Heading into the October 6 race against a tough Pomperaug of Southbury squad, Doug Russell, Newtown High School’s girls’ cross country coach, was excited to see what his team would do. After Pomperaug’s Ivy Walker led the field, winning the 5K course on the grounds of Fairfield Hills (finishing in a time of 19:21), in came Newtown’s Sarah Mawdsley (19:39), and teammate Lu Hage (19:52), followed by Erin Tressler (20:02) and Emma Bayuk (20:25). Newtown’s ownership of the two through five spots helped seal a 25-33 win. The Nighthawks also bested Brookfield, 15-49, to improve to 9-1 with just one regular season meet (an October 13 visit to Joel Barlow of Redding) on the slate before the postseason gets underway.
The Old Timer’s Association of Greater Danbury inducted Newtown’s Nancy Olson Bowen into its organization, and she was recognized at its 52 Annual Awards Dinner, held recently at The Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury. Bowen was also recognized by the Old Timer’s Association when she was a high school senior. A 1977 graduate of Danbury High School, Bowen (nee Nancy Olson) was the first female recipient of the association’s scholarship for high school seniors.
Newtown High School’s football team, on the strength of a 29-point third quarter, rolled past the visiting Bethel Wildcats 42-0, at Blue & Gold Stadium, on October 2. The game was played in chilly and wet conditions, as rain fell, hard at times, throughout the evening in which temperatures were in the 40s. After a sloppy first half in which only one touchdown was scored – a Hunter Cobb TD run for a 6-0 lead (the extra point was no good) – the Nighthawks put together a wild, four-score third quarter.
So far, so good for Newtown High School’s girls’ swimming and diving team, which has somewhat of a new look after losing nine graduates, including four team record holders, to graduation a year ago. This year’s version of the Nighthawks is making strides toward some success of its own in the not too distant future. The Nighthawks, after defeating visiting New Milford 96-79 on September 29, stand at 2-1; the loss came to perennial state and South-West Conference powerhouse Weston.
Newtown High School’s field hockey and girls’ and boys’ soccer teams combined to go 2-0-1 against their rivals from Masuk of Monroe, on October 1. The boys’ booters began things with a 2-0 victory, and the field hockey squad followed up with a 3-0 blanking of the Panthers under a light but steady rain. Both of those triumphs were on the road. Shortly after the field hockey girls wrapped up their victory, Newtown’s girls’ soccer team came from behind for an exciting 2-2 tie with the visiting Panthers at soggy Blue & Gold Stadium.
Newtown High School’s field hockey team played visiting Weston to a 2-2 draw at Blue & Gold Stadium, on September 29. The tie marked Newtown’s first non-win since a season-opening defeat to Bethel, but kept the Nighthawks unbeaten in four straight contests. The Nighthawks carried a 3-1-1 record into a scheduled visit to Masuk of Monroe, on Thursday, October 1 (original game time of 7 pm changed to 5:45 pm). The Hawks blanked visiting New Milford, always one of the best teams in the South-West Conference, 1-0, on September 25. Newtown used a one-two punch of sorts, as Shannon Lynch, who wears uniform No. 1, assisted Lauren Zimmerman, who wears No. 2, for the lone goal. Newtown goaltender Nathalie Shaker made four saves in the win, Newtown’s third consecutive shutout.
Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ varsity cross country teams both claimed first place at the Winding Trails Invitational, in Farmington, on September 26. The Newtown girls had the top three finishers as Sarah Mawdsley won the race in a time of 19:14.0; Erin Tressler was runner-up in 19:24.5; and Olivia Hage was third in 19:28.8. Brenden Reeds led the boys’ squad and finished fourth overall in a time of 17:09.3, and Joel Duval came in fifth in 17:09.8.
It’s often said that there are good ties and bad ties in sports. For Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team, the 1-1 deadlock with visiting Pomperaug of Southbury, at Treadwell Park on September 29, was perhaps a little of both. The Nighthawks fell behind 1-0 before halftime before turning on the pressure and piling up scoring chances — especially late in the contest. Finally, with about 15 minutes remaining, the Nighthawks broke through.
Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team won its fourth consecutive match, each coming in the minimum three games, in a September 28 visit to Masuk of Monroe. The Nighthawks won 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-20) to improve to 4-2 overall. In game two, with a chance to even things, Masuk jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but the Nighthawks battled back and went ahead by as many as eight points. Molly McCoy had a kill and Jamie Calandro’s service ace helped the Nighthawks pull away. The host Panthers pulled to within four at 21-17, but the Nighthawks didn’t let their opponents get any closer and McCoy closed out the game with a kill.
Newtown High School’s football team overcame a shaky start and a tough Brookfield squad to pull away in the third quarter and roll to a 42-14 road win, on September 25. The Nighthawks didn’t manage a first down until the final five minutes of the opening half but, once the Hawks started moving the chains, the first downs – and touchdowns – kept coming. The Nighthawks, after surrendering the first score of the game, reeled off six consecutive touchdowns as the defense thwarted Brookfield’s attack and the offense became unstoppable. Newtown found the end zone three times in the third quarter to pull away after leading 14-7 at halftime.