Tag Archives: Staples High School baseball

COVID-19 Roundup: Student Theater And Art; Medical Heroes; Baseball, Masks, More

The Westport Country Playhouse is dark. But it lights up on both Facebook and the Playhouse’s own YouTube channel on Friday, April 17 (7 p.m.).

It shines with Westport’s own Kelli O’Hara, and 10 randomly selected Fairfield County High School students. They’ll chat with the Broadway star, and perform musical theater selections.

Students can click here between tomorrow (Sunday, April 5, 10 a.m.) and Wednesday (April 8, 10 a.m.). Upload a video of yourself performing any musical theater song.

In addition to the 10 students chosen, 10 “understudies” will be selected to submit a question for Kelli to answer during the show.

“I’m a firm believer in the healing magic of the arts,” the Tony Award-winning (“The King and I”) actor says. Most recently, she earned a Tony nomination for “Kiss Me, Kate.”

All videos submitted will be featured in a compilation, released on Playhouse social media channels. For more information, email education@westportplayhouse.org.

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)


First “06880” encouraged Westport students to do artwork while they’re home from school.

Now Friends of Westport Public Art Collections is doing the same. Here’s the hook: If your work is accepted by Friends, it will be featured in the public schools’ 2020-21 calendar.

Submissions can be new — or something already painted, drawn, photographed or digitally created. Click here for details.


Many people have seen this photo from Yale New Haven Health. Front line personnel are pleading with everyone to keep physical distance.

But you may not know that the nurse in the far left of the front row is Nick Kiedaisch. The 2012 Staples High School graduate — and varsity baseball star — is among the medical heroes. Let’s do all we can to make his and his colleagues’ jobs easier. (Hat tip: Jeff Mitchell)


Lifelong Westporter Deborah Johnson is a well-known designer and decorator, with her own drapery business.

Over the years she has assembled plenty of extra fabric. Now she’s using it to make face masks. If you’d like to help, or know someone in great need, email wsptgirl@yahoo.com(Hat tip: Steve Crowley)


Speaking of masks: Yesterday’s Roundup story on Virginia Jaffe’s project raised immediate funds, delivered 4 sewing helpers — and brought a request from the director of STAR Lighting the Way. Today, Virginia and her crew are donating 80 masks for their staff. Well done!

Virginia Jaffe, in her workroom


It’s looking increasingly unlikely that the spring high school sports season will happen.

That’s devastating news to hundreds of Staples athletes — and hundreds of thousands more across the country.

Which brings up this local/national news: In a just-released preseason poll, the National High School Baseball Coaches Association ranked the Wreckers 31st, in the entire country.

They’re defending state champions. But they may never get their chance to defend their title.

They might also lose the opportunity to see how much further they’d climb in the rankings. Normally at this time of year, anticipation and excitement would be high.

Opening day was supposed to have been today.

Instead of “Play ball!” it’s “Keep away!”

So right now, guys, we’re sorry. Congratulations on being #31 in the nation will have to suffice. (Hat tip: Vince Kelly)


And finally, what’s Saturday without a dance party?

C’mon! It’s time to throw down. Nobody’s watching! And even if they are …

Ben Casparius Starts In College World Series

It’s been a full day of sports here on “06880.”

This morning I reported that Cameron Wilson — son of 1975 Staples High School grad Dave Wilson — earned a coveted spot at the US Open golf tournament, this weekend on Long Island.

Then I posted a story on Rebecca Russo, who showed off her National Women’s Hockey League Isobal Cup yesterday at Saugatuck Elementary and Bedford Middle Schools.

Ben Casparius

And right now on ESPN you can watch Ben Casparius try to help the University of North Carolina win the College World Series. The Tar Heels are playing Oregon State University in the first game of the double-elimination event in Omaha.

Casparius was a 4-year star for Staples, leading the Wreckers to the 2017 state championship. He was Connecticut’s Gatorade Player of the Year, among other honors, and graduated as the state’s all-time hits leader.

Though just a freshman, he’s in the lineup as UNC’s designated hitter.

That’s quite a day.

Meanwhile, if you’re in Russia for the World Cup, please send us a report.

We want to cover all the bases.

(Hat tip: David Goldstein)

Staples Baseball Earns State Championship — And A Spot In History

Over the past 4 years, Amity High School achieved legendary status in Connecticut high school baseball. The Woodbridge school won 4 consecutive state championships — including an 8-1 drubbing of Staples in the 2015 title game.

That squad included several players from Westport’s storied 2013 Little League all-star team.

It took them 2 years, but today the Wreckers wreaked revenge.

A 2-run home run by Chad Knight — the Staples pitcher, and a mainstay of that Little League squad — staked the 11th-ranked Westporters to a 5-1 victory.

The game — at Middletown’s Parker Field — snapped the 1st-seeded Spartans’ spectacular streak of 24 straight state tournament wins. In denying Amity a 5th straight crown, Staples won their own 1st baseball state title since 2001.

(Graphic courtesy of @StaplesSports Instagram and Twitter)

Knight — just a sophomore — has already committed to Duke University. Senior Ben Casparius has had his own tremendous year. The University of North Carolina commit was named Gatorade Connecticut Baseball Player of the Year.

Congratulations to head coach Jack McFarland, his staff, and especially all the state champion Wreckers.

This season has truly been a ball.

Birthday Ball

Today is opening day for the Staples baseball team.

Who better to sing the national anthem than senior pitcher Jack Baylis?

Jack Baylis

Jack Baylis

It’s quite a day for him. After the game, he’ll hustle over to Southport’s Trinity Episcopal Church, to sing with Orphenians.

Plus, it’s Jack’s 18th birthday.

Play ball!

1st inning action: Newtown (at bat) against Staples.

1st inning action: Newtown (at bat) against Staples.

Max Orland Joins The Red Sox

Max Orland always dreamed of working with the Boston Red Sox.

Four years after graduating from Staples, he can strike that off his to-do list.

Max Orland

A 4-year student manager for the University of Delaware baseball team, Max has left the Blue Hens for the BoSox.  Right now he’s in Fort Myers, Florida, working as an operations and equipment intern during spring training.

Max prepared for this opportunity for years — and never let his speech and language disability get in the way.  At Staples he was part of the baseball team.  During summers he worked with the Bridgeport Bluefish and Pawtucket Red Sox.

Since his first day at Delaware, he’s been an invaluable member of their athletic department.

In addition to his baseball work, Max assisted the men’s basketball team.  According to BlueHens.com, his “positive demeanor and undying energy” were hallmarks of his Newark career.

Delaware baseball coach Jim Sherman called Max’s service with the Red Sox “our loss for the next 6 weeks. When Max isn’t around, you realize how much he does.  From getting the equipment ready, to doing all the preparations for practices and games, those are all things we’re going to miss.”

Sherman said the team will also miss “Max’s humor in the dugout.”

Max finishes out this spring, having earned 60 credits.  He will receive an advanced certificate in sport management.  And a major league job already under his belt.