As the beginning of another football season gets set to kick off and Newtown High School players strap on the pads and lace up the cleats with postseason success again on their minds, it’s also a time to reflect on the start of the program — and its rich history, including significant changes throughout the decades. This fall campaign, which gets underway with a September 11 visit to South-West Conference foe Pomperaug of Southbury, beginning at 6 pm, marks the 50th year of varsity football at Newtown High. Just about the only thing that’s remained the same in the past half century’s worth of seasons is the standard 11-player-per-side configuration and the use of a pigskin to score touchdowns. Equipment has changed; the team name is different (going from Indians to Nighthawks); the home field — Blue & Gold Stadium — is in a different location (the original spot was Taylor Field, behind Hawley School on Church Hill Road).
Athletes ranging in age from preteens to 60-somethings were on the courts at Treadwell Park getting a fun-filled taste of an unfamiliar yet intriguing game, on September 1: They were learning and playing a scaled down variation of tennis known as pickleball. “I like it. It’s exactly what I expected it to be,” said John Duval, who paired with another adult, Brie Blodgett, and played an abbreviated contest against Jennifer Arnold and their much younger pickleball newcomer, 12-year-old Jackson Harrington. “It’s a blown-up version of ping pong, or a scaled-down version of tennis, or badminton — or a combination of all three,” added Duval.
The Newtown Youth Wrestling Association offers free Introduction To Youth Wrestling clinics Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 20 — each from 10 to 11:45 am — at NYA Sports & Fitness, 4 Primrose Street. The clinics are open to participants ranging from pre-kindergarteners to eighth graders.
The Newtown Soccer Club will hold its first Recreation Soccer Kickoff Celebration on Thursday, September 3, at NYA Sports & Fitness, 4 Primrose Street. Registered players, as well as prospective participants interested in joining the league, are welcome. Registration will be available at the event.
Newtown Babe Ruth Youth Softball travel tryouts for the next spring season will take place on Sunday, August 30, at Newtown Middle School’s field. Travel A and B teams are offered, and there are several openings, especially for U12 and U14 squads.
The 10th Annual Newtown Road Race 5K and Newtown Prevention Council Kids Run to benefit Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) will be held on Saturday, September 5. The courses will depart from and return to Dickinson Park, 50 Elm Drive. The 5K will begin at 8 am, and the race features individual awards to the top female and male runners in each of the eight age brackets. Cost to participate in the 5K is $25 for those who register in advance, and $30 the morning of the race. The Kids Fun Run is $5 per person, or $10 per family.
Mike Senf of Newtown and his University of Delaware teammates competed as part of the US National rowing team in the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, this summer. “The experience was awesome,” said Senf, who previously had competed as far away as Mexico for a friendly competition, but never in Europe, or in the world championships for that matter. Senf helped his team place eighth overall in the lightweight men’s quad, also second place in the B final, just behind Canada. The team raced a total of three times (heats, repechage, final).
Generations of golfers have teed off, 30-plus presidents have served, there have been countless memories — including holes in one and tournament championships — and significant enhancements have been made to the course. Newtown Country Club (NCC) is celebrating a century’s worth of achievements and changes this summer in its 100th anniversary year. “It is a big deal to be here 100 years,” NCC Head Golf Professional Paul Miller said at the course, which is nestled between Main Street and Elm Drive, with an address of 2 Country Club Road. From the time since original president William T. Cole — one of the founders of the country club — was in charge through the centennial year, under the leadership of current president Brian Schlier, about the only thing that has remained the same is that golfers have chipped and putted under the sun on the course.
Saint Michael’s College Head Athletic Trainer Renee Breault announced the hire of Abigail Keough, of Sandy Hook, as an athletic trainer on Monday, with her first day of employment set for Saturday. Keough, a recent graduate of the University of Vermont, becomes the fourth full-time member of the athletic training staff.
The men’s voices and laughter carried over the constant paddle smacks against a hollow plastic ball. Rushing the low net on a space smaller than a tennis court at Treadwell Park, Willy Drucker rushed to return a serve from Gavin Preis. They were playing a friendly game of pickleball. “This is a perfect mix of ping pong and tennis,” Mr Drucker said. Partnering with him was Neeraj Kuman, while Mr Preis partnered with Terrell Harris. The foursome played on the fenced court shortly past noon, Wednesday. After another serve and some back and forth until the ball flew out of bounds, Mr Preis had said, “Nice volley.” Earlier that afternoon Assistant Director of Parks Carl Samuelson had said the sport, a court for which was placed at Treadwell Park last year, is “unbelievably popular.”