Schickler: Top 10 sports stories of 2011
Updated 2:23 am, Friday, January 6, 2012
Six days into 2012, it's time to select the top 10 local sports stories for 2011.
Note, this list is subjective, thus there is no correct or incorrect selection. Making the selections wasn't easy because there were many stories of note last year. Without further ado, here are the Westport News' top 10 sports stories for 2011:
10. Weston girls basketball's saga: The Weston girls basketball team is a story of might-have-been. After starting the season at 11-1, including two victories against the eventual-SWC champion Newtown, it struggled and finished at 14-9 because it lost its best player and point guard Christina Welsh to an ACL and MCL injury. In fact, the Lady Trojans looked like an infirmary at times with six injured players on the bench in civilian clothes.
8. Staples boys basketball's success: The Staples boys basketball team went 15-5 in the regular season, 16-7 overall, and was able to accomplish a lot through heart and teamwork. The Wreckers epitomized unselfish play on the court and accomplished everything with a 5-foot 11.5-inch center.
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7. People in the news: There were many news makers in 2011, thus to list the top news makers requires a separate column, which will appear next week.
6. Weston girls lacrosse: The Weston girls lacrosse team jelled under new coach Megan Watson and won its first Class S title in only its seventh year as a varsity squad. The Lady Trojans also won an SWC playoff game and finished the season at 16-6.
5. Staples baseball: The Staples baseball team won its third FCIAC title in four years. Fourth-seeded Staples erased a 2-1 deficit in the top of the sixth to beat second-seeded Danbury 5-3 in the championship game. The Wreckers now lead the FCIAC with seven league titles.
4. Staples hockey reaches finals: The Staples-Weston-Shelton co-op boys hockey team reached the Division III championship game where it lost 4-0 to the Watertown-Pomperaug co-op team. Despite losing to Watertown, Staples finished the season at 16-8 and had the top-scoring line in the state, coupled with a high-caliber goalie who was a difference-maker in many games.
3. Staples boys tennis wins Class LL: The Staples boys tennis team won the Class LL title in dramatic fashion when Wrecker senior captain Danny Hirschberg defeated Greenwich's Tyler Kratky 6-3, 6-2 in the Class LL singles championship match, giving Staples a 24-23 victory over second-place Greenwich. This was the Wreckers' first Class LL title since moving up from Class L in 2009.
2. Staples football wins FCIACs: The Staples football team won the FCIAC title with a 31-27 come-from-behind home victory over Greenwich on Thanksgiving Day when tight end Peter Bonenfant caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jack Massie with 1:21 left in since moving up from Class L in 2009.
2. Staples football wins FCIACs: The Staples football team won the FCIAC title with a 31-27 come-from-behind home victory over Greenwich on Thanksgiving Day when tight end Peter Bonenfant caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jack Massie with 1:21 left in the game. Staples then won two Class LL playoff games before losing to top-ranked Xavier 42-7 in the Class LL championship game.
1. Staples field hockey wins FCIACs: For the first time since 1994, the Staples field hockey team won the FCIAC title. Fourth-seeded Staples accomplished it by beating Darien 1-0 in the semifinals and Wilton 2-1 in the finals. The Lady Wreckers lost twice to Wilton during the regular season and have lost in a couple of blowouts to Darien in 2009 and 2010.
Overall, it was an eventful year and a few stories that could have made the list were beaten out. May 2012 be, just as much, if not more, of a happening year as 2011.