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Great Sports: NHS Athletics Wins First SWC Achievement Cup



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In sports, particularly at the youth and high school level, it is as much about sportsmanship as it is winning.

A little of both never hurt. A lot of both — that garners some nice recognition.

Just ask Newtown High School Athletic Director Matt Memoli, whose teams have piled up deep playoff runs and some championships along the way, as well as the level of sportsmanship that catches the attention of competing school teams.

Newtown High’s athletics program, this spring, won the first South-West Conference Achievement Cup, awarded to one conference school for a strong showing of sportsmanship and success in conference tournaments.

The award represents efforts from the spring of 2023, the fall of 2023, and this past winter (2023-24) and will be given to a team, as it was this year, during each spring campaign. The recognition takes into account success in conference tournaments with points earned for title game appearances and more points for championship victories, as well as the level of sportsmanship as voted on by opposing school teams. The emphasis is put on the sportsmanship piece with 75 percent of the award based on teams being good sports and 25 percent based off winning ways in conference playoffs.

Athletic directors from the SWC schools came up with this unique award as a way to keep athletes not only motivated to win but compete with a high level of respect for their counterparts, on and off the field, including with social media posts.

“We all love our athletes competing but we want them competing in the right way,” said Memoli, adding that there must be mutual respect off the playing fields.

Newtown’s recognition is a testament to the efforts of Nighthawk coaches and athletes alike. The Nighthawks are off to a good start for next year’s award with more showings of good sportsmanship and some SWC playoff success in the spring highlighted by the girls’ golf and track and field teams winning titles.

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

Newtown High School athletics had quite a spring. In addition to girls’ track and golf conference championships Newtown High won the first South-West Conference Achievement Cup and Susan Bridges earned the SWC’s Outstanding Coach Award. Pictured are, from left: Bridges, NHS Athletic Director Matt Memoli, and Principal Kimberly Longobucco with their hardware. —photo courtesy Matt Memoli
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