Collins, Niang Sign National Letters of Intent

New Canaan High School seniors Michael Collins and Lucas Niang signed their National Letters of Intent to play at the college level during National Signing Day on Wednesday. Joined by more than 50 friends and classmates in the NCHS auxiliary gym, plus three TV crews and multiple local media outlets, the midday ceremony was run by NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan. Collins will head to the University of Pennsylvania while Niang is bound for Texas Christian University. Several administrators and teachers there as well, including Principal Bill Egan, longtime Phys Ed teacher Priscilla Schulz and Assistant Principal Ari Rothman. Collins—who signed what could be called a “likely letter” in that although Ivy League schools offer no athletics scholarships per se, can issue agreements signifying their commitment to admitting a recruited athlete—had arguably the most prolific season at quarterback in New Canaan High School history, setting a state record with 54 touchdown passes this year and also tying a single-game state record when he threw nine TD passes in a 69-26 win over Trumbull on November 6, 2015.

Did You Hear … ?

The video embedded above is the widely discussed panel on opioid abuse, including heroin, in New Canaan. Produced by Channel 79, the video is a great way for those who were unable to attend the packed-house event at Town Hall to catch up. ***

We’re told that the Board of Education on Monday night voted to request an $87,030,631 operating budget for next fiscal year—some $1.5 million less than the superintendent’s original proposed operating budget (as the town will replenish health insurance reserves for this year). The spending plan requires review and approval from the Boards of Selectmen and Finance, and the Town Council. The school board added $35,000 for club sports financial support.

Did You Hear … ?

Exciting news: We’re hearing that New Canaan’s defunct Outback Teen Center is being renamed ‘The Hub’ by the re-formed board charged with developing new uses for the structure behind Town Hall. Word is, the board is looking at a mix of human services, as well as wellness and possibly food providers to generate revenue at the disused building. New info: New Canaanite Bob Albus, head of the board, told us a program for special needs adults in town will run in the lower level of The Hub on weekdays, and that other activities could include after-school tutoring and mentoring and babysitting for parents who are shopping or dining downtown, and notable local agencies such as Getabout and Staying Put In New Canaan are part of the conversation. “We want to touch virtually every life in town from infants to seniors and really have an expansive program that addresses what are some unmet needs in town,” Albus told An online fundraising campaign is underway here—designed both to secure some “start-up” money for The Hub and to engage the community, Albus said.

New Canaan Football Outlasts North Haven 42-35 for Third Straight Class L Crown

It was billed as a matchup of two heavyweights with polar opposite styles—the 21st century run-and-gun spread offense of the No. 6 New Canaan Rams versus the old-school ground-and-pound, Single-wing formation of the top-seeded North Haven Indians. It turned out to be North Haven’s passing that kept the game close, but it was New Canaan’s ground attack that ultimately won it. Led by senior running back Matt Cognetta’s 225 rushing yards and two touchdowns, the Rams outlasted the Indians 42-35 in a classic Class L championship showdown at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven—one that had just about everything and anything you could have asked for from a high school football game. “It was a great football game to be at,” Marinelli told

Turkey Bowl Essentials: A Breakdown of the New Canaan-Darien 2015 FCIAC Championship

When it was generally accepted that last season’s FCIAC Championship would probably be the last in conference history, most agreed that the heart-stopping contest between New Canaan and Darien was a fitting end to a storied history of title games. Fortunately for area high school football players, coaches and fans, the Blue Wave’s 28-21 win over the Rams last Thanksgiving would not be the final chapter—the FCIAC was able to work things out to salvage the conference championship game, the 50th in league history. And wouldn’t you know what two teams would end up facing each other in the Turkey Bowl in 2015? Yep…you guessed it. The stage is set once again as the league’s most bitter rivals will face off Thanksgiving morning at historic Boyle Stadium in Stamford.