Tag Archives: Staples High School boys soccer team

Roundup: Clemson Soccer, Truck Parking, Toy Drive …


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.


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.


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.


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)


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)

Roundup: Rev. Patton, AAPI Westport, Staples Sports …


Saugatuck Congregational Church has been awarded a $50,000 Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program grant. Funds allow congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.

Rev. Alison Patton will begin her 3-month sabbatical in June. She will volunteer with a marine conservation program in the Maldives, and spend time with her family on a regenerative farm in Costa Rica.

Patton says, “I used to think I wanted to be a marine biologist. I now know I’m not a scientist; I am an admirer of the natural world in all its rich biodiversity. In the face of a worsening climate crisis and multiplying threats to biodiversity, I believe we are called to help craft a sustainable future for our planet. I am excited to use this time to take a deep dive into 2 biodiverse environments, to witness the impact of climate change, explore what’s being done to combat it and share some of that adventure with my family.”

Kim Mathias — moderator of Saugatuck’s Church Council — says the congregation will also benefit from this time of rest and renewal.

“Spending time outdoors during the pandemic and working on this grant application have fueled SCC’s interest in environmental issues,” she notes. “While Patton is away, the congregation will deepen its connection with our local ecosystem, exploring the beautiful coastal community of Westport and surrounding towns and digging deeper into the issues surrounding climate change. They look forward to renewing relationships with one another while learning how to better protect our coastal environment.”

Rev. Alison Patton


AAPI Westport was created in March 2021, following a rise in violence and racism against the Asian community. The mission of the group — which stands for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — is to foster a sense of belonging within the community, while increasing AAPI visibility and awareness throughout Westport and beyond.

The organizers — all mothers — hope to create an environment where their children feel proud of their heritage.

Today they launched a website. Their Instagram is @aapiwestport.

Anyone interested in helping further their mission, through financial support or volunteering time, should email aapiwestport@gmail.com.

At an AAPI rally on Jesup Green last March, a flag flew at half staff in memory of Asian-Americans killed last week in Atlanta.


It seems like every week, the Staples High School girls swim and dive team sets new records.

The latest came at the FCIAC championships last week. And not 1, but 3 records fell.

In a big way.

Freshman Annam Olasewere set a state and FCIAC record in the 50 yard free, with a time of 22.77. Her 50.18 in the 100 yard free also set a new FCIAC record.

Senior Jessica Qi finished second in that event, with a season best 52.21. Qi also took second in the 200 free with a time of 1:56.05

The relay team of freshman Annam Olasewere, Ayaan Olasewere and seniors Ella Alpert and Jessica Qi set a new FCIAC record in the 200 free relay (1:36.27) and also won the 400 free relay (3:31.87)

Staples moves on to compete in the Class LL and state open championships. More record-setting performances may be in the works.

Winning 400 meter free relay: From left to right Ella Alpert, Annam Olasewere, Ayaan Olasewere and Jessica Qi


Speaking of sports: The Staples High School boys soccer team raised thousands of dollars for their program — and several thousand more for Bridgeport Central High School’s soccer team — at last night’s annual Quiz Night.

The winning trivia team — Jacob Greenberger, Jackson Hochhauser Spencer Levine, Murilo Moreno, Jaden Mueller and Caleb Tobias. plus Oliver Clachko, wrestler/lacrosse player Nick Augeri and lacrosse player/WWPT-FM sports director Max Udell — answered questions like “What was the first word spoken on the moon?” (“Houston”), what is the only mammal that can fly (bats), and what is the first game played in “Squid Game” (Red Light Green Light).

They also took first place last year during COVID, when Quiz Night was virtual. This year’s event — which drew about 150 participants — returned again to the Staples cafeteria.

Quiz Night winners!


As the weather turns cool, some equally cool classic cars turn up at Compo Beach.

Andrew Colabella spotted several — including this one, with a classic pose — over the weekend.

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)


“Westport … Naturally” never gets tired of autumn leaf pictures.

Of course, before we know it they’ll be done. And we’ll move on to snowscapes.

(Photo/Molly Alger)


And finally … on this day in 1932, Franklin Roosevelt was elected 32nd president of the United States.

Roundup: Turtles, Art, Car Wash …


A dramatic rescue unfolded in Westport.

Frank Rosen reports that Glenn Ferrari found a diamondback terrapin — a species of special concern in Connecticut — with a broken shell on Harbor Road. She had been hit by a car on the way to her nesting site.

He called Pam Meier, a specialist at wildlife rehabilitation agency The Turtle’s Back.

Glenn Ferrari, Pam Meier and the endangered turtle.

She lives in Madison. But she met Glenn in Fairfield.

The turtle didn’t make it. But Pam salvaged her 11 eggs, and incubated them.

