State Champs!

Since March, “06880” has been blogging about Westport:  people, places, past, present, future — whatever comes across our computer.

Although our day job is as Staples soccer coach, we haven’t blogged about the Wreckers.

Until now.

Yesterday afternoon, Staples won the 12th state championship in the program’s 51-year history.  The score was 4-0 over New Milford — the Wreckers’ most decisive final win ever.  The team’s 22 wins set a school record.  Even a non-soccer fan can tell this is a special group of young men.

We would like to blog about them:  how they played with such passion and joy, loving (almost) every second they were on the field.

How they understood their history — that hundreds of people helped get them here — while at the same time realizing they are inspiring future generations of young Westport soccer players.

How they embraced their fans, rushing onto the Staples hill and into the stands at away games, thanking their friends and parents and siblings and random alumni for coming out to support them.

We would like to blog about all this, but we are exhausted.  We celebrated with our players, then went home to answer 200+ emails, and talk to reporters, and update our other website,, and do all the other coaching tasks that this weekend are particularly fun to do.

So we will not blog about this.  Instead we will show photos of the match.  We will be back tomorrow with our regularly scheduled blog.

PS:  If you see a Staples soccer player, tell him “well done.”

Celebrating a goal is always fun. From left, Sean Gallagher, Greg Gudis, Frankie Bergonzi, Andrew McNair, Mike White (scorer), Brendan Lesch, Alan Reiter, Mikey Fitzgerald. (Photo by Susan Woog Wagner)

They call him "The Chief." Jack Hennessy directs his defense. (Photo by Carl McNair)

The next generation of Staples soccer players -- and current fans -- was at the game. (Photo by Lisa Krosse)

Staples principal John Dodig is his school's #1 Superfan. (Photo by Susan Woog Wagner)

After the game, the Wreckers rushed the stands to thank their fans. Nate Greenberg crowd-surfs. (Photo by Lisa Krosse)

The 2009 state champions

16 responses to “State Champs!

  1. Congratulations! Look at the pure joy and excitement on everyone’s faces in these pictures. We happened to drive behind an SUV filled with proud and exuberant soccer members on the Post Road – so we got to see the thrill of victory first hand. It was like watching a private victory parade.

  2. Kudos to the team and my brother Dan, though he FAILED to put in the BEST shot of the day.. being doused with ice water the minute the Wreckers became the victors!

  3. fabulous photos!

  4. Linda Gramatky Smith

    All of Westport (even those of us who aren’t parents or past soccer players) followed this championship with such pride. Congratulations to you, Dan, for your leadership and for each of the fabulous players and the support team!

  5. great job the players and you too, Dan!

  6. Congrathlations to Coach Woog, Staff, and the players. Great job this year.

    • THANKS, Ned — and right back at ya with the football team. What a weekend for Staples sports. Is this an amazing school or what?!

  7. Amy Schafrannn

    Congratulations to Dan, the players and their families. What an accomplishment! Dan, as far as records –for Staples soccer at least, aren’t you the first person to play on a State Championship team and also coach one? What about in the County? Can’t wait to watch Staples soccer on the hill next year,
    Amy Schafrann Staples’72

  8. Congratulations to the team! Great work Dan in continuing the legacy of a great program. Next year I hope to catch a game or two!

  9. A fabulous victory and a great year. Congratulations to Dan and his team.
    Dick Alley
    Staples ’53

  10. Betty Lou Cummings

    We all our bursting with pride with the great win again and again…Congratulations coach Dan Woog and all the mighty Staples Boys Soccer…lots of cheers for a job well done…Hugs too…Betty Lou Cummings

  11. You guys finished with a #6 National Ranking. Congrats again!


  12. Catherine Burnett

    I see a shout out (on Westport Now) to Stuart and Michael McCarthy as the first Father -Son duo.

    What about Jeanne LoCurto Lesch and her son Brendan? Is it possible that we have the first Mother-Son combo too?

    • Stuart and Michael McCarthy are the 1st father-son duo to win Staples state soccer championships. Jeanne LoCurto Lesch and Brendan Lesch are the 1st mother-son combo to play i Staples soccer history — I don’t think Jeanne won a state championship, though it was not for lack of her talent!