Forget all of the grueling practices in the heat, and juggling academic responsibilities with sports. For Julian Dunn, the hardest part of participating in athletics at Newtown High School was — well … not participating. Dunn had to sit out his senior basketball campaign for college visits and football drills as he was on his way to his next step, playing football at the University of Maine, which is located in the town of Orono. Jessica Keller was talked into running track by Coach Doug Russell, and she participated — in part — to keep in shape for her primary sport of soccer. Keller went on to qualify for postseason championship races and help break school relay records.
Perhaps nothing is more synonymous with Newtown High School sporting events than the voice that can be heard emanating throughout the gymnasium, at Blue & Gold Stadium, on the back fields, and occasionally Treadwell Park, announcing starting lineups, and filling in the crowd between plays. That voice belongs to Jason “J” Edwards, a teacher at Newtown High by day, and a public address announcer by afternoon, night, and weekend. Edwards, this past spring, announced his 1,000th game for the Nighthawks.
Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) will benefit from a fundraiser at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, featuring the United Soccer League’s New York Red Bull II facing Newtown Pride FC of the Connecticut Soccer League, on Thursday, July 30, at 7:30 pm. The evening will kick off at 6, outside of the ballpark, with an interactive fan zone. All ages are welcome to join in the fun. All net proceeds from the event, including ticket sales and proceeds from a silent auction held that evening, will go to NYFS.
Women's Softball League teams Cork N' Barrel, My Place, Reach, Petzercise, Black Swan, and Donate Life are in action each week this summer. In a 15-13 win over My Place, the Corks got big hits from Denise Croden with a triple and three singles. Jen Pirone, Karen Alexander, Sue D'Andrea, and Chris Jannott also contributed at the plate.
Heading into this week’s action, the 19U Bethel Admirals American Legion baseball team, which comprises both Newtown and Bethel athletes, posted a 7-4 record. The Admirals entered into a stretch of 16 scheduled games in a span of 18 days, necessitated by five rainouts and an already truncated summer league schedule.
Future, past, and present come together on the back fields at Newtown High School for Coach Matt Memoli’s youth baseball camps each summer. Up-and-coming ball players — this past week — worked on fielding, throwing, pitching, and hitting skills and got pointers from Memoli and some of his former and current players during the Youth Baseball Academy and Middle School Academy.
The Newtown Scholarship Association (NSA) held its 23rd Annual Jack Friel Memorial Golf Scramble on June 22. The event is sponsored by Newtown’s two golf venues, Rock Ridge Country Club and Newtown Country Club. he winners playing Newtown Country Club were Chris Watson, Bob Watson, Chad Joshpe, and Steve Loughran and at Rock Ridge Country Club were Charles Nanavaty, Glenn Nanavaty, Mike Kehoe, and Terry Shanahan. Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ golf teams also played in the tourney. There were more than 100 participants playing golf in support of the Newtown Scholarship Association. For 78 years, NSA has focused on its mission to put a college education within reach for every high school graduate from Newtown.
Newtown and Sandy Hook were well-represented on June 28 in the annual Faxon Law Group Fairfield Half Marathon. The 13.1-mile course started and finished at Jennings Beach and brought runners through the streets of downtown Fairfield and Southport, along the water in spots, and up some tough hills. The race, which features top international runners and fast competitors from across the United States, was won by Ethiopia’s Gosa Girma Tefera, who completed the course in 1:04.05. Sandy Hook’s Pedro Padilla finished the course in 165th place among nearly 3,000 competitors, crossing the finish line in a time of 1:34.35. Participants and sponsors of the annual road races raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a variety of charitable organizations every year.
Joining a team requires athletes acclimate themselves to their new teammates, and it can take a little time to get comfortable. In the case of Newtown High School’s golf teams, that adjustment period was altogether avoided for some participants. That’s because they’re siblings — already very familiar with one another — on and off the course — before they went to their first high school practice together at Rock Ridge Country Club.
Newtown High School was well-represented in the All State and All South-West Conference selections for spring sports. All State First Team honorees were softball player Emily Woznick, baseball players Julian Dunn and David Matthews, and golfer Sarah Houle. Others to be honored with All State achievement are Julia Sughrue and Deegan Beauchemin.