On Thursday, January 23, the board of directors of the Greater Waterbury YMCA met the members of The Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski (CMAK) Foundation. The morning began with a small ceremony to unveil a recognition plaque paying tribute to a recent CMAK Foundation gift to the Greater Waterbury YMCA Child Development Center. The gift of financial support celebrates the center as a safe and loving environment for children to thrive. The morning continued with members of three local YMCAs and CMAK Foundation meeting to solidify a partnership by signing the Memorandums of Understanding for the Race4Chase Youth Triathlon Program. YMCA locations in Waterbury, Danbury and Trumbull will host the triathlon
The Newtown and Joel Barlow high school hockey teams will play their first annual Warrior Cup game on Wednesday, February 5. The game will be played at Danbury Ice Arena at 5:30 pm. Both teams are joining forces to raise funds to support the Wounded Warrior Project.
Aspetuck Valley Rugby Club spring registration is underway. The club, based in Redding, is offered for boys ages 8-18. There are five teams — U10 through high school-level. This is a regional club which includes athletes from Newtown as well as Redding, Easton, Weston, Wilton, Bethel, Ridgefield, Monroe, and Fairfield.
Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team has come a long way since the season tipped off in early December. The Nighthawks had their biggest win of the campaign in a 54-34 thumping of visiting New Fairfield, one of the South-West Conference’s best, on January 28. The Hawks improved to 6-7 overall and 6-2 in conference play, and the Rebels dropped to 9-4 overall (also 6-2 in the SWC). There was a lot to like about his team’s play — on both ends of the court — for Newtown Coach Jeremy O’Connell. “I loved the defensive intensity. I loved that we made the extra pass to get wide-open shots,” said O’Connell, whose team withstood a 7-0 third-quarter New Fairfield run that pulled the Rebels to within 32-25. The Nighthawks responded with nine unanswered points to build a commanding 16-point lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team climbed over the .500 mark for the first time this season by winning twice in as many days — beating host Oxford 56-42 on January 24, and visiting Pomperaug of Southbury 48-46 in a rescheduled game the next afternoon. It took the Nighthawks nearly a month to get their record even following a frustrating 0-4 start, then less than 24 hours to push over the hump and improve to 6-5 overall. A team effort has led to Newtown’s winning ways, and the Nighthawks are now enjoying down-to-the wire, pressure-filled contests a little more than they were early on in the campaign. After dropping each of those first four decisions by nine or fewer points (among them two- and four-point outcomes), the Hawks have won twice by just two points, including a redemption win over Pomperaug, which had defeated NHS 37-33 in the second game of the campaign.
Pretty much everything has been clicking in the first half of the season for Newtown High School’s hockey team. The Nighthawks are getting saves in front of their goal, and putting pucks in the net at the other end — and they’re proving to be successful on the breakout with and without the puck in the neutral zone. Newtown topped the Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury (BBD) team 3-1 in their January 25 Senior Day game at Danbury Ice Arena, a few days after nipping Joel Barlow of Redding 3-2. The Nighthawks improved to 8-1-2 heading into a January 27 visit to New Milford.
USA Wrestling has announced it will support and promote a national youth sports initiative called “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” campaign, which benefits the non-profit organization KIDS in the GAME (KITG). The mission of KITG is to inspire youth to thrive in life through sports by providing the resources that get and keep kids in the game. The new national campaign honors the short but inspiring life of 6-year-old Jack Pinto who lost his life on 12/14. USA Wrestling will make announcements supporting the campaign at two major wrestling events in Colorado Springs, Colo., on January 25: The Jack Pinto Cup and The Colorado Springs Orthopedic Group Metro Wrestling Championships.
The Danbury Whalers will hold Newtown Night on Saturday, February 8 when the Whalers host Dayton at Danbury Ice Arena at 7:35 pm. There will be an opportunity to meet the Whalers and obtain autographs and photos with team members after the game. Ask about a special opportunity to visit the broadcast booth and be on the air with Newtown’s own Nick Magoulas.
The match had been circled on Newtown High School’s wrestling team’s schedule from the moment it was announced in preseason: New Milford at Newtown, January 22. “We’ve been thinking about this really all year long,” as a matter of fact, Newtown Coach Chris Bray said after the South-West Conference juggernaut Green Wave — unbeaten in SWC action since 2009 — battled past Newtown 36-29 in that clash. The Nighthawks now have the February 15 SWC championships marked on their slate. That will be the next chance for the Hawks to overcome their rivals.
Tension and pressure in sports tends to get magnified when playoff time rolls around. While the stakes aren’t as high in the regular campaign — when there is always another game to bounce back — down-to-the-wire nail-biters at any juncture of the campaign provide a little taste what potentially will come in the postseason. Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team had a pair of close-to-the-finish contests this past week: A 41-39 overtime win over visiting Notre Dame-Fairfield on January 17 and a 43-38 setback to visiting Pomperaug of Southbury in a game played at Western Connecticut State University’s O’Neill Center the next night. Whether or not being involved in such tight games will pay dividends for the players remains to be seen, but it certainly can’t hurt.