Sports

Youth sports in New Canaan include—and go far beyond—the thrilling championship games for our celebrated varsity sports teams out of New Canaan High School. Youth sports and the local businesses and residents behind them, private programs, recreational programs and New Canaan’s rich history with standout athletes are the foundations of sports in our town, so they form the foundations of our coverage.

Recent Articles

Kim Palmer Resigns as Head Coach of NCHS Girls Volleyball

New Canaan High School varsity girls volleyball coach Kim Palmer has stepped down, according to an email from NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan that was sent to parents Thursday afternoon. Palmer, who was named head coach in April of 2014, will continue to serve as the girls varsity basketball coach and health and physical education teacher at NCHS, according to the email. In 2014, Palmer’s first year as head coach, New Canaan went 9-10 and earned a berth in the Class L playoffs. The volleyball team was 7-13 in 2015 and 2016, missing states by one game in each of the past two seasons. Palmer’s basketball squad is 1-9 so far this season, however the Rams are coming off their first win of the year—a 43-18 rout of Bridgeport Central this past Tuesday. Continue Reading →

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District Seeks Funding for Athletic Trainers at All NCHS Fall Sports Next Year

Saying it’s a matter of student health and safety, district officials want to ensure that there’s a dedicated athletic trainer at all New Canaan High School fall sports contests next year. Because the Rams participate in such a wide range of sports across multiple venues, a single trainer “truly cannot cover everything that needs to be covered,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Board of Education during their meeting Monday. “When we have contests happening in football and soccer simultaneously and we have different events going on, sometimes here [at NCHS], sometimes over at Saxe other places, home and away, wherever it might be, we have found a need for more increased athletic training services,” Luizzi said while presenting his proposed budget for next fiscal year at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at the high school. “As we have learned more about the importance of quickly addressing injuries on the field and become more aware of the danger of concussions and other things on the playing field, we believe this is a student-safety driven measure. So it is a modest increase in our athletic training services which will enable us to contract in the fall for weeks of support from an agency.”

Though it isn’t clear just how much the additional trainers would cost, Luizzi’s request—conceived by NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan, in attendance at the meeting, the superintendent said—comes as part of a plan to spend $115,000 overall for “contracted services.” The area that will see a spending decrease of about 4.5 percent from the current year, under Luizzi’s proposed budget, with plans to move some positions from contracts to full-time personnel. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan’s Zach Allen Stars as Boston College Wins Quick Lane Bowl

Throughout his football career at New Canaan High School, Zach Allen always had a penchant for making the biggest of plays in the biggest of games. That trend seems to have carried on to the next level, as Allen had a stellar performance in Boston College’s 36-30 win over Maryland in Monday’s Quick Lane Bowl played at Ford Field in Detroit. Allen, a 6’5″ sophomore defensive end, recorded a career-high two sacks against the Terrapins to go along with two solo tackles that resulted in a loss of 15 yards. The Eagles’ defensive line—a consistent strong point for BC all year—won MVP honors as a unit after holding Maryland to just 128 yards rushing, including 80 yards of negative yardage in the win. Allen—a 2015 graduate of NCHS—finished this season with six sacks, good for third place on a Boston College defense that entered Monday’s game ranked eighth in the nation. Continue Reading →

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MLB’s Curt Casali to Host New Canaan Baseball Clinic

Most New Canaan youth baseball players have dreams of one day playing in the Major Leagues. This upcoming Monday, those kids will have a chance to get up close and personal with a real-life major leaguer who—not too long ago—started his career on the very same fields they’re playing on today. Tampa Bay Rays catcher Curt Casali will return to New Canaan High School to headline a youth pitching/catching clinic on Monday, December 26th, from 12 to 2pm. Casali, a 2007 NCHS graduate, will be joined by current high school players as well as a veritable who’s-who of Rams baseball alumni, all of whom took their talents to the next level—collegiate baseball. This group includes Casey Ouellette (University of Bridgeport), David Giusti (Lafayette), Dan Rajkowski (UCONN), Zack Smith (Salve Regina), J.R. Anderson (Amherst) and Matt Toth (Trinity). Continue Reading →

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‘This Is Why We Play’: New Canaan Football Tops Windsor 35-20 for Fourth Straight Class L Championship

As darkness enveloped New Britain’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, Lou Marinelli stood alone at midfield, long after his New Canaan Rams defeated Windsor 35-20 for their fourth straight Class L championship. “I don’t want to leave,” Marinelli said. “We’re counting down the minutes on the sidelines and I’m saying, ‘Damn, I can’t wait until it’s over.’ But now I don’t want it to be over.”

For Marinelli, the time to reflect is well-deserved. The win marked the 12th state title in his 36 years as head coach of the Rams and his 331st career victory, tying former West Haven and St. Joseph coach Ed McCarthy for the most wins in state history. Continue Reading →

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