Being that the high school sports seasons have come to a close, we're going to be taking the sports sections of the "New Canaan News" and the "Darien News" in somewhat new directions over the summer.

There will still be a high percentage of stories pertaining to the high school sports scene, but with school out until September, we're going to try to expand coverage into other local sporting events.

In addition to keeping readers updated on what's happening with the high school teams, we're going to try to also focus on youth sports, legion baseball and various summer sports camps. Additionally, we'll be bringing back the "College Spotlight" stories in which we catch up readers with a former New Canaan or Darien athlete who is playing his or her sport in college. And, of course, we'll continue to cover breaking stories as they develop. While readers are always encouraged to come to us with questions, suggestions or simply to pitch story ideas, we're going to encourage this now more than ever in the summer.

Since high school football is obviously one of the most popular high school sports in New Canaan and Darien (and the entire FCIAC), we've already begun to take a look at the Rams' and Blue Wave's prospects heading into next season.

As is always the case in high school, both teams have experienced their share of turnover with the loss of several key players to graduation, however, there also seems to be enough returning talent and underclassmen ready to take on bigger roles to ensure that New Canaan and Darien are again among the elite FCIAC teams.

Since each football team recently played its annual spring game, this was an ideal time to take our first look at both squads.

Although it is nearly three months away, be sure to keep an eye out for the "Fall Preview Edition." As is always the case, we will take a detailed look at all the fall teams at New Canaan and Darien High School and their upcoming seasons.

In all likelihood, the 16 varsity preview stories will be handled by some combination of Dave Crandall, Andy Hutchison, Bob Birge and I, and the tentative release date is Sept. 14. On occasion, a select number of the preview stories may also appear in the regular sports sections of both papers.

We've built up a good amount of sports freelance writers, but we will still take a look at applications. If interested, send your resume along three of your best clips to jchik@bcnnew.com. This could be a good opportunity for aspiring journalists in high school or college to build their resume, but anyone interested in contributing may apply.

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