DARIEN — The Blue Wave football victory tour had another stop Tuesday at a familiar site, the Darien High School gym.

MaxPreps and the Connecticut National Guard were present at the Darien and Stamford basketball game to present head coach Rob Trifone and the rest of the Blue Wave with the Minuteman trophy as the 77th best team in the country out of 15,000 qualifying teams at halftime.

It was the 11th year of the MaxPreps annual Tour of Champions which honors 50 schools throughout the country.

MaxPreps takes into account record, strength of schedule, titles and quality wins as part of its computer-based algorithm to rate the top teams in America.

“We are really honored to be here in the northeast honoring this team,” MaxPreps representative Danielle Ferrante said. “They had an outstanding season and this is a tremendous group of guys here, it’s a true honor, they’re so excited and we’re excited to be here as well.”

For Darien and its players, who donned shirts with the phrase “Run the State” streamed across the front, the award was made more special as it was given in small town in a small state not normally known for its football prowess.

“It’s quite an honor because I know there’s Texas and there’s California and Florida and Alabama and those are big states with big football,” Trifone said. “And for little lowly Connecticut to sneak in to the MaxPreps tour, I’m humbled and it’s an honor.”

For quarterback Timmy Graham the accomplishment was special on an even smaller scale given the schools notoriety for its lacrosse program.

“It definitely means a lot,” Graham said. “Especially coming from a lacrosse town like this where we’re Top 5 in the country every year, getting a football award is really special for the community.”

Receiver Colin Minicus, who is also a star on said lacrosse team, and whose mother Mo is the coach of field hockey team, thinks the accolades like the one received Tuesday only inspires the other teams to strive harder for greatness.

“Athletics are a very big part of our school,” Minicus said. “We just all build off the momentum that we have, each sport goes into the next and we look to each other for the support at games and support in school as well.”

Trifone has been a coach for 37 years and has seen both the good and bad, with 2015’s season being the epitome of the good. His hope is that his players don’t take for granted what MaxPreps has recognized them for and that they realize it’s not something that comes around every day.

“I don’t know that they understand it as well as I do because I’ve been around for a long time,” Trifone said. “And they’re like, ‘maybe this happens every other year’ — no, this happens once in a lifetime, I think it’ll sink in eventually.”

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP