Wave by the numbers: Darien football stands tall
We’re just one day away from the start of the high school football season and the Darien Blue Wave is gearing up for another run at a state championship.
The Wave, which is captained by seniors Will Kirby, Sam Wilson, J.H. Slonieski and Will Bothwell, geared up for the fall during several 7-on-7 tournaments this summer, winning the Shoreline championship, hosted by Daniel Hand, and going 4-3 at the Grip It and Rip It tournament in New Canaan.
Darien’s run of success during the past 10 years has been remarkable, and here’s a look at some of the key numbers as the Wave gets ready for the new campaign.
Record of the Darien football team during the past six seasons. The Blue Wave, which won three straight state championships from 2015-17, has qualified for the CIAC playoffs every year since 2013, reaching the final five times.
Darien’s record last fall. The Blue Wave rolled to victories in their first nine games, a run which included wins over Class M champion St. Joseph 22-7, and seven-win Staples, 24-0. After a 17-14 loss to New Canaan in the Turkey Bowl, however, the Wave had its season come to a close with a 26-15 loss at Newtown in the Class LL quarterfinals.
Date of the Darien football team’s opener against the Fairfield-Ludlowe Falcons. The game kicks off at 7 p.m., Friday, under the lights at DHS.
Record of the Ludlowe Falcons last year. The mark was the Falcons’ best in 47 years, and it was their first winning season since they were 6-5 in 2013. Ludlowe is coached by Mitch Ross, who was an assistant to Rob Trifone with Darien from 2005 to 2016. He’s kicking off his third season with the Falcons and will be coaching Ludlowe against Darien for the first time.
Combined tackles for Blue Wave linebackers Sam Wilson and J.H. Slonieski last fall. The two leaders on defense are senior co-captains this season alongside DE Will Bothwell, who led the Wave in sacks with six, and Will Kirby, a returning veteran at running back.
Total touchdowns for Kirby last season. All 10 came on the ground, as he rushed for 485 yards and a 5.1 yards per carry average. Kirby is also Darien’s kicker and went 37-for-40 on PATs last year.
Date of the Blue Wave’s scheduling alliance game against the Blue Knights of Southington. The game will kickoff at 7 p.m. at DHS.
Combined score of Darien’s victories the last two times it faced Southington. The teams met in the 2015 Class LL semis, with the Wave winning 49-7, and Darien also defeated the Knights in the 2016 semis, 38-7. The Wave went on to win the state championship each time.
Straight losses for Darien to rival New Canaan in the annual Turkey Bowl game on Thanksgiving. The Wave had won five straight Turkey Bowls before the Rams’ 27-0 win two seasons ago. New Canaan won last year 17-14. Darien is hosting this year’s game on Nov. 28.