‘Competitiveness and Fight’: NCHS Boys Basketball Narrowly Defeats Rival Darien

When the final shot went up, the final whistle blew and the final buzzer sounded, the New Canaan High School students began to stream onto the court as their team’s win became official. The shaky start to the Rams’ season was put into the rearview mirror and replaced by total elation engulfing the NCHS gym. On Friday, the New Canaan Boys Basketball team defeated their rival, Darien, 49-47. The victory was the Rams’ second win in FCIAC play and improved their overall record to 5-8. The win marks the Rams’ fifth straight victory in the boy’s basketball edition of the rivalry, extending their streak of dominance over the Blue Wave. 

As in any New Canaan-Darien matchup, the game was an instant classic in front of a packed crowd that seemed to be on its feet the entire night. 

“The crowd was electrifying,” senior captain Teddy Whittaker said.

‘It’s Something You’ve Dreamt About’: Rams Football Wins State Championship

On Saturday, December 9th, the New Canaan Rams defeated the Darien Blue Wave 28-21 to win their 2nd straight Class L Championship and 14th CIAC championship. The win “shows how hard we worked throughout the year, and it is amazing to be able to see that work pay off,” according to junior quarterback Luke Robinson. 

“The seniors on the team and their leadership were a big reason why we were able to reach our goals, and I’m glad we were able to send them off the right way,” Robinson said. The game was instantly historic, but to truly understand the story of the Rams’ remarkable season, we must return to their first game. On September 8th, barely two weeks into the new school year, the reigning state-champion Rams traveled to face the Shelton Gaels. Expectations were high, with GameTimeCT ranking New Canaan as the preseason number-two team in the state.

‘A Culture of Belonging and Hard Work’: NCHS Girls Cross-Country Wins Another State Championship

In a town of football, basketball and lacrosse—where other sports sometimes are cast aside—a juggernaut has been growing before our eyes. 

An undefeated regular season last year, top-three finishes in the last three FCIAC Championships, and two state championships in the last five years: The New Canaan High School Girls Cross-Country Team is in a golden age. Beginning with a state championship in 2019—the team’s first since 2001—the squad has not stopped winning. 

Head Coach Jeffrey Brentson, who came from Brien McMahon in 2015, is a major reason for the success. A track coach since 1997, Brentson brought experience and knowledge to New Canaan’s running teams that changed the culture of the sport. 

“I tried to build up the intensity and competition within the team,” Brentson said. “Before, the girls treated the sport as just something to put on the resume, so we had to emphasize the idea that we should be competing and trying to win.”

And win they have. 

Since 2016, the girls have a regular season record of 87-25 (.777) to accompany the aforementioned postseason success. “We have built up a strong group of serious girls who place winning as their first priority, and are really a no-nonsense team,” Brentson said.

12 NCHS Student-Athletes Sign Letters of Intent To Play Sports in College 

Twelve New Canaan High School seniors on Wednesday signed commitment or “likely” letters to play sports in college starting next year. 

NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan said during the school’s annual ceremony for the student-athletes that “it’s important for you to realize what you’ve accomplished and the people who have helped you—your parents, your coaches, anybody else who has supported you.”

“And most importantly, the things that you have sacrificed in order to get where you are,” Egan said as the ceremony got underway in the Wagner Room at NCHS. “So I think today is the day for that type of reflection. I’d also like to add, from New Canaan High School Athletics, for those of you that played multiple sports and if you haven’t played multiple sports, we really appreciate all that you have given to New Canaan High School Athletics. It really makes our program what it is, that you’re selfless in giving your time and effort.”

Friends and family attended the ceremony, where the student-athletes posed for photos and received a pen to mark the day. 

We asked the student-athletes why they chose their future schools, and put their responses next to photos where provided. Please note that two seniors, Kathryn Norton (Dartmouth, lacrosse) and Devon Russell (Boston College, lacrosse) had photos taken early so they could board the bus with the NCHS Girls Soccer team, which advanced in the state playoffs.