Newtown High School’s wrestling team, after battling with Bristol Eastern on December 26, competed in the Danbury Holiday Invitational on December 28. The Nighthawks (with 139 points) placed fifth in the 14-team invitational, won by Danbury (224).
From great individual efforts — including record-setting performances — to thrilling team achievements — such as championship triumphs — 2013 had it all in the Newtown sports world. As we bid farewell to ’13 and turn the calendars — and our attention to the games ahead — to 2014, here’s a sampling of some of the many great accomplishments that took place on the Newtown playing surfaces during the past 12 months. From Mike Daubert’s early-January buzzer-beating 3-pointer to propel the Newtown High School boys’ basketball team to a remarkable victory to the Newtown High football team’s second consecutive South-West Conference championship, and everything in between, there were numerous exciting moments that will be remembered for years to come.
Almost 200 cyclists gathered at Fairfield Hills on a bright clear Saturday, December 21, to take part in the first Newtown Cyclocross, a cross-country bicycling competition held in the late months of the year that challenged participants to ride across a range of terrain — Newtown Cyclocross was a joint project of the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program (CCAP) and Team 26. The event raised funds for both groups. CCAP is a Middletown-based private, nonprofit group that seeks a create a support system for youth development in the sport of cycling. Team 26 is a group of 26 cyclists who promote gun control in the wake of 12/14.
CrossFit RedZone, at 31 Pecks Lane, will host its Second Annual Sandy Hook Victim Relief Fundraiser on Saturday, January 4. Last year, CrossFit RedZone raised over $100,000 with the help of over 1,000 participants. Donations went to the Sandy Hook PTSA. This year, they aim to top the generous donations with all proceeds going to the UConn Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund will support the college costs for siblings of those killed in the tragedy, the dependents of the adults who also lost their lives, as well as students currently enrolled at the elementary school who are accepted to the university. The workout, to be completed with a partner, is a 10-minute CrossFit WOD (Workout Of the Day). Workouts will be running from 9 am until 6 pm.
Newtown High School’s wrestling team was invited to participate in the annual Fairfield Ludlowe Invitational tournament as one of three new challenging teams for the host Falcons to tangle with on the mats. The objective, for the Falcons, was to face tough competition to get better. Mission accomplished — the Nighthawks not only proved to be a difficult foe, but they dethroned the two-time champion Falcons. Newtown had five individual champions among seven finalists en route to taking top honors in the 12-team tourney on December 21.
Newtown High School’s hockey team overcame a 2-0 deficit and a physical Masuk of Monroe squad to skate away with a hard-fought 3-2 win in the season opener, at Danbury Ice Arena, on December 19. The Nighthawks then battled back from a 3-1 hole late in the third period to salvage a 3-3 tie with nonconference foe Wilton, also in Danbury, on December 21. Cooper McLean scored twice in the final stanza, including the tying tally with just ten seconds remaining to give Newtown a 1-0-1 record to begin the campaign.
eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter but a late-game comeback fell just short in a season-opening 51-49 loss to visiting New Fairfield on December 19. This was a foul-filled contest and both teams saw the outcome literally on the line — the free throw line — down the stretch. All told, the host Nighthawks shot 9 of 20 from the line, and the Rebels were 13 for 23.
It may be very early in the campaign, but it’s never too soon for a team to get its first win, especially with a fairly new roster on the court. Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team, in its second game of the season, pulled away to defeat visiting Immaculate of Danbury 51-36 on December 16 — a victory Coach Jeremy O’Connell wasn’t about to downplay.
Newtown High School divers, this past fall, made a big splash at the state level. The Nighthawks, collectively, recorded the top scores among all of the state’s teams, helping the NHS girls’ swimming and diving team to an overall 17th-place finish among 57 squads in the State Open.
Newtown Babe Ruth Baseball will have its Third Annual Hot Stove Dinner on Thursday, January 16, from 6 to 9 pm at The Waterview in Monroe. This night of baseball is designed to promote a positive baseball culture in the area and will include a talk from current Major Leaguer John McDonald.