Darien High School to Receive Walter Camp’s 2017 “Joseph W. Kelly” Award

The Darien Blue Wave, the Class LL state champion and consensus No. 1 team in the state’s high school football season-ending polls, is the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s choice to receive the 2017 Joseph W. Kelly Award.  The Kelly Award is presented annually to Connecticut’s top high school football team.

It is the third straight year Darien has earned the honor, and the Blue Wave join Cheshire (which won four consecutive Kelly Awards from 1992-95) as the only three-time repeat winners.

“Darien was exceptional on its way to another championship season,” said Walter Camp Football Foundation President Michael Madera.  “We salute Coach Rob Trifone, his staff and players on an outstanding season.”

Darien went 9-1 during the 2017 regular-season.  The Blue Wave then defeated East Hartford, 30-10, in the Class LL quarterfinals on November 28.  In the semifinals, Darien defeated West Haven, 27-13, and culminated its championship season with a 31-22 victory over Greenwich on December 9.   In its 13 games, the Blue Wave averaged 33.4 points per game, allowing just 8.2.

Coach Trifone and the Darien team will be recognized at the organization’s High School Breakfast of Champions event, on Saturday, January 13 at the Omni New Haven Hotel. Darien, along with the three other state football champions (Daniel Hand, Killingly and St. Joseph) will be feted.  Also that morning, the Walter Camp All-Connecticut Team, High School Player and Coach of the Year will also be recognized.

Later that evening, The Foundation will hold its annual national awards banquet, presented by David McDermott Lexus, at Yale University’s Lanman Center.   Walter Camp Player of the Year Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), along with members of the 2017 Walter Camp All-America team, and other major award winners (Coach of the Year-Mark Richt; Alumni Award-Eddie George; Man of the Year-Calvin Johnson; Distinguished American-Lee Corso, and Connecticut Player of the Year-Ervin Philips), will be honored.

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.  Visit www.waltercamp.org for more information.


Walter Camp “Joseph W. Kelly Award” Connecticut High School Champions

2017 – Darien

2016 – Darien

2015 – Darien

2014 – Southington

2013 – Ansonia

2012 – Daniel Hand (Madison)

2011 – Xavier (Middletown)

2010 – Xavier (Middletown)

2009 – Notre Dame (West Haven)

2008 – New Canaan

2007 – Ansonia

2006 – Ansonia

2005 – Xavier (Middletown)

2004 – Daniel Hand (Madison)

2003 – New Britain

2002 – West Haven

2001 – New Britain

2000 – Fitch (Groton)

1999 – Bloomfield

1998 – Bloomfield

1997 – Daniel Hand (Madison)

1996 – Weaver (Hartford)

1995 – Cheshire

1994 – Cheshire

1993 – Cheshire

1992 – Cheshire

1991 – Notre Dame (West Haven)

1990 – Derby

1989 – Ansonia

1988 – Stratford

1987 – East Catholic (Manchester)

1986 – Trumbull

1985 – Hillhouse (New Haven)

1984 – Middletown

1983 – Ansonia

1982 – St. Joseph’s (Trumbull)

1981 – Naugatuck

1980 – Trumbull

1979 – Newington

1978 – Amity (Woodbridge)

1977 – Trumbull

1976 – Fitch (Groton)