Warriors On The Rise: A Former Player — Now Summer Coach — Looks At The Growth Of Wilton’s Girls Basketball Program

If you asked me what my fondest memories are from high school, I guarantee that more than half are from playing for the Wilton High School basketball program. Had this been five, six years ago, some might be confused by my answer, considering that the team was hardly winning enough games to be eligible for the postseason, and basketball was not a priority for Wilton athletes in comparison to programs experiencing consistent success, like lacrosse and field hockey.

In fact, I will never forget the first night of my first year as a member of the team. After winning the freshmen game and then being thrown into the fire in a heated junior varsity matchup, I then took my place on the bench for our varsity team against Fairfield Warde. We lost, 89-42.

Despite the fact that the 2008-09 season only saw Wilton winning four games, things were beginning to change beneath the surface.


Stamford Summer Baseball Report: Talent-Rich Legion 19U Team Sitting Atop Standings

STAMFORD — With the first month of its season wrapping up, the 19U Stamford American Legion team has established itself as one of the favorites. Everything has seemed to click. Stamford holds the top spot in the standings with a 10-1 record and has a deep roster featuring some of the best talent in the area.

All that aside, what’s the real key to this team’s success? It is having fun.

“We have great chemistry here,” Coach Kevin Murray said. “Every kid wants to be here, wants to get better and wants to compete to win.”


Darien’s Emily Stein To End Storied 3-Sport Career Playing In Under Armour Classic

DARIEN — Those looking to enter the workforce are instructed it is best to keep their resume to one page.

That would seem an impossible task for Darien’s Emily Stein, though she is at least four years away from searching for her first full-time job.

Her room is full of championship medallions and individual trophies. She is headed to one of the premier schools for female lacrosse players.


For Emma Oyomba And Megan D’Alessandro, No Regrets On Foregoing College Careers

There is nothing like playing for a packed gym or being on the field and seeing a sea of people rooting for your team. There is nothing like a buzzer-beating shot. There is nothing like the pain you feel after a loss or the happiness you feel after a win. There is nothing like the bond you form over time with your teammates and coaches. And there is certainly nothing like hearing “get on the line.”

The realization that I would not continue to play sports at the college level after graduating last year from Norwalk, where I played basketball and lacrosse, was a tough one but one that I was willing to come to terms with. After years of competing and two torn ACLs, I was burnt out. That factored in my decision to attend the University of Vermont.

And there are many other great athletes in the FCIAC that end up feeling the same. One in particular was Megan D’Alessandro, who is a sophomore accounting major at the University of Connecticut. The Westhill graduate was a standout athlete who played basketball and softball.

Boys Track

Even With A Win At The New Balance Nationals, Darien’s Alex Ostberg Remains An Anonymous Champion

DARIEN — During a spring in which Darien High School appeared to have a monopoly on athletic success, the most monumental achievement was the nexus of skill, desire and selflessness.

“It was something I knew was possible,” Alex Ostberg said last week, days after winning the 5,000-meter title at the New Balance Outdoor National Championships in a state-record 14:16.61, the fastest time in the country this season and second in the history of the meet. “I talked with my coach and we thought we had the right strategy. I tried to use what I had learned over the years. I’m distance oriented, so the longer it is, the better I run.”


The Ruden Report Taking Part In BlueStreak’s 10th Anniversary Party

It all started five years ago on my blog for the Stamford Advocate with the Overtime Football Team of the Week award, grew to the Players of the Week and numerous other ways we have honored FCIAC athletes.

It is fair to say without the collaboration from the outset with BlueStreak Sports Training, the Overtime blog would not have grown to the point that I was willing to take the leap and start The Ruden Report.

BlueStreak will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on Saturday at its Largo Drive location and The Ruden Report will be part of the festivities. There will be food, games, contests, the chance to get revenge at trainers with pies to the face or soaking them in the dunk tank.


The Ruden View: Westport World Cup Day Rouses Old — Good — Memories

WESTPORT — What is it like to watch the World Cup with 250 young players?

Like the U.S. soccer team against Portugal, seconds from perfection.

The Staples boys soccer program on Sunday hosted what was billed as Westport World Cup Day.

For two hours in the afternoon, the Wrecker players ran stations for youngsters mostly of elementary and some of middle school age. There were areas for different skills, to attempt penalty kicks and an obstacle course. It was hard to decipher who was having more fun: the younger or older kids.


Staples Boys Soccer Team’s Westport World Cup Day Proves A Real Kick

A big day in Brazil also happened to be a big day for Westport on Sunday as the Staples High School boys soccer team, working with the Westport Soccer Association, sponsored Westport World Cup Day, leading up to the highly anticipated matchup between the United States and Portugal.

In the past, the Staples team has traditionally liked to celebrate the World Cup’s arrival in some way. According to Staples Coach Dan Woog, eight years ago the party took place at a player’s house, and four years ago it aired the USA game in the Staples auditorium for the first time. However this year, the Wreckers decided they wanted to kick it up a notch and add on an afternoon of events to the day, taking place right on their vaunted playing field.

“This year, we wanted to expand it,” said Woog. “About three weeks ago, we got the players together and asked them what they wanted to do, and they came up with it.”


Stamford Summer Baseball Report: High School Foes Become Babe Ruth Teammates

Stamford students may be taking a break from school for the summer, but the baseball never stops. With the high school baseball season just coming to a close, many of the players from surrounding schools including Stamford, Westhill and Trinity Catholic have opted to play in the Babe Ruth summer league and extend their activity in the sport.

Babe Ruth provides players with the opportunity to hone their skills whether they are looking to improve for their high school season or take a step toward playing at the college level. Many of the Stamford players choose to seize this chance to work on their game.

The down time between seasons, especially for the teams who made a deep run in the postseason, was just enough of a rest so that players would not lose their groove. However, the transition from high school to summer league is not all that smooth. Not only is the weather hotter, but the players are also getting used to an increased game schedule, new workout, and a different group of coaches and teammates.


After Breakout Season, Charlett Stevenson Turns Focus To Charitable Cause

DARIEN — The University of Richmond women’s lacrosse coaching staff periodically sends out emails about volunteering opportunities to its players.

One last winter caught the eye of Charlett Stevenson, going to the saved folder rather than the trash. It was the chance in the first week of August to go to Jamaica as part of the Fields Of Growth international lacrosse program.

“I just love doing something like this and I love traveling,” said Stevenson, who this fall will be starting her junior year at Richmond. “That’s a big aspect of it, to do some volunteering. I don’t feel selfish when I go somewhere. It’s cool, but I’m giving back at the same time.”

Stevenson, a 2012 graduate of Darien High School, will be part of a group that will live in a Jamaican village for a week. Besides giving lacrosse instruction to children unfamiliar with the sport, she will also be teaching English and working in a hospital.