Seven in ’11.
That’s Darien’s motto for this coming season as we learned from Duke University-bound junior attackman Case Matheis.
But the Blue Wave will have plenty of big games prior to the state championship game — if they are, in fact, in position to win a seventh straight Class M title.
Darien’s March 24 scrimmage at John Jay has elicited 202 comments in a thread devoted to comparing the two teams.
As far as actual games go, Darien, ranked third in Inside Lacrosse/Under Armour preseason power rankings, faces the nation’s top-ranked team, Haverford in the April 16 Checking for Cancer Classic in what should be, well, a classic.
And then, there are contests vs. traditional FCIAC rivals New Canaan (May 7), Greenwich (April 9), Wilton (April 14) and Ridgefield (May 18).
We discuss all that — and more — with one of the Blue Waves’ premier performers, Cornell University-bound junior defenseman Tony Britton.
Here are Tony’s perspectives on the season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I have been lifting three times a week as well playing lacrosse indoors at the Sono Field House. Most of our players play two-three times a week which is important because we need to be as ready as possible when the season starts. Since I did not play basketball for my school this year (I hope to play again next year) I have been playing Recreation League basketball, which is very fun. Basketball is a great way to improve your footwork, and I feel like it really helps defensemen.
How does your schedule look, including scrimmages, and what games are you looking forward to?
Our schedule is probably the toughest schedule in state of Connecticut. We have two very tough scrimmages to get us started. We play Salisbury and John Jay which should be two very intriguing match-ups. As for games, we play 5 out of state games that are not easy. Haverford School, Yorktown, St. Anthony’s, Manhasset, and Niskayuna are all formidable opponents that should give us big tests. The game that I am looking forward to the most would have to be the game against Manhasset just because they beat us last year. I think it would be a big deal if we were able to defeat the Indians because they are our biggest out of state rival. I am also looking forward to the game against Haverford because many people will pick them to finish the year as number one in the country and there is so much hype surrounding this team with all their talented players that I would love to go out there and beat them on their home field. The in conference schedule will not be easy either, perennial powerhouses like Greenwich and New Canaan will also present us with tough challenges. Wilton and Ridgefield are two games that won’t be easy to grind out either.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
I think that the junior midfielders will surprise some people this season, Bobby Weaver, Tim Murphy, Jon Magnusson and Henry West will be very important parts to our success this season. Henry was a huge part of our team last year and I think he will make an even bigger impact this upcoming season. Weaver has been playing really well this fall and winter, he has improved a lot in every aspect of his game. Last but not least, Dylan Torey, our goalie will be a huge component to our success this season. Losing All-American goaltender Andrew West was tough but I have no doubts that Dylan will be a force for us in the net this season.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
I might be a little biased to say that our defense will be the strength of our team this year, but I think it will be. We have five committed seniors on the defensive end including Eric Parnon, who is one of the best defensemen in the country. He will be the leader of our defense.
The two long-pole middies, Baylis Treen and Justin Shaw, can shut down anybody, and it helps us a lot to have two very talented long-pole middies because one of them will always be fresh and ready to go especially at the end of games. Myself and Christian Kolderup are the other two close defensemen, and we are similar players because we are both right-handed players who are very aggressive and agile.
How do you view the race in the FCIAC and who do you think the contending teams will be?
The race in our conference will be very tight this season. After losing to Greenwich in the FCIAC final last year I think we will be very hungry to win the title this year. But teams like Ridgefield, New Canaan, Greenwich, Wilton, Staples and St. Joseph will all present us with very tough games. All of the teams listed are contenders in this league and every game will be a dogfight.
* Who do you think is the best team in the nation heading into the season?
On the right panel of this page, just scroll past the “New Comments” and “Popular” tabs and click on “Poll,” and then cast your vote from the choices available, or write in your choice if it’s not listed.
Darien 2011 schedule
March 24 Thurs John Jay home 4:15 p.m.
March 26 Sat Darien Jamboree home 8 a,m.-1 p.m.
March 30 Wed Salisbury away 4 p.m.
April 2 Sat Darien Jamboree home 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
April 6 Wed St. Joseph’s home 4 p.m.
April 9 Sat Greenwich away 1 p.m.
April 12 Tues Danbury home 4 p.m.
April 14 Thurs Wilton home 4:30 p.m.
April 16 Sat Haverford away TBA
April 20 Wed Yorktown home 4 p.m.
April 23 Sat McMahon home 1 p.m.
April 27 Wed St. Anthony’s away 7 p.m.
April 30 Sat Niskayuna home 3 p.m.
May 3 Tues Fairfield-Ludlowe away 7 p.m.
May 5 Thur Manhasset home 4:30 p.m.
May 7 Sat New Canaan away 4 p.m.
May 10 Tues Fairfield-Warde away 4 p.m.
May 12 Thurs Westhill home 4 p.m.
May 14 Sat Norwalk home 1 p.m.
May 18 Wed Ridgefield home 4 p.m.
* For schedules for teams from throughout the region, be sure to check out the “Schedules galore” thread, and scroll down to the comments portion for the most recently released schedules.