Published on April 3rd, 2014 | by Staples Soccer0
Wrecker Respect, From A Long-Ago Foe
Back in the day, Rippowam High School was an FCIAC opponent.
It’s now the site of a Stamford magnet school (and its field is where JV and freshman teams play). Between 1962 and 1983 — when the Stamford school closed — Staples racked up a 17-1-1 record against “Ripp.”
Most Wreckers have forgotten about that 1 tie. But Dick Coleman remembers it well.
The other day he found StaplesSoccer.com, and sent this email. It’s a testament to the power of Staples soccer, and the importance of competition. It’s why we play the game.
What was greatest upset vs Staples? Not sure, but maybe this one.
In 1968 I captained Rippowam’s team. We had never won, tied, or even scored a goal against Staples.
Our own coach intimidated us by passing out your lineup and positions a few days before the game. We memorized the names of all those star players. I still remember the Hands, Baumanns, etc.
I scored a goal on a long shot. Staples got a penalty shot on a hand ball later to tie. My friend who got the hand ball told me he did it on purpose to stop a sure goal.
I ran out the clock with 30 seconds to go because for us, a tie versus Staples was a victory!
I now work in the NHL and have two Stanley Cup rings, but I rate this moment as one of my best in sports.
The Wreckers look forward to meeting Dick at a Staples match this fall. Unfortunately, it won’t be against Rippowam.
Fun fact: Rippowam’s most famous graduate is Bobby Valentine. The former Los Angeles Dodgers star, and New York Mets and Boston Red Sox manager, was a classmate of Dick Coleman’s.
Extra fun fact: Former Staples JV coach Joe Pierce is a Rippowam grad.