The balancing act of providing field space for youth and adult athletics and accommodating a combination of the most competitive of those children (and their parents), as well as out-of-town players on travel and premier squads, has been a tricky one for Newtown Parks & Recreation officials. Newtown Recreation officials now hope some changes to the field use procedures will make Newtown residents happy while not shutting out nonresidents altogether. They also hope to maximize use of the town’s field space in the process. Beginning in the spring of 2015, field use will be regulated differently than it has for the past ten-plus years, with stricter rules for out-of-town residents. The Parks & Recreation Commission at its October meeting approved a change in the rules that now requires every team within an organization to meet an 80 percent residency requirement. Additionally, other policy changes are being considered to help ensure there is an equal opportunity for Newtown athletes to have field use.
Runners and walkers earned some extra stuffing and pumpkin pie by kicking off their Turkey Day with some exercise in the fifth annual Newtown Turkey Trot 5K race and walk. Mitchell Russo gobbled up first place accolades, completing the 3.1-mile course in a time of 15:47, edging out Jake Feinstein, who came across the finish line in 15:49. The top female was Annemieke Martino, who placed 13th overall, completing the Thanksgiving morning race in 19:25. The top overall and age category finishers literally did earn some pumpkin pie as they were awarded pies by race volunteers. There were more than 1,000 participants in the race, which started at Hawley School and finished at Newtown Middle School, on a chilly, 30-something degree morning. For the first time in the brief history of the Turkey Trot, runners had a backdrop of snow throughout the course.
The 2014 Newtown Savings Bank Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, to benefit the C. H. Booth Library, will take place Thursday morning. Travelers can expect brief delays and road closures Thursday, November 28, between the hours of 7:30 and 9:30 am, in and around the center of town.
Faced with a halftime deficit for the first time this season, and held scoreless through two quarters for that matter, Newtown High School’s football team turned things around in its clash with rival Masuk of Monroe on November 25. The host Nighthawks overcame a 7-0 deficit to roll to a 28-7 triumph at Blue & Gold Stadium and carries an unbeaten mark into the Class LL state playoffs, which are scheduled to start on December 6.
The annual Newtown-Masuk of Monroe high school football game, traditionally played the night before Thanksgiving, has been switched to Tuesday, November 25, because of anticipated severe weather conditions, according to an announcement on the Newtown High School athletics webpage, nighthawksports.com.
Newtown High School’s football team has had pretty much everything – offense, defense, special teams – clicking throughout the regular season. So why not continue the winning formula to kick off the postseason? The Nighthawks, in fact, shut out Brookfield 42-0 in the South-West Conference championship game at Southbury’s Pomperaug High School, on November 20. This was Newtown’s third straight SWC title, and second consecutive triumph over Brookfield in the pinnacle game. Julian Dunn tied Aaron Hernandez’s Connecticut record for most career touchdown receptions with his 47th receiving TD. The scoring play was the last of the game and was a Dunn-to-Dunn connection. Backup/sophomore QB Justin Dunn found his brother in the end zone for connection from six yards out late in regulation.
In this day and age, technology is a significant part of society. One of the fastest forms of communication is through social media and cellphones. The Newtown High School athletic department has realized this, and capitalized on the situation. With 2,000 followers and counting, the NHS Athletics Twitter account (@nhsathletics) is keeping students, as well as friends and family members, up on the latest happenings on the courts and playing fields. Run by Newtown High Athletic Director Gregg Simon and Associate Athletic Director and physical education teacher Carl Strait, the account has gained popularity since it started back in the fall of 2011.
The Thursday, November 20, South-West Conference championship football game, between Newtown and Brookfield high schools, will take place at Pomperaug High School in Southbury. The game was originally scheduled to be played at Bunnell High in Stratford but the SWC announced this week the game location change. Game time remains the same — 7 pm. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults.