Free agency, contract disputes, and player retirement may not be an issue for a defending champion high school team trying to maintain its winning ways, but graduation certainly is. And the Newtown High School hockey team, because of last year’s high number of graduates — ten to be exact — is in rebuilding mode as the puck drops on the 2014-15 campaign.
A win in the Class LL state championship certainly did a lot to ease the pain of narrowly missing out on a South-West Conference title last winter. But while the Nighthawks may be on top of things and be the hunted in the state, they are every bit as much hungry for success and the hunters in the conference.
“We’re absolutely not hiding from anybody right now, so that means everybody’s going to come at us harder,” Coach Chris Bray anticipates. “Everybody here has a good understanding of what they need to do.”
It’s time to select the winner of the Newtown Bee’s Harmon Award For Sportsman of the Year — named in honor of former Newtown Bee Sports Editor Kim Harmon. The award will go to someone who has had a significant impact on Newtown sports within the last year. Selections may include volunteers and those who have dedicated countless hours to athletics in town. Please drop us a line with your suggestion(s). Send via email to firstname.lastname@example.org; fax to 203-426-5169; or snail mail: PO Box 5503, Newtown, CT 06470.
Personnel dictates a team’s style of play and, this year, Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team returns to its familiar fast-paced, run-the-floor approach to the game.
“I feel like this year we can get back to playing up-tempo, pressure basketball,” said Coach Jeremy O’Connell, whose lineups throughout the years have leaned on overall speed and athleticism, along with strong defenses to create turnovers and push the flow of the game before playing a bit more of a half-court brand of basketball last year.
Cheering along the local sidelines at football games takes plenty of skill and an ability to focus and perform in front of a crowd. But doing so on the big stage, among the best cheer squads from around the country and with a national title on the line, is something else for a group of 13-year-olds.
Years of working at supporting the game of golf has allowed Bill Flood to rise in the ranks. Earlier this month, after seven years of service to the Connection Section PGA, he was elected as the 34th president of the Connecticut Section PGA.
The days of leather football helmets gave way to hard-shelled head protectors three-quarters of a century ago — just one example of how football equipment has been improved for safety reasons, particularly with the head in mind, throughout the years. So, why not some schedule alterations as part of the efforts to limit injuries among hard-hitting athletes too?
Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team began the season with a clash against old rival Lauralton Hall of Milford on December 10. The host Nighthawks led from start to finish, fended off a second-half Crusader rally, and won 41-35. Lauralton, a former South-West Conference foe of Newtown’s, is in its first season in the Southern Connecticut Conference.
The Nighthawks got ten points from Haley Ryan, eight from Mali Klorczyk, and seven apiece from Sarah Lynch and Lauren Wilcox.
Newtown High School’s passing attack was thwarted by the rain, and the rushing game was mostly stopped by visiting Xavier of Middletown’s big front six in the Class LL-Small Division football state playoff semifinals at Blue & Gold Stadium on December 6. The fourth-seeded Falcons capitalized on a turnover for their only touchdown, and had a pair of field goals to defeat the top-seeded Nighthawks 13-7, advancing to the championship game.