So readers may think, what do these club guys know about high school lax. Well, little do you all know, we’re avid LaxPower forum voices. Actually, I’m the only Lax Power forum junkie and my username will remain anonymous.
Nonetheless, growing up in Fairfield County I’ve always followed high school lacrosse in the state and even after heading off to boarding school and eventually college in North Carolina, I always kept an eye on what was going on back in the 203 with friends and family still on teams.
This Top 10 poll will be released each Sunday and will only consist of teams that play in the CIAC. Sorry, New England Prep Schools.
With one week completed for all teams in the Nutmeg State, I introduce the inaugural QuickStick CT High School Top 10 Poll. A little more info provided with each team this week as I preview some notable elements to each squad.
- Darien – Kings stay kings. Some people figured Torrey Pines could give them a game. NOPE. The Blue Wave win in convincing fashion 14-4. That result quite frankly means that either TP is way overrated (which they might be after only beating Ridgefield by 1) or Darien is underrated (is that even possible??). To be honest, their ranking of #13 in the UA/IL poll is garbage. I’m a believer that you cant relegate a team unless they give you a reason to. Darien is the reigning National Champion and they should be #1 or #2 in the polls until someone else is either decisively better, or the Blue Wave lose. Just a fun note: for a team that always reloads, 2018 is the first year in over 10 where Darien does not have a DI bound goaltender. This shouldn’t influence much though.
- New Canaan – The 3x defending Class M champs are finally where they belong and want to be, Class L. Thanks to some increased enrollment numbers the Rams finally get to play with the best competition in the state tournament. New Canaan graduated what may have been their best senior class in recent years with the likes of O’Connell, Morris, Bauersfeld, and Hoelzer, leaving many question marks surrounding who will replace them. Answering any critics, the Rams went down to Long Island and smacked around Syosset. Honestly, what a statement that was. Rams head to Wilton on Tuesday night for what should be a heck of an early season game.
- Wilton – There’s a lot of hype surrounding this team, but that doesn’t mean anything if the results don’t live up to it. The Warriors return a lot of talent from a team that was upset by Cheshire in the Class L Semi’s last spring. It was the second season in a row that the Warriors may have been looking at their potential opponent who lay ahead. They face off against New Canaan on Tuesday night under the lights at Fujitani Field, this will be a great early season test for both teams. Connor Drake (Duke ’23) might be the best offensive player in the state and Andrew Calabrese (Navy ’23) is considered the best goalie by many coming off an All-American sophomore season. Both are juniors and looking to lead Wilton back to FCIAC and State prominence.
- Ridgefield – The boys from Tiger Hollow fought hard against Torrey Pines in a game that through 40 minutes was played like a real game, but considered a scrimmage… The final score was 9-7 TP. This Ridgefield team has talent but losing Greg Gatto (Yale ’22) due to injury over these next few weeks in certainly impacting their offensive identity. They’re strong defensively anchored by Gaydos (Brown ’22) and Parson (Bucknell ’23). The Tigers take on Greenwich at home this Tuesday. I’d be shocked if they didn’t win by more than 5. As noted before, with Gatto out, look for #5 Ray Dearth (Uncommitted – to my knowledge…) to emerge as a prominent scoring threat. The Dearth family runs deep in Tiger lacrosse recent history, the youngest one will follow his brothers’ footsteps.
- Fairfield Prep – The Jesuits host Chaminade midweek and boy that should be a wakeup call to Fairfield Prep. They certainly are looking to bounce back after being thrashed by Wilton in the Class L Quarterfinals last year. Led by Mason Reale (Villanova ’23) and Connor Boyle (UVM ’23) the Jesuits will once again be tested with their out of conference schedule but should continue to remain prominent in the SCC.
- Staples – A team that is flying under the radar in my opinion but has a wealth of studs. Evan Zinn (Johns Hopkins ’22) is one of the best players in the country. Compliment him with another weapon like Dobson Cooper (UVM ’22) and a defense anchored by goaltender Matt Garber (BU ’22) and junior poles Donny Macaluso (Fairfield ’23) and Blake Runkle (Albany ’23). The Biggest question for the Wreckers is how much depth do they have? So far they’ve cruised through their early season competition and have yet to be tested.
- New Fairfield – The boys from Candlewood Lake have a lot to be excited about this season. They’ve come out of the gate firing and have no signs of slowing down. A loaded junior class has them set up for success both this year and next. With New Canaan moving up to Class L, no doubt the goal for the Rebels this year is to win both an SWC and the Class M Titles.
- St. Joseph’s (Trumbull) – The Cadets seem to get better and better each year. Tuesday’s game against Greenwich will prove a lot. The Cardinals NEED to win that game. So if St. Joe’s pulls off the “upset,” the Cadets have a strong chance to make the FCIAC playoffs. A perennial contender for the Class S state title, I’d personally be shocked in their season isn’t going to end in a pile once again.
- Glastonbury – It can’t go without stating they graduated A LOT from their 2017 squad. The Tomahawks are almost always the pride of northern CT and for 24 minutes in the Class L semi’s, it looked like they could have knocked off Darien. Mike Hawkins is gone, Ronan Jacboy is gone, Aidan Flood is gone, both their goalies, gone. This team and town have a great lacrosse tradition. They’ve cracked this top 10 because of that. How long they remain, that’s unknown, but so it almost all of Northern CT lacrosse for that matter, as Simsbury does not look to be as strong in years past. Should we keep an eye out for Cheshire? Who knows.
- Joel Barlow – The Falcons are 3-0 following a win over Simsbury this weekend. A rivalry game vs Weston this week looms ahead. The result of that game will determine if Barlow remains in this poll next week. Defense is strong for the Falcons, anchored by Kevin Richitelli (UPenn ’23). They will look to compete with New Fairfield for the both the SWC and Class M titles this spring.
Where’s Greenwich? Good question. The Cardinals are 1-2 following a loss to Iona Prep over the weekend. A young team, this could be a long year for Cardinals. Next weekend’s game at St. Joe’s is a must-win for the Cardinals if they hope to make either the FCIAC or Class L Tournaments.