell scored 12 points, junior Emily Stein scored three points, and senior Ali Aparicio got one field goal. As this was the first game of the season, the girls are certainly off to a great start.
              Come support the Varsity Girls Basketball team when they face Fairfield Ludlowe on Friday (12/7) at 5:15 pm at Darien High School.

Caption: Senior Meg Marren takes a shot.

The Girls Basketball JV Team Loses Tough First Game

By Viara Radoulova
 On Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 the JV Girls Basketball played their first game, which took place against Wilton at 5:15pm. At half time, the score was 15 to 27, with Wilton in the lead. The final score was 20 to 40. According to sophomore Kate Richter, “The intensity was high and we came out as strong as we could, but we just fell short.” Come to the next Darien JV Girls Basketball game as they play against Fairfield Ludlowe on Friday, December 7th at DHS at 5:15. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

9th/10th Grade House Basketball Power Rankings 2012 Pre-Season

By Stephen Barston

All teams are supposed to be created equal, but at the onset of the season, some squads are looking better than other. Here are the first official power rankings for this season:

1.     Duke: Overall depth, led by experienced and versatile sophomores like Dylan Cunningham, Vinny Puzio, Colin Cochran, Matt Sherwood, and Griffin Ross, creates a lethal five to keep an eye on. Combine these players with nifty freshmen, such as Jack Kniffin, and Duke deservedly sits atop the power rankings to start this season.
2.     UCONN: Conor Davey can do it all, his talents ranging from great ball-handling skills to swatting away shots with ease, and Julien Noujaim always makes opposing guards think twice about entering the paint. Guards Liam Donoghue and Connor Gonzalez-Falla create a speedy backcourt to watch out for.
3.     Kentucky: Filled with quick guards who can shoot, like Pete Archey, Henry Soule, and Connor Waldron, Kentucky has a top-quality backcourt; look for Robby Arrix to anchor the paint with TJ Adiletta looking to convert on three-pointers.
4.     North Carolina: Ryan Murray, Patrick Winter, and Philip Rech look to handle the backcourt while the Trismen twins hold up the paint. Add four solid freshmen to create a team with no glaring weaknesses.
5.     Michigan State: Former travel basketball players Jack “The Magic Man” Feeley and Jamie Schwartz look to combine forces with freshmen with a lot of potential (Trifone brothers, PK Brannigan) to move towards the top of the standings. The only concern is the lack of experience.
6.     Georgetown: Kevin Pendo is an all-around beast (see previous article on private school sleepers), and the Costantino brothers add a nice pair of guards, but without too many big men, the Hoyas might get overpowered by big teams like UCONN and Indiana.
7.     Indiana: Big men Cooper Drippe and Jack Griffiths will dominate down low, and Matt Pettit can knock down shots for the Hoosiers, but a lack of true ball handlers may make the team slightly one-dimensional.
8.     Syracuse: Daniel Traver and Timmy Lochtefeld lead ‘Cuse as veterans with speed and strength. Freshman Jamie Schofield provides the team with a consistent shooter and several other freshmen look to solidify the defense.
9.     Stanford: Word on the street from Cardinal players is that Aidan Coyle is unable to play this year. This leaves them with a solid backcourt, led by sophomores Brian Coyle, John Mackie, and Davis Nixon, but not enough height will possibly put them at a disadvantage.
10.  Texas: George Reed will try to orchestrate the offense for this team, and Matthew Hayes will look to continue his domination of the boards. Jack Garfield will protect the paint and lead the interior defense, but not enough experience makes the Longhorns chances bleak against squads loaded with sophomores.
11.  Missouri: Without a ton of experience, Mizzou still has the potential to become a surprise team this year, so long as the freshmen can work well together and with veterans Jack Duggan (see the other post on private school sleepers), Michael Maccarone, and RJ Clasby.
12.  Georgia Tech: By luck of the draw, the Yellow Jackets are left with a sheer lack of experience (no sophomores on this team) and size that puts them at a potential disadvantage this season. One player to watch is center Dolan Gregorich.

