Tag Archives: Staples High School lacrosse

Roundup: Staples Lacrosse: State Champs! …

First there was Wilton. Then Darien.

Now there’s a new powerhouse in Connecticut boys lacrosse: Staples.

The Wreckers won their 2nd straight state championship — and 2nd ever — yesterday. Seeded #2 in the “L” (large schools) division, they dominated #1-ranked Fairfield Prep en route to a 13-6 victory.

The score was 4-2 at halftime. The blue-and-whites never looked back.

Goals and/or assists came from Tyler Clark, Sam Eigen, Ben Burmeister, Leo Sequenzia, Gavin Rothenberg, Adam Udell, Tristan Schaefer, Michael Nealon and Dixon Scherer. Josh Marcus was a rock in goal.

Two days earlier, in a much closer contest, Staples edged #3 Darien, 9-8.

Congratulations to coach Will Koshansky, and the entire team, on a hard-earned, well-deserved, and fantastic accomplishment!

(Photos/Jada Mirabelle for CIAC Sports)


A 13% cut in Metro-North service — and 4% fare increase — are coming down the tracks this fall.

What can be done?


That’s the opinion of Jim Cameron, CT Mirror’s transportation columnist.

Click here to read today’s full column. And get ready to gnash your teeth.

Jim Cameron describes what’s on track for local trains. (Photo/Molly Alger)


Beechwood has been sold.

The storied Weston Road property owned by Frederic Chiu and Jeanine Esposito changes hands later this month.

Before then, the couple’s Beechwood Arts & Immersion — named for the enormous copper beech tree that has shaded the home for 2 centuries — is holding an online auction. It closes this Wednesday (June 14, 7:30 p.m.). Click here for the link. All proceeds go to The Hive, Chiu and Esposito’s next collaborative project.

On Thursday, June 22 (3 to 7 p.m.), there is a “Take and Make” event. It is
“Beechwood’s version of a tag sale.” Go to Beechwood, have refreshments, visit the tree, share a memory of your time there, take some treasures, and make a donation for The Hive.

Among the items: women’s clothing, accessories and jewelry; rare, unusual and fun books; CDs and LPs; home and yard items, and more.

Beechwood House, and its towering copper beech tree.


Remember this big, ugly, unneeded monstrosity from last summer?

(Photo/Matt Murray)

It’s gone this year.

The view of the plantings at the Compo Beach entrance is now much more soothing.

But wait! How will anyone know how many spaces are available in each lot?!


Village Pediatrics had 4 interns this spring. Among their tasks: create a new “story walk” outside the office.

The new exhibit — “The Emotions Book” — features a cute elephant who learns to deal with big emotions. The public is invited to wander through the walkway, at 323 Riverside Avenue.

Cooper DeGirolomo of Hamden Hall Country Day School was one of the interns. He says: “The opportunity to learn from such a fantastic group of doctors and nurses has been inspiring, and reinvigorated my interest in pursuing a career in medicine.”

He shadowed physicians during well and sick visits. He learned about diseases and conditions, treatment plans, and medications.

The interns also read books about health, and discussed them with physicians.

Kayla Teplitz, 5, enjoys the Village Pediatrics story walk. She is working on her pre-reading skills, preparing for Coleytown Elementary School kindergarten this fall.


“Riders to the Sea” was performed this past weekend at the Brooklyn Art Haus.

But theater-goers got a healthy dose of Westport.

Staples High School 2013 graduates (and former Players actors and/or musicians) Phoebe Corde, Jake Landau and Michelle Pauker had prominent roles.

Corde and Landau — part of a group called Off Brand Opera — adapted the opera into a musical. Landau also served as musical director, while Pauker was in the cast. Jake and Phoebe are board members of Off Brand Opera, which produces exciting cross-genre collaborations.


Speaking of theater: “Days of Wine and Roses” — the new off-Broadway show starring Westport’s Kelli O’Hara — earned a rave review in the Washington Post.

“Her exceptional coloratura proves irresistible for a Guettel-mixed cocktail of ecstasy and pain,” writes Peter Marks.

“At a time when the American musical seems ever more pumped up on pop, what a pleasure it is to encounter a palette of new show tunes delving deeply into character, that favor sweeping emotionality over Spotify familiarity.”

Click here for the full review. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere for the musical version of “Days of Wine and Roses.” (Photo/Ahron R. Foster for the Washington Post)


A rose is a rose … is a “Westport … Naturally” photo.

Today’s beautiful image was taken by Tammy Barry, on Harbor Road.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)


And finally … in honor of today’s gorgeous nature shot (above):

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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)