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