Girls YMCA Basketball Power Rankings Preview

By Kat McKay

For a while, the Sports Blog has covered the wildly popular/dramatic House Basketball season with weekly power rankings and team status updates. But we have only covered boys— until now. Whether you knew it or not, there is in fact a girls house basketball league, and here for the Sports Blog Readership are its inaugural power rankings.
Unlike the boys’ division, which is split into separate upperclassmen and underclassmen leagues, all high school girls play together. This makes play a little more interesting, because the best athletes across all grades get to compete against each other. And again, unlike boys, who have two games every other week, girls consistently play on Saturdays and practice on Mondays. That means that our plays are more intricate and our games are more important, since there are less of them before playoffs.
I play House Basketball and love it, but I am going to try to be as objective as possible. That being said, I have more familiarity with upperclassmen, so this analysis may be a little senior-heavy. As the season progresses and I get more exposure to the different teams/kids, the rankings become more thorough. And this is my first time, so if you have any complaints, comments, or corrections, feel free to post on the Blue Wave Sports Blog Facebook page.
Enough of that. Here are the power rankings, based primarily on the first week of play and team rosters.

1. Tarheels- W, 30-5 F
First of all, well done on the Tarheels’ part. This team, headed by junior Liz Style and senior Charlotte Peters, absolutely blew out the Blue Devils in an unprecedented one-way stand. Any team that scores 25 points more than its opponent in a league that rarely scores 25 points is bound to be a serious champion contender. Style and Peters had help from the team’s standout underclassmen presence, sophomore Elizabeth Fucigna. To be fair, though, only time will tell if this goal differential were due mostly to excellent Tarheels play or subpar Blue Devils shooting.
2. Huskies- W, 37-23
The Huskies scored a lot of points. I can’t emphasize how important good shooting is in a league that is often plagued by low scores (see: other games). If the Huskies, lead by fast junior Alexa Sheldon and tall senior Emma Hamilton, can keep this up, they will be at number one in no time. The underclassman worth paying attention to on the Huskies is sophomore Tyson Maley, a past travel player who can handle the ball better than almost anyone.
3. Sun Devils- W, 27-10
The Brooke Connors/Kathryn Hertz combo poses a threat every season, and this year is no different. These two seniors have worked together for probably forever, and it shows. Last year they nearly won the championship game, so expect them to seek revenge in their final house season. Surrounded by an above-average supporting cast, the intense drills and plays this team employs can be the difference between nailing those plastic trophies and watching someone else carry them home again.
4. Wildcats- W, 27-20
I played this team, so I know what the final score doesn’t show: this game was close. The Wildcats are lucky enough to have junior Morgan Sawitsky on their roster, but if she gets contained by the right player defensively, they might just stall. A victory over the Cavaliers means this team had a good opening week, but does not necessarily indicate the rest of the season will follow suit. 
5. Cavaliers- L, 20-27
This is my team. I don’t want to be biased… but we stand a fighting chance. In general, we’re fast. My sister, sophomore Caroline McKay, lead the team in scoring, with a lot of help from seniors Parker Hamill and Maggie Wells. I helped by drinking water and cheering, and sometimes touching the ball. Anyways….if we minimize fouls, we have potential.
6. Bears- L, 23-37
Again, scoring is important in House, and the Bears put up a solid number of points against the Huskies. Sophomore Celia Martzolf has basketball lineage, which probably contributed to this steady performance. I am not too familiar with anyone else on this team, but there seems to be a pair of sisters (Elisabeth and Caroline O’Brien), which could be interesting. The Bears could go up in the rankings next week if they notch a win.
7. Hoosiers- L, 10-27
The Hoosiers’ senior Kristy Gilbert is arguably the best player in the league. So their ten points is surprising. I believe senior Riley Sousa is returning from a basketball hiatus, so when she warms up, this team can probably provide better numbers than they did this week against the Sun Devils.
8. Blue Devils- L, 5-30
In order to not be the team everybody desperately wants to play, the Blue Devils have to make more shots. Hopefully this was just a slow start, and senior Evie Horn’s team will come out vengeful next week. Junior Phoebe Taylor used to play for the DHS squad, so look for her to make an impact.

That’s it for Week 1… look for updated rankings next week, after the preliminary rust is shaken off.