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.
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.
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.
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.
He may not be quite old enough to drive on the road just yet, but Stephen Kopcik is certainly making a name for himself on the racetracks. Kopcik, 15, drives too fast for the road anyway; he averages around 80 miles an hour, and tops out at about 90 when he’s in a race.
On June 19, Kopcik was not only fast — he was the fastest on the track, earning his first Legend Car race under the lights at Waterford Speedbowl.
For 9-year-old Damian Buccieri, a bump in the road is a good thing. In fact, the more bumps — and the bigger they are, within reason, for that matter — the merrier. That’s because the Newtown resident is a motocross racer who loves to catch air.
Buccieri has been an off-road motorcycle enthusiast during the past four years, and has come a long way on the tracks since he first started tearing up his lawn on a little Yamaha PW50, the first bike his dad brought home for him.
Ryan Tani stands with his go-kart, which was repainted recently to represent his hometown and his mother’s workplace. Ryan, 11, is paying respect to Sandy Hook School with his green and white vehicle, and disproving a long-held racing myth that green can be an unlucky paint scheme.