This has been an outstanding fall for the Staples athletic program. The girls soccer and field hockey teams won FCIAC titles last week and will be contenders for state championships. The boys cross country team also won a conference title, while the boys soccer team advanced to the league semifinals.
But this has been a rough year for the school’s football team, which has lost four straight games and is currently 2-6. Friday’s 12-7 loss to Fairfield Warde on the night the seniors were honored was the first to a Fairfield team since at least 1992, the first of former coach Marce Petroccio’s 25 years at the school.
With St. Joseph and Greenwich, two state championship contenders, left on the schedule, it is possible the Wreckers will finish with the fewest wins since Petroccio’s first season.
There is an aura of uncertainty around the program, which was crystallized by a question on Friday: Who was coaching the Wreckers. The answer, according to Staples principal Stafford Thomas, is it is a collaborative effort.
“Right now it is by committee, with everyone splitting duties,” said Thomas, who is in his first year at the school.
The Wreckers have been searching for stability since Petroccio left at the end of the 2017 season to coach at Trumbull, his alma mater.
Phil Treglia was hired a year ago and led Staples to a 7-3 record. The team was in the running for a state playoff berth until the very end of the season.
But Treglia left in the offseason, citing commuting concerns. Adam Behrends, who had worked at IMG, was hired this past spring. Staples lost to Stamford in the opener and was 2-4 when Behrends was forced to leave the team and return to Iowa to tend to his ailing mother, who has been hospitalized.
Jon Zames, listed on the team’s website as the Wreckers’ associate head coach and defensive coordinator, fielded questions from the press after the team’s 35-24 loss to Wilton two weekends ago.
There was talk that Zames, who was suspended for two weeks last year after making disparaging comments about Petroccio to the team, was suspended again this past Thursday. He was not on the sideline for Friday’s game against Warde.
Asked if Zames had been suspended, Thomas said, “I wouldn’t characterize it that way.” Asked Zames’ current status, Thomas said, “No comment.”
There has been a lot of talk about the team in Westport, no doubt fueled by its record. Rumors have abounded, some based on speculation rather than fact.
Behrends said by text today that he hoped his mother would be released from the hospital soon but there was no set timetable for his return.
Asked who would coach the team this week against the Cadets, Thomas said it would continue to be an ensemble.
“It’s a fluid situation from week to week and that’s how it is,” Thomas said.
Voicemail and text messages for Marty Lisevick, the school’s athletic director, were not returned.