Tag Archives: Staples High School lacrosse

New England Hemp Farm Brings CBD Here

High-level lacrosse took a toll on Colin Bannon’s body.

The 2013 Staples High School graduate went on to star at Endicott College: 4-year varsity starter, 3-time All-American. But after majoring in business management, and earning a graduate degree in marketing and sales, his body was banged up.

His back, shoulders, hips — you name it, it hurt.

Bannon worked a couple of jobs — for a lacrosse company, and home remodeling — before being named assistant varsity coach at Staples last year.

About the same time, he discovered CBD.

Colin Bannon

Known technically as cannabidiol, CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Used in products like oils, edibles and tinctures, it helps users feel relaxed and calm.

CBD is often confused with THC — the psychoactive compound in cannabis. They are very different.

THC gets users high. CBD does not.

Confusion also arises because the cannabis sativa plant has 2 primary species: hemp and marijuana. Hemp has a much higher percentage of CBD, and much lower levels of THC.

The Food and Drug Administration currently approves only one CBD medication: Epidiolex, for certain types of epilepsy. But the compound is used frequently for many other health conditions.

The legality of CBD varies from state to state. Last year, President Trump signed a farm bill that removed hemp as a Schedule I substance. It is now called an “agricultural commodity.”

The bill also removed restrictions on the sale, transportation and possession of CBD derived from hemp (with certain regulatory restrictions).

Hemp plant

Three months after Bannon began using CBD, he felt remarkably better. His back and shoulders no longer ached. His hips were better aligned. He joined a growing number of Americans touting the compound’s benefits.

Not long after, he was chatting with Brian Edmonds. Chair of New York Athletic Club’s lacrosse program, he’d recently retired from Cantor Fitzgerald after more than 30 years in finance.

Edmonds had found that CBD relieved his chronic joint pain. However, with so many competing products and brands on the market, he worried about competing claims regarding quality, purity and appropriate dosages.

Edmonds partnered with Keith Bunovsky, a lifelong Connecticut farmer, and moved from Fairfield to Mystic to start a new business: New England Hemp Farm.

Their goal is to bring high quality, guaranteed CBD products to the chaotic marketplace. They pay fair market prices to their farmers in Monroe and Canterbury. They also donate a percentage of profits to help preserve New England farms, and benefit inner-city programs.

Two of New England Hemp Farm’s many products.

They’re renovating an old firehouse on the Poquonnock River. Called “The Barn,” it will serve as their flagship retail location — and offer food and live music.

But New England Hemp Farm also has a presence at the other end of the state — right here in Westport. On November 1, they open a pop-up holiday shop on Main Street’s Brooks Corner. They’ll sell CBD topicals, tinctures, edibles, liquid capsules — even pet treats.

They had a booth at the recent Westoberfest. It was packed.

And though the store is not yet open, people have stopped by, seeking information.

Colin Bannon will not be lax describing everything CBD has done for him.

New England Hemp Farm’s pop-up store, in Brooks Corner.

Staples, Ludlowe Meet In Lacrosse: Rivalry Dates Back 365 Years

In 1653, Roger Ludlow* — one of the founders of both the colony of Connecticut and the town of Fairfield — accused Mary Staples of being a witch.

Roger Ludlow

Staples was Ludlow’s neighbor. Her husband Thomas sued Ludlow for slander. Ludlow was fined 15 pounds.

Mary Staples was the great-great-great-grandmother of Horace Staples. 231 years later, he founded Westport’s high school.

Ludlow was the namesake of Fairfield’s first high school, and a middle school.

This Saturday at 7 p.m., Fairfield Ludlowe High School hosts Staples High in a boys lacrosse game. The winner will receive a witch’s broom, commemorating the rivalry between the high schools and their famous ancestors.

Who will win? No one knows. But it should be a great game. The Wreckers are 9-2; the Falcons are 7-2.

Yet one thing is certain: When they first met in 1653, Mary Staples trounced Roger Ludlow.

*It’s unclear from his signature whether he spelled his last name with or without an “e.” Both schools named after him include the letter; most historical references do not.

This is a witch — not Mary Staples. She was acquitted of the charge.

Staples Lacrosse Sticks Up For Soldiers

James Hazelip does not live in Westport. But the US Army combat veteran — who deployed twice to Iraq — considers this his adopted home town.

He’s seen the kindness, care and generosity of Westporters personally, on visits with 2 non-profits: Sticks for Soldiers and Catch a Lift.

“Sticks” uses lacrosse to raise funds to support wounded vets and their families. Catch a Lift provides gym memberships and home equipment, fitness programs and motivational peer support to post-9/11 combat-wounded military personnel.

Staples lacrosse players wear special pinneys for the “Sticks for Soldiers” game. (Photo/Shelley Burger Sports)

In the past year, Hazelip has been to Westport twice. Both times, he says, “I met amazing people. They really care about and take action for the welfare of our service members and veterans.”

This Saturday (April 21), Hazelip returns the love. He’s the keynote speaker at Staples High School’s 7th annual Sticks for Soldiers event. After the girls’ 4 p.m. game, and before the boys’ 6 p.m. contest, Hazelip will deliver inspiring remarks to the football stadium crowd.

James Hazelip

He’s got quite a story. PTSD nearly cost Hazelip his life. He struggled with substance abuse, gained 100 pounds, and spent more than a month in a coma. Speaking to Westporters is part of his journey to rebuild his life.

That’s not all he’ll do. The Army vet will also address the Wrecker boys team in the locker room before and after their game.

A Navy lieutenant who served on 4 destroyers during her 15-year military career will speak to the Staples girls team too.

Staples lacrosse coaches, and their PAL counterparts, have planned an important afternoon. The ceremony between the boys and girls games includes presentation of the colors, and remarks by Sticks for Soldiers president Jeff Casucci.

The 2016 Sticks for Soldiers lacrosse game at Staples included a speaker and color guard — and this intriguing double image. (Photo/ Shelley Burger Sports)

During halftime of both games, PAL youth teams will play scrimmages.

A suggested minimum donation of $5 raises funds for Sticks for Soldiers. Proceeds from food and drink sales will also benefit the organization.

Whether you’re an avid lax fan or have never seen a game, te sure to “stick” Saturday on your calendar. You’ll welcome James Hazelip back to Westport — and help many other soldiers too.

(To donate to Sticks for Soldiers, click here. For more information on Saturday’s event, email edward.iannone@gmail.com)