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Friday, April 27 Sports

Blue Wave springs forward

Forget the cleaning. Beginning this week in Darien, there will only be enough springtime for play.

Over the next seven days, every Darien High School spring sports team will open its regular season, as most will also conclude a slate of preseason scrimmages.

Most notably, Blue Wave girls lacrosse is scheduled to take the field after capturing the Class L title last year over Greenwich, 18-6. Darien outscored its opponents 72-19 over the four rounds of the postseason tournament, en route to its fifth state championship in seven years. Seniors Emily Stein and Dillon Schoen return after combining for eight goals in the title game. The team will wrap up exhibition play with scrimmages today at Staples and Saturday at home against New York prepatory school John Jay. The Blue Wave's regular season begins Wednesday versus Norwalk at 4 p.m.

Darien boys lacrosse welcomes back standouts Peter Lindley and goalie Phil Huffard, after a 13-8 campaign ended in a quarterfinal state tournament upset by No. 17 Wilton. The Blue Wave fell by a single goal, one fewer than it lost by in the FCIAC semifinal to rival New Canaan. Coach Jeff Brameier believes parity is on the rise within the FCIAC, and Darien will put that to the test in its opener on Wednesday against conference foe Trinity Catholic at 4 p.m.

Simultaneously over on the diamond, the Blue Wave softball team plans to make a midweek return against Brookfield. Darien earned the No. 4 seed of the Class LL state tournament a season ago, shutting out opponents until it was defeated by No. 5 Stamford in the quarterfinals. Junior ace Erika Osherow aims to lead the Blue Wave, which will take on Wilton at home two days after its opener.

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Darien baseball owns the longest wait for the start of its spring campaign, as the Blue Wave's Opening Day is slated for Friday, April 11. The team will battle with Wilton at home beginning with a 4 p.m. first pitch. Darien's last scrimmage is set for Sunday against Brien McMahon. Senior infielder Brendan Donohue stands as Darien's lone returning All-FCIAC honoree from 2013.

Sophomore Thorne Gregory projects to head Blue Wave boys tennis team after a stellar first-year campaign that ended in the Class L third round against the state's eventual runner-up. Darien will open its year against Staples on the road Wednesday afternoon and serve up its first home match on Tuesday, April 15, against Fairfield Warde. Blue Wave girls tennis starts its season with back-to-back home contests against Staples and St. Joseph's. The girls topped longtime FCIAC powerhouse and rival New Canaan last season for the first time under head coach Davin Gebauer, who begins his sixth year on Wednesday.

One day later, Darien boys track will race for the first time in 2014 at Wilton. While the Blue Wave and New Canaan have split the last eight FCIAC East crowns, Darien hopes to top perennial conference contenders Danbury and Staples for the overall championship this season. The boys indoor track team claimed the Class L title this past winter, however the outdoor club last wore the conference crown in 1982.

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Blue Wave girls track opens its season on Wednesday against Wilton in a head-to-head home meet.

Mac Koorbusch, Christian Ostberg and Cameron Van de Graaf will captain the Darien boys golf team, following the departure of senior Kieran Suri. Suri shot a individual-best 71 at the FCIAC championships last season, when the Blue Wave finished second as a team, looking up only to perennial power Greenwich. In state competition, Darien took third place at Division II, behind New Canaan and Daniel Hand. This year's group will tee off on Wednesday against Trinity Catholic at 3:15 p.m. at Wee Burn Country Club. Blue Wave girls golf plans to travel to Fairfield Ludlowe on the same afternoon for a 3:30 p.m. tee time, before hosting two-time state champion New Canaan one day later at home.

Finally, Darien boys volleyball, which finished as a Class M state semifinalist in 2013, is scheduled to open its year with home matches against Joel Barlow and Harding this Wednesday and Friday respectively. Both games will start at 4 p.m.