2021 Year in Review: Durant wins annual Backyard Challenge


In its 13th year of existence, the annual Wilton-Durant Advocate News Backyard Challenge ended with Durant winning annual bragging rights during the 2020-2021 school year.

The Wildcat win ended a streak of four straight years for Wilton. In its 13 years of existence, the Backyard Challenge has provided parity. The Durant win leaves the overall series at 6-4-3 with Wilton holding the overall lead.

Each boys' and girls' sport receives two annual points with a total of 26 possible. A short breakdown of the 2020-2021 scoring is as follows:

Fall (2020) sports—Wilton and Durant split the first four points as the Wildcats won the annual football game 35-28, and Wilton won in a volleyball sweep 25-6, 25-6, 25-14. In a down cross country year for both schools, neither fielded a full team in either the boys' or girls' River Valley Conference meet. Therefore, no other fall points were awarded. The Challenge was tied 2-2.

Winter (2020-2021) sports—The Wilton girls' basketball team swept Durant with a 67-46 win at home, and 52-43 win on the road, earning two points. The boys' basketball teams split the two points with Wilton winning at home in overtime 69-59, and the Wildcats getting revenge at home 69-66. The River Valley Conference wrestling meet was canceled due to weather, and multiple teams pulling out due to COVID-19 concerns. Wilton has always won the wrestling points, yet none were awarded due to no RVC meet. Wilton led the Challenge 5-3.

Spring (2021) sports—Durant took control of the Backyard Challenge in the spring. The Wildcats swept the four golf points, with both the boys and girls finishing higher than Wilton at the annual RVC meets. In boys' track, Durant won the points, as a very limited Wilton team failed to score a point in the RVC meet. The Wilton girls' track team finished ahead of Durant, winning the only points of the spring for the Beavers. Durant won six of eight possible points to take a 9-7 lead.

Summer (2021) sports—The baseball and softball teams split the Backyard Challenge points in the summer. Wilton worked its way to a No. 1 ranking in the state, defeating Durant twice along the way 5-4 and 7-4. The Durant boys, coming off a state appearance the year prior, defeated Wilton 10-0 and 4-3, as all four teams played doubleheaders during the opening week of the season. Durant won the Backyard Challenge 11-9 in a year where six points were left on the table. Wilton currently has a commanding 10-0 lead in this year's Backyard Challenge.