Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball, field hockey, and girls’ and boys’ soccer teams all qualified for state tournament action, which gets going on Monday, November 3, and Tuesday, November 4. Only the volleyball squad earned a first-round home match; the others will have to prove their mettle on the road to advance into second-round play. The volleyball team (14-4 during the regular season) earned the Class LL bracket’s ninth seed and will host No. 24 Hamden at 6 pm on November 3. Newtown’s field hockey team (7-9) earned the Class L’s 19th seed and will have a qualifying-round clash with No. 14 Southington (10-6) at 2 pm on November 3. Both soccer teams had winning records but will have to win away from their familiar home digs.
The Newtown High School football team didn’t need to do anything tricky to treat themselves to an easy 54-13 win under the lights at Weston High on Halloween. Newtown was scary-good from the start, piling up 34 first-quarter points en route to a 48-0 halftime lead. The Nighthawks improved to 8-0 and Weston fell to 3-5. Newtown’s first touchdown came on defense when Ben Mason recovered a fumble and ran the ball back 11 yards for a score. Jaret DeVellis found the end zone on a 38-yard run and Newtown had a 14-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Newtown High School’s Kari Djonne won the South-West Conference diving championship at Pomperaug High School in Southbury on October 29. Djonne had a score of 489.15 which broke the SWC record of 398.50, set in 2009. Djonne also set Newtown High School team and pool records in her performances this season. Newtown's diving team, including Gillian Eckwall, Sarah MacMullen, and Emma Wolfman, has routinely helped led the Nighthawks to one-two-three finishes in meets this season. The swimming portion of the SWC championships will take place on Saturday, November 1 at Masuk High School in Monroe. Top swimmers in the conference will compete beginning at 1 pm. Newtown boasts a strong lineup that had some school record-setting performances during meets this fall. Newtown went 9-1 this season, and finished second in the 11-team conference. Pomperaug of Southbury, which went undefeated, claimed first place in the regular campaign.
The Newtown High School field hockey team finished the regular season with a bang, winning its last two games to qualify for the Class L state playoffs. The team finished with a record of 7-9. The last two games were both hard fought wins against Brien McMahon of Norwalk and Bethel. Newtown beat McMahon 3-2 on October 20 then beat Bethel 2-1 on October 22 — both at Blue & Gold Stadium. Newtown’s win over Bethel, which came on Senior Night, pushed the girls into the postseason and the Nighthawks hope it sparks a long postseason run.
The Newtown High School girls’ soccer team finished out the regular season strong, winning three out of its last four games. Newtown put in a good stretch run fighting it out for a spot in the South-West Conference playoffs, narrowly missing the eighth and final spot. Despite the disappointment of missing the opportunity to play in the SWC tournament, Coach Marc Kenney was very pleased with the team’s effort and overall improvement especially toward the end of the season.
The New York Jets announced that Steve George, coach of the Newtown High School football team, has been named last week’s recipient of the New York Jets High School Coach of the Week Award presented by Chase.
Back on October 6, Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team upset Weston in four games, sparking the team’s ten-match winning streak which led the Nighthawks into a conference tournament rematch with the Trojans with a spot in the championship on the line. On October 29, Weston turned the tables on the Nighthawks, as the South-West Conference’s third seed executed a mild upset of the No. 2 Hawks, earning a 3-1 (25-18, 15-25, 25-18, 25-18) victory in the tournament semifinals at Monroe’s Masuk High School.
Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team won its South-West Conference playoff opener, toppling visiting New Milford 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-14) on October 27. The Nighthawks, the tourney’s No. 2 seed, survived scares in each of the first two games, then pulled away in the clincher to overcome the No. 7 Green Wave in this quarterfinal-round match. Newtown advances to take on No. 3 Weston in the tourney’s semifinals (scheduled to take place at neutral site Masuk of Monroe on Wednesday, October 29 at 5 pm). Kyle Dandrea had 14 kills, seven digs, and three service aces; Jamie Calandro had 11 digs and ten kills; Tessa Leon-Gambetta had eight digs; Clara Whaley had seven kills and four aces; Molly McCoy had 36 assists to go along with two aces; Julia Wiberg added four kills; and Tonya Tucker contributed three aces.
Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ cross country teams participated in the Class LL state championship meet at Wickham Park in Manchester on October 25. The girls placed sixth as a team and the boys were 12th. Glastonbury, with a meet-low 56 points, won the girls' competition; Newtown had 220 points. There were 21 Class LL teams and 146 finishers in the meet. The Nighthawks had two finishers in the top ten as Sarah Mawdsley came in sixth in a time of 19:56 and Erin Tressler placed ninth in 20:30.
Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team, the No. 5 seed in the South-West Conference Tournament, traveled to Redding to tangle with No. 4 Joel Barlow in the tourney’s quarterfinals on October 24. Newtown, after beating the Falcons twice late in the regular season — holding Barlow to just one goal in those two games — fell behind 2-0 in the opening half and couldn’t overcome the early deficit. Barlow prevailed 2-0 to advance to the semifinals. Newtown’s girls’ volleyball team finished as the SWC’s No. 2 seed behind Masuk of Monroe. The Nighthawks will host No. 7 New Milford on Monday, October 27, at 5:30 pm in the quarterfinal round. The winner advances to the Wednesday, October 29 semifinals, slated for 5 pm at neutral site Masuk High.