Tag Archives: Staples High School field hockey

Roundup: Girls Soccer, Pumpkins, ALS …


Congratulations to the Staples High School girls soccer team!

The #4 Wreckers battled #1 St. Joseph to a 0-0 draw in the FCIAC semifinals last night — then prevailed on penalty kicks, to advance to the league championship. It’s tomorrow night (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) Thursday (November 4, 7 p.m.)  at Fairfield Warde High School.

Coco Crombie, Gaby Gonzalez and Gabriela de Brito each made their tension-filled, game-ending shots. McKenzie Didio saved 3 shots in goal, to propel the Westporters to the title match.

Coach Barry Beattie’s team hopes to make it 2 championships in a row. They beat St. Joseph in 2019. There was no match last year, due to COVID.

Good luck too to the Staples field hockey team. Seeded #3, they face #2 Darien tonight at 7:30., at Brien McMahon High School.

The Staples High School girls soccer team, at last month’s the Push Against Cancer …


Halloween’s over. You’re rationing your kid’s candy, and cleaning the cobwebs (literally) from your yard. But what to do about that rotting pumpkin?

Bring it to the Westport Farmers’ Market on November 11 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Their 3rd annual Great Pumpkin Toss is a free, fun composting event.

Action Waste Solutions will accept all pumpkins (and gourds!) in their natural state at the market. Squishy, rotted pumpkins are welcome. If they’re decorated or painted, they unfortunately can’t be composted.

In addition to creating compost, pumpkins provide food for livestock. Ox Hollow Farm will fill their truck with pumpkins for their cows.

PS: You can also sign up for Action Waste Solution’s residential recycling collection service, and get your first month of service free.

Last year’s event diverted one ton of pumpkins from landfill. Let’s beat that this year!


One of Westport’s most important holiday events — the annual Giving Program — is underway.

Aimed at friends and neighbors facing financial hardship, it’s funded entirely by community donations. Each year, over 100 Westport families with school-aged children benefit.

COVID — with unemployment, underemployment, food insecurity and stress — has increased the need.

During the pandemic, Westport’s Department of Human Services has pivoted from accepting toys and clothes. The emphasis now is on gift cards, checks and cash. Safety is one factor; so is the chance for parents to personalize their children’s gifts, while participating in the holiday season.

Individuals and organizations can click here to help; choose “Family to Family,” then “Holiday Giving Program.” Checks can be mailed to Westport Department of Human Services c/o Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.  Donations may also be dropped off at Town Hall by appointment.

Westport residents facing financial difficulties can call Human Services at 203-341-1050 or email humansrv@westportct.gov for confidential assistance.

Click here for more information. Questions about the program? Email adaugelli@westportct.gov or call 203-341-1183. 


As he battled ALS, Jonathan Greenfield was thinking of others. The well-known Westporter created Breathe4ALS, The goal was to improve the lives of people living with ALS by educating them about the Wim Hof breathing technique, and its ability to provide more energy, less stress and a heightened immune response — and to fundraise for ALS research.

Jonathan died in June, but his work continues. This Sunday (November 7,  11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) the non-profit he founded with his wife Iris holds its first Jonathan Greenfield Memorial Wim Hof fundamentals workshops. It’s called “Breathe Westport. Breathe!” Jonathan created Breathe 4 ALS with a dual mission:  to improve the lives of people living with ALS and to raise money for ALS research.

The event will be held at the Greenfields’ home, and livestreamed. Tickets are $200 and $45, respective. All proceeds benefit Breathe4ALS. Click here to register, and for more information. Click here for a video on the Wim Hof technique.

Not long after his diagnoses, Jonathan Greenfield hiked in Spain with Wim Hof (left).


Political season means political signs. You see them everywhere: traffic islands. Front lawns. Today, of course, at polling places.

They tout candidates for local offices. Except this one, spotted earlier today on South Compo.

