Chik Chatting: Spring wrap-up
And so another season is in the books at New Canaan High School.
With no shortage of talented squads in the fall, several Rams turned in seasons to remember, both from team and personal standpoints. And while winning isn't everything, especially at the high school level, just about every spring team at New Canaan did something memorable over the course of the 2012 season, whether it was meeting or exceeding lofty expectations or even bringing home a championship.
New Canaan's final championship count for the spring season was one FCIAC title (boys lacrosse) and a trio of state crowns (girls lacrosse, boys tennis and girls tennis).
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So, where to start? You'd be hard-pressed to find many teams in the FCIAC that enjoyed a more successful and consistent season than the New Canaan girls lacrosse team. The Rams won several difficult, down-to-the-wire matchups in the regular season against fellow elite FCIAC teams to go 16-0 entering the playoffs. After suffering their first loss against Darien in the semifinals of the FCIAC tournament, these Rams regrouped to avenge the loss against their border rivals in the state tournament (9-6) before also defeating New Fairfield in the semifinals (15-4) and Wilton in the championship game (17-9) to claim the well-deserved crown.
Speaking of lacrosse, the New Canaan boys team claimed FCIAC championship glory despite not being the preseason favorite over Darien or Wilton. These Rams showed their mettle by erasing a 5-1 halftime deficit to defeat Ridgefield 11-9 in the title game. New Canaan dominated its first three games of the state tourney before falling just short of making it two-for-two in postseason play by suffering an 11-5 loss to Darien in the state finale.
Although it fell agonizingly short of a state championship after being unable to qualify for the FCIAC tournament with a regular season record of just 10-10, the New Canaan baseball team showed a knack for playing its best ball when it counts the most. By making it all the way to the state title game before falling 6-4 to Fitch, New Canaan proved that last year's run to the state semifinals was no fluke.
As far as living up to the expectations that come with so many years of success, the New Canaan boys and girls tennis teams each met those challenges head on. The boys team won its fourth consecutive state title and 28th in the last 41 years; the girls team scored a dramatic 4-3 win over previously unbeaten Greenwich to win its ninth straight state championship, including the most recent two in Class L. Both teams went into the season with targets on their backs, and neither flinched.
The softball team also managed to find its way into the FCIAC tournament and the state tournament, continuing last year's rapid improvement.
In only its second year of existence -- and first as a varsity team -- the New Canaan boys volleyball squad won four matches.
Finally, congratulations to all New Canaan senior student-athletes on their graduation. To excel on the field while also handling everything else that comes with high school is quite the accomplishment.