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Roundup: Clemson Soccer, Truck Parking, Toy Drive …

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Clemson University won yesterday’s NCAA Division I national championship with a convincing 2-0 victory over the University of Washington.

Congratulations to the Tigers — especially Coach Mike Noonan. A star on Staples High School’s 1978 state championship team, and then at Middlebury College, yesterday’s win in Cary, North Carolina is the latest accomplishment in an illustrious career.

Before Clemson, Noonan coached at Brown University, the University of New Hampshire and Wheaton College. He is considered one of the most brilliant minds in the college soccer ranks. The Tigers proved it this year, knocking off the #1, #2 and #4 seeds during their tournament run.

There are 2 more Westport connections to Clemson’s title. Noonan’s brother Mark — a Staples state champ himself in 1981 and ’82 — won his own national crown, as a Duke University player in 1986. That marked the first NCAA title for the Blue Devils — in any sport.

Coach Noonan reached out to his hometown this winter. His #1 recruit for next fall’s freshman class is Paddy Donovan. The Staples senior — who just completed his Beachside Soccer Club academy career — is considered one of the top goalkeepers in the nation.

Now all of Westport has a college soccer team to root for.

Clemson University soccer coach Mike Noonan.

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In the best-case scenario, this guy parked his truck when the railroad station lot was full. Somehow, he did not realize that every single vehicle passing westbound would have to swerve to avoid him.

(Photo/Todd Freeman)

The less-best-case scenario is that the lot was full; he realized he was hogging half of Ferry Lane, but didn’t care.

Worst-case: The lot was empty, and he just decided to flip a vehicular middle finger to the rest of us.

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The Westport Police Department Union and Westport Police Benevolent Association wrapped up 2 weekends of toy collections yesterday, at ASF Sports. Gifts will go to underprivileged children throughout Fairfield County, including St. Vincent’s Hospitals.

Thanks to everyone who donated new toys (and cash to buy more) — and of course to our fantastic Police Department, for conducting the drive.

Longtime Westporter Tom Lowrie (center) donated toys at the Police Department’s annual drive.

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I get lots of beach sunset photos. But this one has an added attraction — which qualifies it for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Melissa Sobil Zitomer)

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And finally … Jamaican bassist Robbie Shakespeare died last week in Miami, from complications of kidney and liver transplants. He was 68.

Shakespeare was half o the rhythm duo Sly & Robbie. According to the New York Times, they “played with and produced some of the biggest names in music while transforming reggae with bold infusions of rock, blues and jazz,” Click here for the full obituary. (Hat tip: Amy Schneider)

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