The Tiger King is not on the ballot. Besides, the 2020 presidential election is over. Joe Biden won.*

(Photo/Matt Murray)



The Mercedes station wagon parked since summer front of Town Hall still remains there.

It’s not the only perhaps abandoned vehicle.

Chris Grimm says a Holiday Rambler travel trailer has sat in the Sherwood Island Connector I-95 commuter lot for at least a couple of weeks. 

The door is wide open. He describes it as “ever so slightly furnished crack den chic. The only decoration is a Junie B. Jones bumper sticker on the inside of the front window. Looks like a metaphor for lost youth if there ever was one!”

Holiday Rambler in the I-95 lot. (Photo/Chris Grimm)


MoCA Westport’s auction is online, and open. More than 50 items — including original art, unique experiences, and products from small Westport businesses — are available for bid.

Click here to participate. The auction closes November 15.


Thoreau never gets old

To prove it, Westporter Andrew Blauner has compiled essays from 27 leading writers. Their original pieces explore how the 19th century philosopher/poet/ environmentalist/abolitionist influenced them.

Next Monday (November 8, 7 p.m.), he (Blauner, not Thoreau, Zoom) will talk about his new book, what he’s learned, and why we still need Thoreau in our lives. Click here to register, and purchase the book.

Henry David Thoreau


The Westport Astronomical Society’s lecture series is one of our town’s unheralded gems. (The WAS calls itself, after all, “The Best Space in Connecticut.”)

Next up: the Hubble Telescope, and “A Brief Moment in Time.” It’s November 16 (8 p.m.). Click here to view.


There are plenty of places to admire fall foliage. One of my favorites is at the entrance to Staples High School, just off North Avenue.

Dayle Brownstein loves it too. Here’s her photo — a perfect “Westport … Naturally” image, on this Election Day when there’s no school.

(Photo/Dayle Brownstein)


And finally … today is Election Day. Leonard Cohen nails it. Sure, he was Canadian, but you get the idea.



Roundup: Old Dominion, Pumpkins, Sports, More

The third time’s the charm.

Of course, so were the first two.

For the third year in a row, Old Dominion was named Vocal Group of the Year, at the Academy of Country Music awards ceremony in Nashville. Lead guitarist for the Nashville-based band is 1997 Staples High School graduate Brad Tursi.

Perhaps the ACM can take a page from international soccer. After a team wins its 3rd World Cup, the trophy is retired.

Why the analogy? In 1996, Tursi led his Staples team to the state final.

His current career is plenty rewarding too. Congratulations, Old Dominion.

Now go out and make it 4 in a row! (Hat tip: Jeff Lea)

Brad Tursi



Still got pumpkins?

The Westport Farmers’ Market will collect them today, as they open the winter season at Gilbertie’s Herb Garden (7 Sylvan Road South, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Last week at the 2nd annual Pumpkin Composting Collection with Action Waste Solutions, the WFM collected more than 2,000 pounds of pumpkins.

That’s 2,000 pounds of food not added to the waste stream. Some pumpkins went to vendors and Bridgeport Rescue Mission to be cooked and eaten; some went to farm animals.

Whatever could not feed people or animals will be composted.

Last week’s pumpkin haul.

For weeks, it was uncertain whether there would be a high school fall sports season in Connecticut.

There was — though shortened, and without any FCIAC (league) or state tournaments.

The FCIAC was divided into 3 groups. Staples competed in the Central Division, against only 5 opponents: Norwalk, Brien McMahon, Wilton, Danbury and Ridgefield. Teams played home-and-away, back-to-back contests. Those same 6 schools then played a season-ending mini-tournament.

On Tuesday the girls’ volleyball team captured the divisional crown with a 3-0 win over Ridgefield.

The field hockey team fell to Ridgefield 2-1, in the Central final. In the regular season, the Wreckers won twice against the Tigers.

The girls soccer team was set to play for a Central Division trophy of its own this afternoon. They were to face archrival — you guessed it — Ridgefield. Earlier this year, the squads tied twice. The move to all remote learning for Staples through tomorrow has postponed the title match.

