Staples, Ludlowe Meet In Lacrosse: Rivalry Dates Back 365 Years

In 1653, Roger Ludlow* — one of the founders of both the colony of Connecticut and the town of Fairfield — accused Mary Staples of being a witch.

Roger Ludlow

Staples was Ludlow’s neighbor. Her husband Thomas sued Ludlow for slander. Ludlow was fined 15 pounds.

Mary Staples was the great-great-great-grandmother of Horace Staples. 231 years later, he founded Westport’s high school.

Ludlow was the namesake of Fairfield’s first high school, and a middle school.

This Saturday at 7 p.m., Fairfield Ludlowe High School hosts Staples High in a boys lacrosse game. The winner will receive a witch’s broom, commemorating the rivalry between the high schools and their famous ancestors.

Who will win? No one knows. But it should be a great game. The Wreckers are 9-2; the Falcons are 7-2.

Yet one thing is certain: When they first met in 1653, Mary Staples trounced Roger Ludlow.

*It’s unclear from his signature whether he spelled his last name with or without an “e.” Both schools named after him include the letter; most historical references do not.

This is a witch — not Mary Staples. She was acquitted of the charge.

9 responses to “Staples, Ludlowe Meet In Lacrosse: Rivalry Dates Back 365 Years

  1. Arline Gertzoff

    Any exciting history on Staples long standing rivalry with Norwalk High

    • Jacques Voris

      Roger Ludlow left Fairfield after the incident to settle in Norwalk.

    • Fred Cantor

      Arline, I was there the night in 1966 Calvin Murphy scored 53 points against Staples—and this was long before the 3-point shot was in effect (although I’m pretty sure some of Calvin’s long-range bombs were beyond today’s 3-point line). As a 7th-grade diehard basketball fan, that was an incredibly exciting performance to witness—and it remains right up there as one of the most spectacular athletic performances I have ever seen in person at any level.

      PS—and our senior year of high school (1970), the Staples soccer team crushed Norwalk 5-0 in the county championship game, which is still the most margin of victory in FCIAC soccer history.

      PPS—I believe the nickname “Wreckers” comes from Staples having “wrecked” the Norwalk football team’s long winning streak.

      • Arline Gertzoff

        You see Fred mylatecousin was a Star football player atNorwalk High in the 60’s Years later I was talking to a star Staples football player who said it was smooth sailing against Norwalk except for this one tough guy.Of course it was my cousin LOL

  2. Rod Hurtuk

    Thanks, Dan. Great posting!

  3. Fred Cantor

    That should read largest margin…

  4. Great story! I’m a Staples grad with a current Ludlowe D-pole! Hope it’s a fun, competitive game!

  5. Kuku & Michael Fleming