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Monday, May 16, 2005

“Mad Dog” Russo Headlines Sportsmen Banquet May 24

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo: Sportsmen guest of honor. Contributed photo
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo of WFAN’s “Mike & Mad Dog” show is scheduled to be guest of honor at the 2005 Sportsmen of Westport National Honoree annual banquet Tuesday, May 24 at Norwalk’s Continental Manor.

Now in its 44th year, the Sportsmen Awards annually grant five $1,000 scholarships to Staples High School graduates who have excelled academically and athletically.

“It is a very special event because we honor these graduates, as well as former sports players in the Town of Westport that have excelled exceedingly well,” said Peter D’Amico, Sportsmen co-president.

For example, several years ago the Sportsmen honored 83-year-old Art Reale, “who received every letter in sports at when he was at Staples High School,” D’Amico said.

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Staples Coed Water Polo Team Scores First Victory

The Staples coed water polo team Thursday scored its first victory ever. After close losses to Loomis, Choate and Greenwich, the Wreckers defeated Hopkins 12-8. Brandon Arias scored seven goals, Brandon Barone three, and Gar Waterman and Libby DeFeo one each. The photo shows DeFeo scoring her goal. Contributing to the victory were Bryan Stenson who made many great saves in the shallow end and Ricky White who made several in the deep end. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 10:10 AM
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Friday, May 06, 2005

Westporter Tries Again With Entry in Today’s Kentucky Derby

Westport’s Robert LaPenta faces double-digit odds for his horse in today’s $2 million Kentucky Derby, the second year in a row he’s had an entry in the nation’s most famous horse race.

The 59-year-old LaPenta will be sending out longshot Andromeda’s Hero. A year ago his entry was The Cliff’s Edge who had credentials so impeccable that he was designated the morning-line favorite for the first leg of the Triple Crown.

But a torrential downpour hours before the 2004 race did the horse in. The Cliff’s Edge lost both of his front shoes on the muddy track and could do no better than finish a distant fifth.

LaPenta, who recently retired as president and CFO of L-3 Communications and now heads L-1, an investment partnership based in Stamford, told The Advocate of Stamford that last year, the pressure was enormous.

“But this year we’re going with a completely different perspective,” he said. “We’re just looking for a respectable effort and we’ll see what it gets us. It’s going to be a lot more fun for us.”

Posted 11:18 PM
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Paul Newman Tries Go-Kart Racing

Westport’s Paul Newman was in Chicago Friday night and took the opportunity to jump in a go-kart to race wheel-to-wheel at 35 m.p.h. against his friend and longtime stunt double, Stan Barrett.

The 80-year-old Oscar-winning actor appeared at Chicago Indoor Racing for a private event staged by McDonald’s, a major sponsor of the Newman-Haas racing team.

Newman said he caught racing fever after filming “Winning” in 1968, and hasn’t looked back since claiming his first national title in 1976.

Racing a go-kart is not that different from racing a car, he told the Chicago Tribune. “The smoother you are, the quicker you go. You can’t muscle your way around the track in these cars.”

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Saugatuck Rowing Club Names Larry Kurzner Commodore

Larry Kurzner: new Commodore. Contributed photo
Westport’s Saugatuck Rowing Club (SRC) has named Westporter Larry Kurzner its Commodore for 2005-2006. 

As Commodore, Kurzner will serve as the club�s liaison with U.S. Rowing, the sport�s national governing body, and other regional and international rowing organizations, as well as presiding over club events and committees.

Kurzner has rowed competitively since his days as captain of the Clark University crew.  He has been a national medalist eight times in the last five years and was the captain of the club’s 2004 U.S. Rowing National Championship Masters team. 

After college and before joining SRC when he moved to Westport with his family in 1996, Kurzner rowed at clubs in Boston, New York and Norwich and London.