Action from Tuesday’s Central Division field hockey final.

(Photos/J.C. Martin)

And finally … happy 75th birthday to Neil Young!


Roundup: Compo Beach, Craft Fair, More

Warm weather has brought summer-like (sort of) crowds to Compo Beach.

In an abundance of caution during COVID-19, the parking lots will close today when they reach 50% capacity, as was done this summer. The lots will reopen as space becomes available.

Town officials remind beach-goers to wear masks on the boardwalk, when using the restrooms or sidewalks, or any other time when maintaining a 6-foot distance is not possible.

Not quite yesterday — but close.

The Westport Young Woman’s League Craft Fair is one of the area’s best fundraisers of the year.

It’s also one of the most crowded.

Which means it won’t be happening this fall. At least, not the usual way.

But the crafty WYWL has figured out a way for anyone to shop at home — and support over 200 artists and all the good works the organization does.

Click here for CraftWestport. The Young Woman’s League also seeks donations. Last year, admission fees to the craft show helped them distribute $90,000 to 25 area charities. Click here to help.

If you missed the opportunity you to drop off your old pumpkins at the Westport Farmers’ Market, here’s another option.

Bring them to the transfer station. Leave them beside the bright green food scraps toter. They will be made into compost. (Hat tip: Pippa Bell Ader)

The Staples field hockey team kept their perfect season intact with another shut-out yesterday. They beat Brien McMahon 8- 0 in the FCIAC Central Division semifinal.

COVID prevents the Wreckers from earning their 5th state championship in a row. But on Tuesday (November 10), they host Ridgefield for the divisional crown. Go get ’em!

The Wreckers celebrate one of 8 goals yesterday. (Photo/J.C. Martin)

And finally … Minnie Riperton was born today in 1947. She died 31 years later, of breast cancer.

Roundup: Pride And Prejudice, Night Music, Field Hockey, More

Who doesn’t want to escape 2020? The early 1800s sound great!

This Sunday (November 8, 6 p.m.), Staples Players’ radio play series continues with “Pride and Prejudice.” Jane Austen’s tale of romance and matchmaking gone awry is great family entertainment. Just like the old days! (Though there were no radio plays in the 1800s, of course.)

Sophie Rossman plays Elizabeth Bennet. She calls this “unlike anything we’ve done in the last 4 years.” Sophie admires Elizabeth’s “drive to make decisions and defy gender stereotypes to achieve her aspirations.”

Emily Desser adds that “audiences will love all of the characters in each of these shows. Each of them is entertaining in their own way, and cast members find such interesting ways to bring them to life.”

Gruel Brittania joins the fun. The Fairfield restaurant offers Pemberley’s Prime Rib Supper with Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower and broccoli cheese, roasted parsnips and carrots, pan gravy and horseradish sauce, and sticky toffee pudding with custard. To order, click here.

To enjoy the free livestream, click on www.wwptfm.org.

Seniors Sophie Rossman and David Corro rehearse “Pride and Prejudice.” (Photo/Kerry Long)

Temple Israel cantor Dan Sklar, local favorites The Sweet Remains, Staples High School senior Camille Foisie and Camp A Cappella highlight an evening of great music on Saturday, November 14 (7:30 p.m.).

It’s all for a great cause: the Norwalk/Nagarote Sister City Project. Email norwalksistercityproject@gmail.com.

Camille Foisie

The Staples field hockey team celebrated Senior Day in a big way in their last regular season game, scoring against Norwalk within the first minute. The rampage continued, all the way to 6-1.

The undefeated (8-0) Wreckers advance to the Central Division semifinal, Saturday at home.

(Photo/JC Martin)

And finally … as Election Week continues …

We Are The Champions. And The Champions, Champions, Champions, Champions, Champions, Champions.

I don’t normally post “lineup” photos: people in a row, smiling at the camera.

And I hate running pictures where the heads are so small you can hardly see who’s who.

