Darien lacrosse honors Haupt/Barton family
It was 1992. Wes Barton, Darien High School varsity lacrosse player, had just been diagnosed with cancer. His talent and love for the sport was pushed aside as his older sister Allison transferred schools to stay by his side through it all.
The tragedy hit home to both the members of the team, coaches, and students of DHS. The number 12 was retired temporarily to honor Wes and his strength.
Now, almost 30 years later, the cycle moves its course once more. The sacred number 12 is no longer retired, but instead, given to a senior of honor each year; a senior who exhibits a similar strength and selflessness that Wes brought to the game. For the 2019 season, senior tri-captain Tommy Hellman was given the honor.
He states, “It’s awesome to wear a number that means so much to the program and the Barton family. To be a part of such an amazing story is truly an honor. I know the number means so much to the Bartons and the Haupts, so to be selected to wear it is an amazing tribute.”
However, Wes is not the only member of the Barton family honored this 2019 season. After Wes was diagnosed, Allison dropped to his side. She not only supported him through his struggles, but also the lacrosse association of Darien. She stepped in and organized for the women's teams, and supported the men's teams. She was a cheerleader and mastermind to the prided Darien association.
It was not until Allison was diagnosed with breast cancer that Darien varsity lacrosse coach Jeff Brameier decided to take number 12 out of retirement. After the tragic passing of Allison this October, the team unanimously decided to honor her alongside Wes.
When asked for traits to describe her beloved uncle, Wes Barton, niece Lily Haupt said, “Brave and selfless. Just like my mother. They both had those qualities, and when one was suffering the other would take care of the other.”
Because Allison was not an individual team member with a number, the Darien Lacrosse Association had the idea of honoring her through the equipment that all players would need. On all youth shorts, the initials “ABH” are in print. On all helmets of the boys varsity team, there is a breast cancer ribbon.
The members of the team are all aware and proud of the honor they carry on their helmets. Although the youth programs start at younger ages, they understand as well. It is a tragedy, and the Darien lacrosse community lost someone beloved by all.
Senior varsity captain Hudson Pokorney said, “It means a lot knowing that she was a huge fan of the program. To wear the stickers with her name on it gives us a feeling that she will always be cheering us on and be right next to us as we play. The Haupt family means a lot to the program and the stickers are a way of bringing awareness to the impact she had on the lacrosse team, as well as the cause.”
When asked her feelings on the honors given this year, Lily Haupt said, “It meant so much to me to see my moms sticker on all the boys lacrosse teams helmets because of the impact the association had on my uncle Wes Barton, and my mom Allison Haupt. I wanted to create the sticker to carry on her legacy and I know Wes felt the same way on keeping his sisters beautiful spirit going. I know she would love the stickers, and definitely the ABH printed on all of the DYLAX shorts this year.”
Darien varsity lacrosse plays Wilton in the FCIAC semi final at Brien McMahon Tuesday night at 7 p.m.