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Staples Golfers Team Up With Seniors

The Westport Center for Senior Activities and the boy’s and girl’s golf teams from Staples High School recently teamed up for the Friendship through Fitness golf tournament to raise money for the Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities. All proceeds will go toward maintaining the fitness room at the center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 10:19 PM
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Monday, April 25, 2005

Westport’s Dave Kashetta, Snubbed in NFL Draft, Signs With Redskins

It was a long Sunday for Westport’s Dave Kashetta. The former Staples High School football standout and Boston College tight end was not among players chosen in the National Football League Draft.

But a short time later he signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins.

“I’m really excited,” he told reporters later. “I definitely feel I have a lot to prove now.”

The 2000 Staples grad, who is listed at 6 feet 3 1/2 inches and 247 pounds, last season made 22 catches for 218 yards with four touchdowns for the Eagles. He will join the Redskins at rookie camp this weekend in Washington.

Posted 07:46 AM
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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Fun in the Sand

The warm weather this week brought out the Staples High School volleyball players for some action in the sand at Compo Beach. Jackson Lesser (l) and Mike Smith (r) both go for a block in a late afternoon pick-up game. Both the Staples varsity and JV teams are undefeated so far this season, 6-0. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Please Be Seated

Chairs at Westport’s Wakeman Park Wednesday awaited the day’s sports fans. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Emily Laux for

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Monday, April 11, 2005

Turf’s Up

A three-year fund-raising effort aimed at rebuilding three Westport athletic fields with artificial turf kicks off Friday, June 10 at Mitchells of Westport. The Staples Gridiron Club’s “Field of Dreams Gala” at 6:30 p.m. will provide seed money for a community project to install artificial turf for football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and rugby teams. The campaign slogan is “If you contribute it will be built.”  Westport is one of only four school districts in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference still with grass fields. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased by calling Gala Chair Chris Romann at (203) 222-1422 or e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Betsey Lebow for

Posted 06:25 PM
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Friday, April 01, 2005

Off to the YMCA National Swim Competition

The Westport/Weston Water Rats swim team left today for Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where they will compete in the YMCA national swim competition. Staples sophomore Cydney Eldh and her mother, Joyce, pose for a photo. Cydney is one of two “rookies” first-time qualifiers for the national competition—making the trip. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Dave Matlow for

Posted 09:13 PM
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What a Team!

The Water Rats’ 13 qualifiers before they left for Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., today included (l-r): Cydney Eldh; David Platow; Clayton Goodgame; Anna Smith; Jason Brown; Aurora Lee; Mike Dunn; Laura Bedson; Danny Platow; Laura Strittmatter; Frisk Driscoll; Christina Bladek, and Keenan Coss. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Dave Matlow for

Posted 09:09 PM
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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Westpot Police Athletic League Aids Staples Lacrosse Team

The Westport Police Athletic League (PAL) recently made a donation to the Staples High School lacrosse team. Over the last three years, the team has grown from just over 20 players to 60 players this year.The team did not have money in its budget to deal with the increase and Westport PAL stepped into to assist in funding the program. Shown turning over a Westport PAL check are (l-r): Officer Jill Ruggiero, Head Coach Jonathan Lake, Chief Al Fiore, president of Westport PAL, and Officer David Wolf. John Calka/Westport Police Department photo

Posted 11:37 PM
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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Westport’s Chris Halstead Repeats as Swim Champ

Chris Halstead: repeat champ. Emory University photo
Westport’s Chris Halstead, a senior at Emory University, helped lead the school to its second consecutive second-place finish at the NCAA Division III national championships in Holland, Mich.

Halstead, who turns 22 next month, defended his national title in the 200-yard backstroke becoming the second Eagle from the Atlanta, Ga., school to repeat as a national champion.

His time of 1:48.98 seconds is the fourth-fastest time in school history behind three of his own. He now holds all 10 of the top 10 times in Emory record book.

Halstead set a school record by earning six All-American certificates at the national meet. He earned three individual certificates and three for relay events.

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Teaching by Example

Bedford Middle School teacher Kathy Sharp goes up for a lay-up during the annual faculty vs. eighth grade student basketball game Friday night at Bedford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for

Posted 10:14 PM
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport