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After Four Months Of Preparation, Khairi Fortt Is Hoping For Early Call In NFL Draft

He has been studied and examined, physically and mentally, for the past three months.

At times feeling like a business commodity showcased for investors — which, in a sports sense, is the truth — Khairi Fortt is relieved to have all of the pre-draft workouts and visits behind him and getting down to living a childhood dream: playing professional football.

The NFL Draft begins next Thursday, and in all likelihood Fortt, the former Stamford High School star, will find out on the second or third day what city he hopes to be calling his new home.

Baseball

Midseason Baseball Report: A Wide-Open Race Now More Muddled

Baseball by its very nature is the sport that makes for the most difficult prognostications. If practical, multi-game series would be a better measuring stick and make it much easier to feel like you are standing on a firmer limb with predictions.

But overall talent is only a partial factor. There is also the roulette element: so much in high school baseball depends on when you play opponents. Do you end up facing a steady course of No. 1 pitchers, or does your turn come up against the 2s and 3s? Almost every team has at least one ace.

The expected overall strength of the league this year has played out; there is more quality, top to bottom, than in recent memory. A glance at the standings at the midseason point reveals that, except for Darien, every team has at least two conference losses.

FCIAC

Midseason Softball Report: A Balanced Posse Remains In Pursuit Of St. Joseph

Three weeks ago we wondered whether a balanced pack of contenders could keep up with the St. Joseph softball team. Who might be this year’s New Canaan, which as the sixth seed defeated the Cadets last season for the school’s first championship in the sport.

We are still wondering.

As we reach the halfway point — the other seasons seem like middle- or long-distance races but the spring is always a 100-meter dash — there have been few surprises to date.

Baseball

Extra-Base Hits: Darien, Westhill, Fairfield Warde Early-Season Surprises

Based solely on preseason expectations, Fairfield Warde’s 2-0 win over Staples on Friday is a perfect example of what usually takes place in the opening round of the FCIAC Baseball Tournament.

The Wreckers, a favorite coming into the season, ran into the Mustangs’ ace, Nick Nardone, who dominated with a complete-game 3-hitter.

Warde was projected as a possible lower playoff seed back in March. Using that time frame as a basis, the Mustangs’ win would have been the kind that we have become accustomed to seeing in the playoffs, where an “underdog” advances behind a strong No. 1 pitcher.

Great 8: Vote for the Ruden Report Team of the Week
FCIAC

Dynamite Dozen: Vote For The Ruden Report Team Of The Week

We have 12 teams on the menu this week for The Ruden Report FCIAC Team of the Week vote.

Your finalists are: the Fairfield Warde girls golf, Fairfield Ludlowe girls tennis, Ridgefield boys golf, Greenwich boys tennis, St. Joseph baseball, Darien baseball, Stamford softball, Danbury baseball, Staples boys volleyball, Westhill boys tennis, Wilton girls lacrosse and New Canaan boys lacrosse teams.

The winning team will get our T shirts, courtesy of our sponsors: BlueStreak Sports Training, Karl Chevrolet, Innovative Health and Rehabilitation, Riko’s Pizza, Bobby V’s Sports Bar, Chicken Joe’s of New Canaan, Zody’s 19th Hole, Building Blocks, New Balance of New Canaan, The Concussion Center of Fairfield County, The CT Center for Advanced ENT Care, Anytime Fitness, Bankwell and Resource Management Group.

Boys Lacrosse

In The Cage: With Little Fanfare, New Canaan Boys Team Just Keeps On Winning

New Canaan boys lacrosse coach Chip Buzzeo chuckled when posed with this question: how does a two-time defending conference champion fly underneath the radar?

“It’s more who you listen to and who is doing all the talking,” Buzzeo said. “We kind of keep to ourselves. We don’t buy into the chatter. We’re preparing for the playoffs. As long as we keep working hard hopefully we will have the same result of the last two years.”

The FCIAC lacrosse season is nearing the halfway mark and the consensus is the champion will come from one of four schools: New Canaan, Greenwich, Darien and Ridgefield. Staples, despite two key injuries, is not far behind.

Boys Lacrosse

Darien Boys Lacrosse Team’s 17-6 Win Over Wilton Indicative Of Changes From A Year Ago

DARIEN — Jeff Brameier gathered his Darien High School boys lacrosse team for a summit last September. The agenda: what he refers to as the “blip on the radar.”

That blip was a 12-8 record that included a loss to Wilton in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs. Take a look at the history section on the team’s website, and last year’s highlight is Eastern Division champions.

For a program that has won 79 percent of its games, with 12 league and nine state championships, that is not even Miss Congeniality at the beauty contest.

FCIAC

Darien 8, Trumbull 1: With Blue Wave’s Osherow, It Is Erika With A K. The I Is Silent

DARIEN — She hit what her coach said is the longest home run in the history of her team’s relatively new field, pitched a four-hitter and even flashed her defensive prowess by catching a couple of line drives that would have made the goaltenders at her school’s excellent lacrosse teams proud.

There is little that Darien’s Erika Osherow cannot do, and didn’t do in Wednesday’s 8-1 win over Trumbull.

Well, except open up about her performance, or hot start to the season.

FCIAC

The Ruden View: It Is Time To Finally, Permanently Solve State Football Playoff Format

Spring is blooming. FCIAC baseball and lacrosse look to be as competitive as at any time in recent memory. There is a hungry pack chasing the St. Joseph softball team.

So what better moment to bring up….the CIAC football playoffs.

The discussion has quelled recently, but the resolution to the state high school governing body’s thorniest issue is like a hovering black cloud that never moves.

There is no offseason.