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Defense Is The Backbone of NHS Laxmen Who Look To Work Toward Playoff Run



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Tony Fitti, coach of the Newtown High School boys’ lacrosse team, is looking forward to his second year with the program and building on last year not only in terms of wins but also the off-field accomplishments.

“Our goal is to continue to build upon a strong cultural foundation that was started last year focusing on the community, classroom, and lacrosse field. The focus is on getting a little better every day, which will allow us to play our best lacrosse in late May. We stay in the present and in the moment and prepare for the game that is right in front of us,” Fitti said.

“Approaching every day with a focus on our core fundamentals and values of hard work, trust, buy-in, and dedication is our recipe to achieving our goals this year. Our goal is to play into June. To get there we have to obsess over the process and get better every day,” added the coach, referring to extending the season into the state playoffs.

Captains are defenders Dylan Macey and J.J. Haddick, midfielder Brady Macey, and midfielder/faceoff specialist Fisher Stites.

Other key team members back in the mix are defender Cole Stockwell; long stick midfielder Asher Williams; midfielders Charlie Massett, Kyle Ruddy, and Sean Reilly; and attack players Marcus Gerace and Gavin Doyle.

“The backbone of our team is our defense — we return every defensive starter. The experience and leadership our defensive group will bring will be a big part of our identity this year. We return a big group of offensive players — although still a young group, there is a lot of experience,” Fitti said.

Newtown will need to have some players step up in the goal-scoring department to offset last year’s graduation of a large portion of its offense.

“Offensively this year we will have to be more balanced. We graduated 50-plus goals, which will be hard to replace. Our young players will have to step up and make up for the fire power we lost as a group. There is a lot of confidence and excitement in our young team’s development,” Fitti said.

Newtown, which went 9-7 during the regular season a year ago, will face tough South-West Conference competition throughout the spring.

“The SWC is loaded with strong teams top to bottom. Every team has talent and works hard. Any team can beat any team on any given day. We are fortunate to be surrounded with amazing lacrosse programs with the opportunity to compete against some of the state’s best,” Newtown’s coach said.

Notable out of conference games are against Fairfield Warde (season opener at Blue & Gold Stadium on Saturday, April 6 at 6 pm), Amity of Woodbridge, and Brien McMahon of Norwalk. The McMahon game will take place at Blue & Gold Stadium starting at 7 pm on May 11 and it is both Newtown Youth Lacrosse Night and a benefit event for the 15 For Life Foundation.

“Our coaching staff is very excited about entering our second year. We set a great foundation last year which we are looking to build off of. Our team works extremely hard, we ask a lot of them, they make many sacrifices, and each team member plays for one another,” Fitti said. “Our confidence stems from our leadership, we have awesome young men leading the program, setting a great example, and exemplifying what it means to be a Newtown High School lacrosse player. The commitment our players have to the team is incredible and I am really excited to be their biggest fan this year.”

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Fisher Stites, right, makes a move after gaining control of the ball.
Cole Stockwell runs with possession for the Hawks.
Asher Williams defends.
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