At long last, the fall sports seasons are under way and many squads from New Canaan High School and Darien High School have come out swinging. Of course, this was to be expected in many instances, as nearly every fall sports team at each school is coming off of successful seasons. In several cases, these teams also have an FCIAC and/or State championship to defend.

It's still too early in the season for any one FCIAC team to truly establish itself from the pack, so I'm going to share a few observations that I've picked up on while attending some of the early-season games. We'll start with football since that certainly seems to be the most closely-followed fall sport.

New Canaan and Bassick kicked off the FCIAC football season with the lone game to be played last Thursday, Sept. 15 at Bridgeport Central High School. The Rams appeared as good as advertised, using their no huddle attack to expertly move the ball downfield against an overmatched Bassick defense en route to a 49-6 win. While New Canaan will no doubt see tougher teams than Bassick in its quest for an FCIAC and/or State championship, the Rams were sharp in their opening day win.

Darien's first game was covered by a different sports editor, but the scoreboard certainly told the story in the Blue Wave's 38-13 thrashing of Fairfield Ludlowe. Darien, the defending FCIAC champions, have something to prove after a relatively quiet postseason in which few picked the Blue Wave to repeat. Though Darien returned only four starters from last year, Saturday's game against Ludlowe could be an indication that the Blue Wave have plenty of new faces ready to pick up the slack and continue Darien's winning tradition.

One team that you can't help but feel good for is the Darien boys soccer team. After a two-win campaign in 2010, the Blue Wave boys were eyeing a significant turnaround in 2011. So far, so good as the Blue Wave have come away victorious in their last two contests, 2-0 over Fairfield Ludlowe and 3-1 over Fairfield Warde. If Darien can keep this up through the season as they go toe-to-toe with several FCIAC powerhouse squads, then the boys soccer team could easily emerge as the most improved team from a year ago.

While the Darien boys soccer team looks to improve, many other squads look to sustain. In particular, the New Canaan boys soccer team, which finished last season by claiming a Class L State championship. New Canaan kicked off its title defense with competitive 1-1 tie on the road against Danbury, and remain unbeaten after claiming a 2-0 win over Bassick. In talking with players prior to the start of the season as well as after their tie against Danbury, this New Canaan team truly believes it can repeat.

Speaking of teams which have yet to taste defeat, the New Canaan and Darien girls soccer teams each fit that description coming into tonight's head-to-head matchup. The Rams stormed out of the blocks with an 8-0 romp of Norwalk, a 2-1 squeaker over Fairfield Warde and an 8-1 shellacking of Trinity Catholic. The Blue Wave have a tough 1-1 tie against Trumbull, a 2-0 shutout of Danbury and a 2-1 win over McMahon to their credit.

I realize I'm just scraping the tip of the iceberg in terms of all the fall sports teams at New Canaan and Darien, but we'll get to the others as their seasons continue.

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