The days of leather football helmets gave way to hard-shelled head protectors three-quarters of a century ago — just one example of how football equipment has been improved for safety reasons, particularly with the head in mind, throughout the years. So, why not some schedule alterations as part of the efforts to limit injuries among hard-hitting athletes too? On Saturday, December 6, Newtown High School’s football team took on Xavier of Middletown (see related story) in the semifinals of the newly/temporarily formed Class LL-Small division of the state football playoffs. The Nighthawks and Xavier were among eight state qualifying teams in Class LL with a one in four chance of winning a state title. Wait, the numbers don’t add up? No, that math is accurate.
Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team began the season with a clash against old rival Lauralton Hall of Milford on December 10. The host Nighthawks led from start to finish, fended off a second-half Crusader rally, and won 41-35. Lauralton, a former South-West Conference foe of Newtown’s, is in its first season in the Southern Connecticut Conference. The Nighthawks got ten points from Haley Ryan, eight from Mali Klorczyk, and seven apiece from Sarah Lynch and Lauren Wilcox. The visitors erased a 23-16 second-half deficit to eventually tie the score at 28 apiece in the fourth quarter. Newtown’s Olyvia Shaw converted a 3-point play to cap the third quarter scoring, and it was 28-24 heading to the fourth.
Newtown High School’s passing attack was thwarted by the rain, and the rushing game was mostly stopped by visiting Xavier of Middletown’s big front six in the Class LL-Small Division football state playoff semifinals at Blue & Gold Stadium on December 6. The fourth-seeded Falcons capitalized on a turnover for their only touchdown, and had a pair of field goals to defeat the top-seeded Nighthawks 13-7, advancing to the championship game. The Nighthawks, down 10-0 at halftime, closed to within three points when quarterback Jacob Burden connected with Ethan Carpenter over the middle for a 46-yard scoring play with 4:42 left in the third quarter. That was a rare successful play through the air for either team.
Newtown High School's football team will host Xavier of Middletown in the Class LL Small division state semifinals on Saturday, December 6 at 2 pm at Blue & Gold Stadium. At Stake: A spot in the title game against either No. 2 Shelton or No. 3 Hall. The Nighthawks are 12-0, including their third straight South-West Conference championship. Xavier, which competes in the Southern Connecticut Conference, has a record of 7-3. Newtown has won three state championships and Xavier has four state crowns.
Newtown High School’s football team will host Xavier of Middletown in the state playoff semifinals on Saturday, December 6. Kickoff at Blue & Gold Stadium is set for 2 pm. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced the seedings and matchups today. Newtown is the No. 1 seed and Xavier is seeded fourth in the Class LL Small bracket. Each of the state’s four classes is broken into Small and Large brackets based on school enrollment. Xavier was the No. 6 team in all of Class LL before the school size reseeding.
The balancing act of providing field space for youth and adult athletics and accommodating a combination of the most competitive of those children (and their parents), as well as out-of-town players on travel and premier squads, has been a tricky one for Newtown Parks & Recreation officials. Newtown Recreation officials now hope some changes to the field use procedures will make Newtown residents happy while not shutting out nonresidents altogether. They also hope to maximize use of the town’s field space in the process. Beginning in the spring of 2015, field use will be regulated differently than it has for the past ten-plus years, with stricter rules for out-of-town residents. The Parks & Recreation Commission at its October meeting approved a change in the rules that now requires every team within an organization to meet an 80 percent residency requirement. Additionally, other policy changes are being considered to help ensure there is an equal opportunity for Newtown athletes to have field use.
Runners and walkers earned some extra stuffing and pumpkin pie by kicking off their Turkey Day with some exercise in the fifth annual Newtown Turkey Trot 5K race and walk. Mitchell Russo gobbled up first place accolades, completing the 3.1-mile course in a time of 15:47, edging out Jake Feinstein, who came across the finish line in 15:49. The top female was Annemieke Martino, who placed 13th overall, completing the Thanksgiving morning race in 19:25. The top overall and age category finishers literally did earn some pumpkin pie as they were awarded pies by race volunteers. There were more than 1,000 participants in the race, which started at Hawley School and finished at Newtown Middle School, on a chilly, 30-something degree morning. For the first time in the brief history of the Turkey Trot, runners had a backdrop of snow throughout the course.
The 2014 Newtown Savings Bank Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, to benefit the C. H. Booth Library, will take place Thursday morning. Travelers can expect brief delays and road closures Thursday, November 28, between the hours of 7:30 and 9:30 am, in and around the center of town.
Faced with a halftime deficit for the first time this season, and held scoreless through two quarters for that matter, Newtown High School’s football team turned things around in its clash with rival Masuk of Monroe on November 25. The host Nighthawks overcame a 7-0 deficit to roll to a 28-7 triumph at Blue & Gold Stadium and carries an unbeaten mark into the Class LL state playoffs, which are scheduled to start on December 6.
The annual Newtown-Masuk of Monroe high school football game, traditionally played the night before Thanksgiving, has been switched to Tuesday, November 25, because of anticipated severe weather conditions, according to an announcement on the Newtown High School athletics webpage, nighthawksports.com.