It’s time to select the winner of the Newtown Bee’s Award For Sportsman of the Year – named in honor of former Bee Sports Editor Kim Harmon. The award will go to someone who has had a significant impact on Newtown sports. Please drop us a line with your suggestion(s).
Tryouts and evaluations for the newly formed 16-year-old Newtown Babe Ruth Baseball Prep team will be held at the Sports Academy of Connecticut and New York in Danbury on Sunday, December 22, from 8 to 9 pm. Players cannot turn 17 prior to April 30, 2104.
Colton Smith of Newtown piled up nearly 100 yards rushing the ball for the Fairfield Prep Jesuits, but perhaps the most important carry he had in the December 7 Class LL state playoff semifinal round game was a 13-yard loss for safety — a designed play that enabled the Jesuits to run the final seconds off the scoreboard clock to capture a thrilling 29-28 win over West Haven.
Newtown High School’s hockey team enters into the 2013-14 campaign facing some on- and off-ice changes. Returning skaters are hungry for success following a disappointing finish to the previous season, and given the potential for winning ways under a changed conference alignment and state division placement.
The defending South-West Conference champion Newtown High School gymnastics team is preparing for what Coach Keirsten Raccio and her competitors hope will be another successful season. The Nighthawks lost just one senior, Leah Wallace, and not only bring back a wealth of talent but also bring in some newcomers who bring plenty of skill to the uneven bars, balance beam, vault, and floor. Newtown has a dozen team members and the Nighthawks will be led by junior Kaitlyn Tumney on the vault, senior all around competitor Elisha Wilson, and senior beam standout Daisey Zheng, Raccio said.
High School boys’ basketball team’s chances for success this year. “I’m really excited about what I see from this group of kids,” Tallcouch said as the team practiced in preparation for the December 19 season opener against New Fairfield. The Nighthawks lost a trio of graduates from last year’s team, which posted a 9-14 record, and lost in the South-West Conference quarterfinals and second round of the Class LL state tournament. Tallcouch’s goals are to at least qualify for both the conference and state playoffs, and the coach is optimistic that the returnees have an opportunity to make some noise to go deep in both brackets if they play hard.
Don’t judge the Newtown High School girls’ basketball team by the way things go in the beginning of the season. At least, that’s the message Coach Jeremy O’Connell wants to get across. His Nighthawks lost five seniors, all of whom saw substantial playing time, in the offseason, and the somewhat new-look squad jumps into the proverbial fire with a season opener against Class LL state runner-up Lauralton Hall of Milford, followed by dates with a tough Immaculate of Danbury squad, Class L champion Farmington, a strong Manchester team, and a solid squad from New Jersey as part of a tournament.
Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ indoor track teams will lean on the experience and stamina of their distance runners, the development of sprinters, and skill of the throwers as they strive to succeed this winter. Coach Doug Russell has more than 100 competitors in the program and, given the numbers and what he’s seen from returning athletes, the potential is there for the Nighthawks to be strong across the board.
Newtown High School’s wrestling team has a new leader as former Newtown Youth Wrestling Association Coach Chris Bray takes over and is joined by first-year NHS assistant Mike McKeever. “I’m very excited. It’s like I’m regaining my guys,” said Bray, noting that he’s reacquainted with many of his former youth grapplers, some of whom he’s coached for as many as eight years.
The Newtown Youth Basketball (NYBA) family is at it again. In efforts to achieve “Sportsmanship with Citizenship” the NYBA representatives have been doing everything they can to help out the community. They have held food drives, raked leaves, and hosted an event at a high school game for senior citizens.