Deep down inside, Marc Kenney and his returning players may still be jumping for joy, but the Nighthawks aren’t about to get caught up in last year’s Class LL state championship success as they begin a new season. In fact, Kenney doesn’t even look at his Newtown High School girls’ soccer team as defending champions, and one can’t really question that given the high level of turnover from last year’s roster.
Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team enters into the new campaign with expectations for runs in postseason tournaments once again this year. The perennial South-West Conference title contenders, after winning consecutive championships, fell in a tough-to-swallow semifinal clash with Weston a year ago. This season the Nighthawks hope to get back to the pinnacle SWC match for a chance to reclaim their spot at the top, but winning it isn’t a win or bust season in the eyes of the coach.
Newtown High School’s field hockey team has a new look almost entirely across the board. Stephanie Paproski takes over head coaching duties, and the first-year leader inherits a significantly inexperienced roster since 16 players graduated last year.
“It’s a very exciting time. I’m looking forward to it. A great group of girls this year — a lot of talent,” said Paproski, a former Nighthawk field hockey player herself. She graduated from NHS in 2008 and went on to play at Castleton State College of Vermont.
Newtown High School’s girls’ cross country team is loaded with a wealth of returning talent and has the work ethic, team members believe, to lead to a successful run this campaign.
The team was sixth in the South-West Conference and 12th in the Class LL state championships last fall. Only a pair of runners from the top seven, standouts Reagan Cerney and Talia Fappiano, graduated.
Gone from last year’s South-West Conference-winning Newtown High School boys’ cross country team are four of the team’s top five runners, but the Nighthawks have high expectations to again be a factor in the championship meet, maybe with another win.
Newtown High School’s cheerleading squad and dance team are both coming off memorable seasons in which they entertained fans and supported their peers on the football field in the fall and basketball court in the winter, then wowed the judges at their own championship competitions to cap off their campaigns.
On a hot humid Labor Day weekend the U12 Wolfpack girls’ soccer team took the top spot at the Adidas Bernie Ward Labor Day Shootout in Farmington, posting an undefeated record along the way. The girls had a tough go in the first round against a strong Simsbury team, playing to a 1-1 tie. The lone Wolfpack score came off midfielder Hannah Daly’s foot. The team was supported by the great defense of Colleen Phaneuf, Mary Celentano, and Malia Gioffree, and goaltending of Olivia Cavalero.