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.
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.
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)
Paddy Donovan is one of the best young goalkeepers in the country.
He’s earned national renown for his play with the Beachside Soccer Club MLS Next academy program. Yesterday, he became Clemson University’s first recruit of the season to sign a letter of intent.
Under Coach Mike Noonan, the Tigers are one of the top teams in the US. That makes Donovan’s signing especially sweet: Noonan won a state championship at Staples High School in 1978, where he played soccer with Donovan’s late uncle Doug.
Donovan’s father Dan was a state champ himself, captaining the Wreckers in 1981.
Signing any blue-chip recruit is a major coup. But Noonan put a personal spin on the announcement, posting on Instagram:
“Patrick is an outstanding prospect who has a very high soccer IQ. He has been developed in one of the best youth clubs in the country, and attended the best high school in the country.”
Now there’s a third way to support the nationally renowned theatrical troupe: a silent auction.
It’s online before the show, and in person during the show’s opening weekend (tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday).
Auction items include theater tickets; gift cards and baskets from local restaurants, specialty food stores and other local retailers; sports swag, artwork and more. Click here to see them all.
Bidding is open now. It closes Wednesday, November 17.
In more “Grease” news, due to booming ticket sales, Staples Players is adding another performance. The additional date is Thursday, November 18 (7 p.m.). Click here to purchase, and for more information.
Among the items in Staples Players’ silent auction: 2 tickets to next September’s Tony Awards.
Yesterday’s Roundup story about this Saturday’s Police Department food drive neglected to mention an important detail: It takes place at Stop & Shop. Here’s the story again — with apologies:
The Westport Police Department and TEAM Westport are sponsoring a Thanksgiving food drive this Saturday (November 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Stop & Shop). All donations support Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Center and food pantry, and Westports Human Services Department.
Westport Police officers and volunteers will collect non-perishable food items and cash. Suggested items include canned meats, tuna, salmon, Spam, canned cranberries, boxed stuffing, canned yams, canned corn, canned gravy, pasta, and sauces, chili, hot and cold cereal, canned fruit, canned and dry soups, peanut butter, jelly, mac and cheese, rice, granola bars, pancake mix, syrup and mayonnaise.
Earlier this year, after another drive, Westport Police and Homes with Hope volunteers delivered food to the Gillespie Center, across from police headquarters.
This morning’s feature story on new 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker notes that she’ll be sworn in this coming Monday — along with other town boards and commissions — and that the Representative Town Meeting swearing-in would be the following day.
Late last night, it was decided that the entire swearing-in ceremony — including RTM — will take place on Monday. Mark your calendar: November 15, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium). The public is invited.
(For officials who cannot make the Monday evening event, there will be brief swearing-in ceremonies on Monday and Tuesday, both at 4:30 p.m. on the Town Hall steps.)
Jen Tooker (left) and Andrea Moore, Westport’s new selectwomen, will be sworn in — along with all town boards, commissions and RTM members — on Monday night.
Westporter Janet LaReau died suddenly on Tuesday at Yale New Haven Hospital. She was 58 years old.
The Bridgeport native enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, walks on the beach with her husband Edward Luciano, and Sunday dinners with her family. They describe her as selfless, loving, and someone who always went out of her way to help others.
In addition to her husband, survivors include her mother, Antoinette LaReau of Stratford; son Robert Battey of Phoenix; daughters Janet Dziekonski (Thomas) of Westport, Rebecca Sampieri (Kenneth) of Shelton, LeAnn Battey of Westport, Michele Caggiano (Amanda) of Stamford, Rita Luettger (Cody) of Arlington, Virginia, and Laura Battey of Stratford; brothers David LaReau and Jeffrey LaReau, both of Stratford; sister Nancy Tomasco of Stratford, CT and grandchildren Santino, Jayen, Daniel and Abigail.
A funeral is set for Saturday (November 13, 11 a.m., Assumption Church) for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m.
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