But it’s not every day a school has 7 state championship teams in one year.

So — in honor of today’s Town Hall reception for Staples High School’s field hockey, boys cross country, boys squash, boys tennis, girls tennis, boys volleyball, and baseball teams: Here you go!

(Photo/Chris Greer)

Sorry — I did not get left-to-right IDs for everyone.

They Are The Champions!

It’s very tough to win a high school state championship.

It’s even tougher to repeat.

But the Staples field hockey team did just that this afternoon. Coach Ian Tapsall’s girls decisively shut out Cheshire 2-0, to capture their 2nd consecutive class “L” (largest schools) crown. It’s the 3rd in the program’s history, following a co-championship in 2016.

State champs — again! The Staples High School field hockey team.

A couple of hours later, coach Barry Beattie’s girls soccer team fell 1-0 to Ridgefield, in the title match. It was the 2nd straight year that the 2 FCIAC schools met in the “LL” (largest schools) final — and the 2nd straight win for the Tigers.

Congratulations to both teams, for great runs.

And, of course, kudos to coach Laddie Lawrence’s boys cross country squad. Earlier this year they captured the “LL” title — their 3rd in a row. In 2015 and ’16, they were also state open champions.

Field Hockey, Soccer State Finals Moved To Sunday

The Staples field hockey and girls soccer teams have one more day to prepare for their state championship games.

Snow pushed the 2 finals back to Sunday.

The field hockey title contest versus Cheshire is now set for November 18, 12:30 p.m. at Wethersfield High School.

The girls soccer match is also Sunday, 3 p.m. at West Haven High School.

One thing hasn’t changed: Westport’s excitement and support as these 2 great teams go for the gold.

The Staples girls soccer team celebrates after beating Glastonbury in the state tournament semifinals.

The Staples High School field hockey team.

Hail To The Victors! Staples Field Hockey Wins State Championship

Last year, Staples and Darien tied in the state L (large schools) state title game. They were declared co-champs. That was quite an accomplishment.

But this year, there’s no sharing at all. The Wreckers edged the same team — the Blue Wave — 1-0 in the championship match, at Wethersfield High School.

Congratulations to coach Ian Tapsall, and his girls!

The 2017 state champion Staples field hockey team. (Photo courtesy of Sal Augeri)

They were not the only Staples team playing for a state crown today.

The girls soccer team — fresh off their FCIAC championship — fell 2-1 to Ridgefield, in the LL (largest schools) clash at West Haven High.

It’s very difficult to beat the same good team 3 times in one season. The Wreckers of coaches Barry Beattie, Mackenzie Pretty and Dave Sharpe had knocked off the Tigers twice before, in regular season and FCIAC tournament play.


Staples Field Hockey Goes For Gold

The Staples High School soccer and football teams get more publicity. More fans too.

But the Wrecker field hockey team is doing something on Saturday that those other squads are not this fall: playing for a state championship.

The 2016 Staples field hockey team.

The 2016 Staples field hockey team.

Quietly — but steadily, and with great talent and poise — coach Ian Tapsall’s girls have rolled to a phenomenal record. They’re undefeated (18-0-2-1) in regulation play. They’re confident, strong, tough, fit. And very, very good.

They put it all on the line against Darien on Saturday (10 a.m.) at Wethersfield High School. Sure, it’s a long way to go for 2 teams in near-neighboring towns.

But it will be worth it.

This is the Wreckers’ 1st field hockey state final since 1974. Back then, the coach was the legendary Jinny Parker.

Staples plays its home matches at Virginia Parker Field. And these girls know their history.

Before every game they look up, wave thank you and pay tribute to Parker — the founder of their program.

The Staples team waves to their founder, Jinny Parker.

The Staples team waves to their founder, Jinny Parker.

On Saturday — against the Darien Blue Wave — Jinny Parker may well be “waving” back.

Jinny Parker, during the 1974 season.

Jinny Parker, during the 1974 season.