Yesterday she and Glenn released the hatchlings back home in Saugatuck Shores, where — hopefully — they will thrive.

One of the 11 baby turtles.


There’s a new gallery in town.

Miami-based Contemporary Art Modern Project (The CAMP Gallery) has just opened its second space. It’s at 190 Main Street — near Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolate and Joe’s Pizza.

An opening reception is set for tomorrow (Friday, September 24, 5 to 8 p.m.). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dominik Schmitt’s works, at the CAMP Gallery.


I don’t usually plug car washes. But because this one is run by the Staples High School boys soccer team that I coach — and it’s my blog — I will.

The varsity, reserve and freshman teams will be at the Christ & Holy Trinity Church parking lot off Elm Street this Saturday (September 25), from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There’s no minimum donation. Give whatever you wish (and buy baked goods too). Funds raised support many of the team expenses not covered by the school budget.

Clean as a whistle!


Turtles are an important part of Westport’s wildlife. So — long ago, and now returned in force — are turkeys.

Abby Tolan-Gordon spotted this flock yesterday, at Earthplace. They’re perfect for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Abby Gordon-Tolan)


And finally … speaking of turtles:

Pic Of The Day #943

Co-captain Sam Liles (orange armband) frames the Staples High School boys soccer team, at halftime of yesterday’s state tournament quarterfinal match. Down 1-0, the Wreckers scored with less than 6 minutes left to tie. After 2 overtimes, the teams headed to penalty kicks. Trumbull prevailed 5-4. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Farmers’ Market Needs Us!

It’s National Farmers’ Market Week (!).  So here’s your chance to vote for the Westport Farmers’ Market as the best in the area.

I usually don’t promote contests of this kind. But if we win — we’re currently 2nd, behind Black Rock but ahead of Norwalk/Rowayton, Old Greenwich and Ridgefield — our fantastic farmers (and bakers, meat purveyors, honey sellers, etc.) earn an important prize: They won’t have to pay their usual 4% fee on sales for one week.

Click here to vote for what we all know is the greatest farmers’ market around.

In other Westport Farmers’ Market news, members of the Staples High School boys soccer team were on hand today, shopping for goods.

Chef Luke Lampanelli (5th from left) joined Staples soccer players Chris Andrews, Max Hammer, Tyler Wright, Noah Schwaeber, Daniel Brill and Aidan Wisher, plus Westport Farmers' Market director Lori Cochran. Luke and the athletes are shopping for, and preparing, a meal for the Gillespie Center.

Chef Luke Lamparelli (5th from left) joins Staples soccer players Chris Andrews, Max Hammer, Tyler Wright, Noah Schwaeber, Daniel Brill and Aidan Wisher, plus Westport Farmers’ Market director Lori Cochran. Luke and the athletes are shopping for, and preparing, a meal for the Gillespie Center. (Missing: Andres Marmelo)

Community service is an important component of the boys soccer program, and the athletes were getting ready to cook a meal for the Gillespie Center.

Chef Luke Lamparelli is also volunteering his time and expertise. He’ll cook with the Wreckers tomorrow. That evening, they’ll serve fajitas, pasta, salad and dessert at Westport’s shelter.

Funds come from a previous effort this summer. Staples soccer players helped shoppers carry bags to cars, in exchange for voluntary contributions.

It’s a great team effort — just like the team voting effort that will make the Westport Farmers’ Market #1!

Farmers Market

At The Car Wash

Nearly every sports team and youth organization in Westport holds car washes.

Yesterday was the Staples boys soccer team’s turn.  Over 60 players from the varsity, JV and freshman teams spent 6 hours working.  The money goes to everything from the season-ending banquet, to scholarships and charities honoring players and parents who have died.

Saugatuck Congregational Church offered their parking lot; State Cleaners dried all the towels gratis.  It’s a nice slice of small-town Westport.

To attract customers, a few players stood on the sidewalk, holding signs.  To attract even more attention, several boys future marketing whizzes took off their shirts, wrapped their signs around their shorts, and pointed to the church driveway.  It looked pretty funny:

A couple of Westporters were not amused.  In fact, they called the cops.  One woman said her child “should not be subjected” to such a sight.

The police were apologetic.

But they took my name, address and phone number (as the Staples soccer coach) anyway.

You want another car wash story?

In the early afternoon, a guy drove up in a nice car.  His kids were in the back.

How long would the car wash go on? he asked.  Until 4, we said.

Good, he replied.  He had only a $100 bill, so he’d be back.

Well, we have change, we said.  Umm, I have to go to the ATM, he responded.  And on he drove.

But a few minutes later we looked around.  There he was, getting his car washed.

So, if you’re that guy — you know, you said you were from Fairfield, but your car has New York plates starting with F, and ending with 4753 — just click on the “Contact Me” link at the top of the page.  I’ll let you know how you can settle up with our kids.