[Oct. 2016 Sports] Championship preview

By Ari McCoy ’17 & Shane Rabacs ’18




After going 7-2 before losing in the playoffs to Darien last season, the football team has started the season strong at 5-2. Captain Julian Ross ’17 attributed much of the success to the strong play of the offensive line and dominant rushing attack. With games against Darien and Greenwich coming later this season, Staples has some crucial games on the horizon. Citing Ridgefield and Darien as top competitors for the FCIAC and state titles, Ross said the team is focussed on the task at hand first. “Every game is a must-win,” Ross said.

Boys’ soccer


After losing in the state playoffs to Hall on penalty kicks 2-1 last season, head coach Dan Woog and his team started slow in 2016, going 1-2-2. However, the team has performed better recently, bringing their record to a respectable 7-3-6. “We have started to catch fire,” Woog, who is in his 13th year as head coach, said. This team has a lot of depth, and it’s been a next-man-up mentality with injuries to Matthew Engler ’18 and captain Josh Berman ’17.

Girls’ soccer


Returning this year from an appearance in the state playoffs, the girls’ soccer team is nearing the end of the season well at 11-2-2. With great depth at all grade levels, the team is persevering through the loss of captain Lydia Shaw ’17 to a torn ACL. The team “rallied around her and took it upon ourselves to not let it get us down,” captain Charlotte Rossi ’17 said.  They are  looking to fight contenders such as Glastonbury and Ridgefield for a state title.

Field hockey


While last year’s field hockey team had a great season, this year’s team has blown expectations out of the water. The team’s record is 11-0-2, one tie coming against top contender Wilton. With top players such as captain Colleen Bannon ’17, midfielder Christine Taylor ’18 and Kyle Kirby ’20, the team has dominated on offense and defense. The coming playoffs, however, will be filled with a number tests versus the top tier FCIAC teams. “The teams that we will probably have to face in the playoffs will be Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan and Wilton,” Bannon said. After a dominant regular season, the Wreckers are preparing for an intense run for the state title.

Girls’ cross country


The Staples girls’ cross country team sits at 8-7, placing them fifth in the FCIAC West division. It’s a young team this year, with only two upperclassmen. After losing All-American Hannah Debalsi and All-State runner Angie Parma, who graduated last spring, a heavy burden has been put on the underclassmen.  “Some of the younger runners [have been injured and] have missed a few meets as they get used to the higher intensity training,”  coach Amanda Morgan said. The team looks healthy now and is trying to squeak into the playoffs to make some noise as a contender.

Boys’ cross country


The Wreckers boys cross country team is on the top of the FCIAC standings and ranked number one in the state. “Ever since we beat Danbury, potentially our biggest competition, in our first dual meet without two top-five runners, we knew this team could be special,” captain Brandon Harrington ’17 said.  After many seniors graduated, and with captain and number two runner, Harrington, out with a broken foot, many juniors have stepped up. “Ben Seiple [’18], Sunil Green [’18]  and Will Landowne [’18]  [are] really having huge breakout seasons and emerging as some of the best runners in the state,” captain Brian MacCordy ’17 said.