Although cross country may be thought of as one of the more individual athletic activities, there is significant importance to teamwork out on the course. “Team running — pack attack, as it is sometimes called — is very important in cross country training and racing. Obviously if you have a very strong runner you want them to strive to do their best but when you have a group of runners who can feed off of each other, that can make your team most successful,” said Doug Russell, coach of Newtown High School’s girls’ squad. “We’ve been preaching pack running,” said Newtown boys’ team Coach Carl Strait, noting that it serves as a good motivator in practices.
Newtown High School’s Kari Djonne finished first, and Gillian Eckwall was second, in the South-West Conference diving championships, at New Fairfield High School, on November 4. Djonne broke the SWC record with a score of 557.95. The diving results count toward the swim team championships, which will take place on Saturday, November 7, at Masuk High in Monroe, beginning at 4 pm.
Newtown High School will celebrate 50 years of football and honor the 1965 team at its game against New Milford, on Friday, November 6. Former players will be on hand for the celebration, and fans are encouraged to come out to see the men who were a part of the start of 11-on-11 football in town. Former players will be honored on the field at Blue & Gold Stadium at 6:45 pm, and kickoff is set for 7 pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. The current Nighthawks (7-0) will look to stay unbeaten and keep their hold on the Boot Trophy, which the Hawks and New Milford have battled for throughout the years. Newtown has dominated the rivalry. This is a fitting matchup since Newtown and New Milford played to a 6-6 tie on October 2, 1965, the first game for Newtown's new jayvee team.
Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team, seeded sixth in the South-West Conference tournament, and coming off an upset of third-seeded Weston in the quarterfinals, pushed No. 2 New Milford into double overtime in the semifinals. But the Green Wave prevailed 3-2, in a November 3 battle at neutral site Joel Barlow in Redding. New Milford had beaten Newtown 3-0 in the regular season, and suffered just one loss in 13 conference games.
Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to defeat visiting Pomperaug of Southbury 3-2 (23-25, 25-18, 22-25, 25-19, 15-11) in the South-West Conference tournament quarterfinals on November 2. Jamie Calandro had 24 kills and 21 digs, Molly McCoy had six aces, nine kills, and 20 assists, and Kaitlyn Schneider had seven aces to go along with four digs. Newtown is the fourth-seeded team, and Pomperaug was seeded fifth. The teams also played a five-game match in the regular season, in early October, which the Nighthawks won. With the win, the Nighthawks advance to face to top-seeded Joel Barlow of Redding in the semifinals. The match will take place at neutral site Pomperaug High on Tuesday, November 3, beginning at 7 pm.
Newtown High School’s girls’ cross country team placed third in the Class LL state championship meet, at Wickham Park, in Manchester, on October 31. The Nighthawks were led by Sarah Mawdsley, who was runner-up among 156 finishers, in a time of 19:17. The Nighthawks, who had a trio of runners among the top six, scored 83 points. Glastonbury had 74, and Ridgefield had 78. Newtown edged out Staples of Westport for third; the Wreckers, who were paced by first-place runner Hannah Debalsi (18:14), scored 88. There were 21 teams.
Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team advanced in the South-West Conference tournament, defeating host Weston 1-0 in the quarterfinal round, on October 31. Maddie Pirone one-timed a cross from Emma Curtis with just 2:08 remaining in the opening half, for what proved to be the decisive goal. The sixth-seeded Nighthawks held on to upset the No. 3 Trojans thanks, in part, to some clutch saves by goalkeeper Meghan Doyle.
Newtown High School’s football team defeated visiting Stratford 34-6 on Senior Night, also the Homecoming Game, at Blue & Gold Stadium, on October 30. The Nighthawk defense, coming off a shutout of Joel Barlow of Redding the week prior, held the Red Devils off the scoreboard until the final seconds to improve to 7-0; Stratford fell to 5-2.
A solid team effort led to a one-man offensive outburst. James Carney scored four goals and assisted on another as the third-seeded Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team crushed visiting New Fairfield, the sixth seed, 5-2 in the South-West Conference tournament quarterfinals, at Blue & Gold Stadium, on October 30. Goalkeeper Zach Laros played both halves and made nine saves.
In its final meet of the regular season, Newtown High School’s girls’ swimming and diving team defeated host Masuk of Monroe, 92-83, on October 27. The Nighthawks, who were coming off a 96-83 loss at Brookfield, on October 23, finish the year with a 7-3 record. Now, they’ll prepare for the postseason, which begins with South-West Conference championship action in early November.