The Staples boys indoor track team hopes to surpass last year's second place finish at FCIACs and Class LL, where it was bested by Danbury. Led by Coach Laddie Lawrence and captains Jonathon Foster, Jack Hennessy, Aaron Kleigman, Paul Chandler and Sam Zorfas, the team is confident that winning FCIACS and Class LL is a reachable goal.
"Last year, our team didn't have much of a chance at taking down Danbury for the FCIAC and Class LL title, but this year, Danbury has gotten much weaker, and we are just as strong, if not stronger than last year's team," said Zorfas.
However, the Wreckers lost many key seniors to graduation and Lawrence needs to fill those spots.
"A very large number of top quality athletes graduated last year. Because of this, we have a couple of holes in some events and we will need to experiment with the other kids to fill them," said Lawrence.
Additional losses include Pip Turegano, a crucial relay team member and hurdler, and Sam Weller, who excelled at distance.
However, the captains, other returnees and some promising newcomers are ready to step it up to fill their place. Lawrence points out the necessity of the captains' talent, including Chandler in pole vaulting, Hennessey and Kleigman in sprints and Zorfas and Foster in distance.
Other significant returnees include three juniors, Jack Roche, the top miler, Ben Aldrich, the top 2-miler, and Raphael Ray, one of the best 300 runners in the state. This year also brings promising newcomers.
"Important newcomers to the team are Trevor Maclean and Sean Gallagher. Trevor will hopefully add depth to the distance events, while Sean will be a key part to the short relays, and sprints," said Foster.
"This year, we are returning quality pole vaulters, who, during last year's FCIAC championships scored nearly half our point total. We are also returning great sprinters. A pre-season look at our relays shows us as faster than we have been before. We are returning great shot-putters and jumpers and extremely fast distance runners, as seen by our cross country season," said Chandler.
The talented Wreckers need to keep up their competitive edge and train hard in order to win the big meets.
"It is important that we stay healthy and injury-free, and to follow our regimented training plans closely. Focus and determination by everybody will also be crucial because every point scored counts," said Chandler.