No sense easing into the campaign. Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team opened things with a visit to defending state Class M runner-up St Joseph on September 15, the day before a match with another nonconference powerhouse from the FCIAC, Darien — last year’s Class LL champion. Newtown, after winning its first game against St Joes, hung close in games two through four, but St Joes prevailed 3-1 (24-26, 25-20, 25-20, 25-22). Darien posted a 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-14) win in the second match.
Newtown High School’s girls’ swimming and diving team won its season-opening meet, defeating visiting Joel Barlow of Redding 97-80 on September 11. The Nighthawks built a 97-42 lead through nine events before exhibitioning the final three.
Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ cross country teams each started the season with victories over three opponents in races at Newtown’s home course, adjacent to Reed School on the grounds of Fairfield Hills, on September 15. The girls beat New Fairfield 17-42, topped Weston 17-44, and defeated Bethel 15-46. The boys defeated New Fairfield 20-35, Weston 15-50, and Bethel 15-50.
Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team began the season with a pair of 3-2 victories over South-West Conference rivals, edging visiting New Fairfield in the season opener, at Treadwell Park, on September 11, and getting past host Brookfield on September 15. The boys’ soccer team shook off a 3-1 season-opening setback at New Fairfield on September 11, with a 3-2 victory over Brookfield at Treadwell Park on September 15.
The competition season isn’t until the winter, but Newtown High School’s cheerleading squad has been hard at work preparing to defend its South-West Conference crown which, this year, the team will have a chance to do at home. The SWC cheerleading championships will be held at NHS on February 6, beginning at 4 pm. Until then, the Nighthawk cheerleaders will be honing their skills all the while supporting the football and basketball teams, as they entertain fans during games and when they perform halftime routines.
Last season, Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team posted a regular-season record of 14-4, and reached the South-West Conference tournament semifinals. The Nighthawks earned the No. 9 seed in the Class LL state tournament and, after winning their first-round contest, were eliminated by eighth-seeded Southington in the second round. Newtown graduated four players, so will have some rebuilding to do, but the Hawks bring back players who saw varsity court time in last year’s rotation. Newtown’s lone captain is outside hitter Jamie Calandro. Other key returnees include setter/hitter Molly McCoy, setter Sarah Bender, middle hitter Julia Wiberg, and libero Tessa Leon-Gambetta.
Newtown High School’s football team went on the road and blanked Pomperaug of Southbury 42-0 in the season opener on September 11. In other opening day action, on September 11, Newtown’s girls’ soccer team scored a 3-2 win over New Fairfield at Treadwell Park, and the girls’ swimming and diving team defeated visiting Joel Barlow of Redding 97-80. The boys’ soccer team dropped a 3-1 decision at New Fairfield. In the football game, the Nighthawks erupted for 35 first-half points. Ethan Carpenter got the scoring started with a 41-yard punt return for six.
The loss of ten players to graduation from last season’s 7-9 team doesn’t have Newtown Coach Stephanie Paproski worried. Although the players leave shoes to fill, Newtown’s field hockey coach has been given reason to believe her lineup will be a tough one to deal with based on what she’s seen in the preseason. “I have a great feeling about the team this year,” Paproski said. “You can tell they’ve been working. I think they have a lot of drive and they want it this year. I’m excited to see what they can bring to the table.
As midsummerlike temperatures greeted the cross country team participants for practices in the first week of September, they had cool-weather success on their minds. By the time the late October South-West Conference championships roll around, the 90-degree heat will likely be long gone, and Newtown High School’s runners hope to be leaving many of their competitors in the dust on their way to conference success. The team's season opens Tuesday with a home meet. The Nighthawks will be hosting Bethel, New Fairfield and Weston.
The LOF Adaptive Skiers and Newtown Parks & Recreation Department invite Newtown children ages 7-18 to participate in Ski Newtown on Saturday, September 19, at Eichler’s Cove Marina on Lake Zoar from 9 am to 3:30 pm. There is a $25 fee to participate in this event, which is open to all Newtown children ages 7-18 (able bodied and disabled). Advanced registration is required. Rain date: September 20. To register, visit LOFAdaptiveSkiers.org