SHELTON — We knew that, based on their undefeated record, the members of the Staples boys volleyball team were pretty good at their craft. What no one knew, however, was how this team would react when facing the prospect of actually losing.
If you have scanned your Twitter feed at any point during the past month, it is easy to see why there is a strong sentiment to give 2016 a swift kick into the rear-view mirror. Often this has been in response to the growing list of celebrity losses in the entertainment world; we have seen the deaths of an extraordinary number of performers with visionary talent, especially in the music world.
I met Austin Carfi by accident.
In February I wrote a story on Natalie Brassinga, a Ridgefield High School soccer player and talented artist. She sent me some artistic photos of her shot by Austin. When I needed some non-action pictures to accompany the feature, Austin took them at the last moment.
For well over two decades now, once winter has morphed into spring, Darien has been known as Lacrosse Town, U.S.A., or some similar derivation. Children are given toy sticks not long after losing baby teeth, the youth programs are a model for success and both the boys and girls high school teams from this small tony town are no longer just state, but now regional and national powers as well.
But as Chris Manfredonia, the high school’s athletic director, recently noted, Lacrosse Town is too limited in scope.
“We have a variety of strong programs from the youth to high school levels,” Manfredonia said. “It’s Sports Town, U.S.A.