Only a year ago, these young ballplayers were scattered among a trio of teams and playing with pitching machines rather than live pitching. Now, Newtown’s 9-year-old Wildcats, after a spring season together to get accustomed to pitching and facing hurlers, are District 5 champions. The Wildcats scratched and clawed past Southbury and Oxford, then beat Southbury a second time, to claim the Cal Ripken District title this past week and, with the triumph, are on their way to the state tournament. The district tourney unfolded on July 6, 7, and 10.
The Rising Star Summer Basketball League will run Mondays and Thursdays, July 15 through August 15. Games will be held between 5 and 8 pm at Dickinson Park. The league is open for girls and boys ages 9-15. Cost is $95.
Newtown High School’s sports teams are well-represented by standout athletes who have been recognized as All State, All South-West Conference, All New England, and All American honorees. The All SWC winners were announced in The Bee following the fall and winter sports seasons.
Below are the spring season All SWC mentions, along with other award winners from all three sports seasons during this past school year:
For their efforts, skill, and scoring prowess — along with their ability to play two sports — Bridget Power and Dan Hebert are this year’s Newtown Bee’s Athletes of the Year. Both athletes won championships during their careers, were captains, and played significant roles in the success of their squads during their respective senior seasons and throughout their NHS playing days.
Taylor Brady has always been tremendously athletic; she entered into high school with the plan to play three sports. Little did she know that lacrosse would be one of them, and that it would turn out to be her best sport among the three — including soccer and basketball — at the Waterbury-based Chase Collegiate School.
Throughout the past three years, Newtown High School’s baseball program has been represented by 11 players who went on to play ball at the collegiate level.
There were three players from the NHS class of 2010: Pitcher/outfielder John Fracker and pitcher Joe Fedak both moved on to play at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Outfielder Andy Lapple went on to play at Colby Sawyer College.
A couple years, or more, away from putting on the Newtown High School baseball uniform, up-and-coming sluggers and pitchers are getting tips from Newtown High Baseball Coach Matt Memoli, other members of the NHS coaching staff, and some of their players and former team members at clinics this summer.
Memoli runs the Summer Baseball Academy for athletes ages 5–11 and the Middle School Academy for those on the cusp of getting involved in high school ball.
Riley Wurtz’s All-Star Basketball Camp, open to children ages 5-13, will take place July 8-12 from 9 am to 1 pm at Newtown High School. Wurtz is a former standout and state champion at Newtown High School.
The camp will focus on developing core basketball fundamentals and teach up and coming players what it takes to play at a high school level. There will be games and contests that will help each of the campers develop their shooting, passing, dribbling, rebounding, and defense skills. Each camper will receive a T-shirt. Cost is $125.