It was obvious talking to Darien coach Mike Forget and his Blue Wave players on Friday at the Grip It & Rip It tournament in New Canaan that even though last season was canceled due to the pandemic, they view the work that was done together, including a brief private league season, as providing experience that will prove beneficial this fall. One of the players that got a lot of time was Miles Drake, who would have been the starting quarterback a year ago and is back, eager to go. Drake spoke to The Ruden Report on Friday.
This is one of the first organized activities the team has done in a while. How does it feel to be together in a competitive atmosphere?
“It’s really nice, to be back out here and see all the teams. We’re really excited. Finally, finally, after the long COVID year we can get back at it.”
How hard was it last year when you earn the chance to be the starting quarterback and then the pandemic happens?
“It was tough but we stayed prepared though the entire offseason. I feel like we’re ready. I’m excited to get back out there.”
This may be hard to answer but the fact that you did get to do some things with the team last year, and there was the private league, do you feel you’re in a better position than if you were just now taking over as quarterback?
“We’ve been going to some camps and throwing together at the high school, getting the receivers and our defense together, trying to stay fresh. It has worked out well.”
What do you see as some of the strengths of the team this season?
“I think our receiving group and our O-Line are going to be really, really good. Our O-Line is going to be really good. I like our defense. A lot of returning guys. I’m really excited.”
With all the great players before you, is there pressure being the starting quarterback at Darien?
“There’s a lot of stuff that comes along with that but I don’t think there’s any pressure. It’s just fun to go play football. I just want to play.”
It is so far removed but the team’s last game was the dramatic state final loss to Newtown that received national attention. Is that game still discussed or has time taken care of that?
“The seniors this year were sophomores so it still is definitely in the back of our heads, and a lot of us were at Trumbull for that game. Seeing all the seniors break down. Seeing how hard they worked. We keep it in the back of our minds because you work so hard to get there.”
What’s the most fun thing you’ve done this summer that is not football related?
“I went up to Maine. That was fun.”