30 Wins: Past, present and future all in on the act

Wave Ball can set new league record for wins-in-a-row this fall

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TIS — Jack Joyce, exceeding the limits in 2017. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

FOOTBALL

When scanning a new season, for years Rob Trifone would, with a wink, bemoan having to cut loose the graduating class.

But bemoaning the annual losses, with a wink, a nod, or any sort of ironic tickle, sure seems long out of vogue with Wave Ball now.

It’s all part of the program and I’m very proud how they care about each other.

— Rob Trifone

Winning its 30th straight game on Friday Darien’s getting it done again (and again) just fine and dandy, minus the missing matriculated greats.

Calling Stueber, calling another Evanchick, another Peters, another Graham.

Calling another Minicus, another Grant, Hamill, Wyper and Reed.

Calling back rosters of so many more…

“And there’s a lot of doubters out there,” said Trifone. “Like, (people saying preseason) ‘I don’t know if Darien can compete this year, because they lost their quarterback again.’

“And then along comes Jack Joyce.”

So the calls still echo back, and back. But with a great deal of masterly constructed continuity on an iron grid, the call is being answered in the here and now.

“Even to me, it’s amazing, when you stop and think about it,” said Trifone following the Wave’s 32-6 win at Staples that puts it 5-0 on the year. “And, we play in a very difficult league with Greenwich, St. Joe’s and New Canaan, Staples; good football teams.”

The last — so far — Fairfield County champion, Darien, also is looking to have the next last word on FCIAC winning streaks.

Stamford Catholic was ahead of Darien with 29 wins in a row in the 1960s, Stamford High has the most with 35 with ties included, and New Canaan clocks in with 34 straight in the 70s.

So there’s something else to gnaw on at Turkey Bowl.

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WAS — Tim Graham lets fly in game-one of the 30-game streak, at Stamford in 2015. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

“And the other thing I think of when you look at 30 in a row, is the fact that in order to do that you have to be healthy,” Trifone said. “You get a couple of key injuries — and that said — we went into Staples this past Friday night a little banged up.”

Darien had several starters who did not practice much last week, needing to mind minor injuries, ankles or knees.

Three out of the four ended up playing.

“And I told them at the end of the night,” said Trifone. “I give them a lot of credit, because they toughed it out.

“But that’s what I am saying. In a sport like football you have to stay healthy.”

And helping to keep the juggernaut jigging is that Wave Ball, stays in touch.

“It’s interesting, because the alumni stay in touch with both me, and the players,” Trifone said. “We’ll get emails or text messages from them, especially prior to a big game. It’s just nice that they are staying dialed in.”

If scattered craters left across the field aren’t enough of a reminder of crushing linemen past, then a text message is.

“Even (Andrew) Stueber, who is out at the big house in Michigan,” Trifone added. “He sent us a letter, a little email, before the St. Joe’s game. It’s all part of the program and I’m very proud how they care about each other, past, present and future.”

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Darien Times Sports Editor since 2000

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