Moments prior to the final horn of Darien’s FCIAC quarterfinal blowout of Brien McMahon Friday, thunder descended upon the home of the Blue Wave.
Consequently, the referees’ whistles blew, play was stopped and a collective groan spread from endline to endline.
Then, Senators coach Andy Stockfisch, whose team was trailing by double-digits, did something highly unusual.
“Coach!” he shouted to Darien headman Jeff Brameier. “I didn’t hear anything. Did you?”
With all eyes on Brameier, a simple shake of the head was all the coach needed to give his answer.
Next, the whistles blew again, play was resumed and the previous groan turned to a glowing cheer.
For when you pace the sidelines with 499 career wins in your back pocket, that’s the kind of power you wield.
Minutes later, 499 became 500 via a 12-2 Wave win over a McMahon squad that was shut out for the first three quarters. Peter Lindley scored four times for Darien, while sophomore attack Jack Kniffin collected a hat trick. The two were parts of a large, loud gathering around their coach to celebrate his monumental accomplishment.
When asked about what’s kept him going for so long, Brameier simply pointed to those who had swarmed him moments earlier.
“Just the relationships with the kids and the development of the kids,” Brameier said. “Watching them go on to great things.”
Today, Brameier sat in the stands of the NCAA men’s lacrosse national semifinals to watch three of his former players do just that. And it’s hard to imagine that any of them could have reached that point without at least some help from Brameier, given where the Darien program started upon his arrival 31 years ago.
“When I started, we didn’t have a youth program. We didn’t have anything,” Brameier said. “And this town has just blossomed … I’ve been all about trying to grow this sport. Not just in Darien but all over the state of Connecticut, and I think its been fun to watch obviously the development of our program but also Connecticut lacrosse and lacrosse throughout the country.”
On the opposite sideline, the signs of a well-developed Darien program and well-coached Wave team were all there.
“They’re well balanced,” Stockfisch said. “All their offensive players move the ball well, and all their defensive players are very disciplined and smart. They’ve got a good goalkeeper and it’s a good team.”
Tuesday, Brameier will go for win No. 501 against rival New Canaan at 5 p.m. in the FCIAC semifinals.