Log In

Reset Password

Bits & Pieces



Text Size

Bits & Pieces

What An Incredible Year At Newtown High!

By Kim J. Harmon


I relished the arrival of summer this year not because I like the steamy temperatures (I don’t) or because I like spending time at the beach (I do), but because summer gives me a chance to catch my breath.

Not from work, mind you – with youth baseball and softball teams traveling to regional tournaments in Stamford and Massachusetts (Hudson and Winchester) and a 10-year-old baseball team reaching the Cal Ripken World Series in Indians, last year was my busiest summer ever and I suspect – judging by a town brimming with talent – that this summer will be much of the same.

I’m catching my breath from all of the excitement of the 2004-05 Newtown High School sports season; I’m not sure I could take much more. Covering five South-West Conference champions (with four SWC runners-up) and two CIAC Class LL state championships has made me really, really tired.

But it’s a good tired.

The best two days of the year were – no question – Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20. Newtown High may never have another two days like those as the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams captured CIAC Class LL championships.

The boys did it in Danbury on November 19 … a 3-1 win over Norwalk. An incredible 2-1 win over Manchester in the quarterfinals (a goal with 30 seconds left in regulation broke a 1-1 tie) sent the Nighthawks on to the semi-finals, where they crushed Staples of Westport and set the stage for a return trip to the LL championship game.

Two years before, the ‘Hawks were stunned, 3-2, by Naugatuck in the LL finals. But in 2004, it was their turn as Marcus Tracy – a Wake Forest recruit – scored a pair of goals.

And the very next night the girls did it on a lightning-fast field in Norwalk … a 2-0 win over Trumbull. With one-goal wins over Hall of West Hartford (2-1), Amity of Woodbridge (1-0) and Mercy of Middletown (2-1) the Lady Nighthawks were a confident group heading into the championship game and memories of a disappointing loss to Immaculate in the South-West Conference tournament were all but forgotten.

The boys’ were ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 2 in New England while Tracy was named All-New England and a PARADE All-American. Marc Doherty was also named All-New England for the boys while Casey Frobey was named All-New England for the girls (who, as a team, received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Academic Award).

But, gosh, there was so much more to this past sports year.

So much more.

The football team was abuzz as it became known that two of their own – Dan Cascone and Brennan Coakley – were going to play Division I football (Cascone for the University of Wisconsin and Coakley for Penn State) and all the ‘Hawks did was finish 7-2-1 and come within an extra point of reaching the CIAC state playoffs for the first time in five years.

‘Round the same time, the girls’ cross country team captured its third consecutive South-West Conference championship (the first two under Marsha Caine and this last under Doug Russell) while the boys’ cross country team finished second (to New Milford) for the second consecutive year.

And the girls’ swim team – whoa. With an incredibly deep and dominating team, the Lady Nighthawks finished undefeated and unseated Lauralton Hall as the reigning South-West Conference champion (Hall had won the previous nine championships) before finishing second at the CIAC Class LL championships.

The field hockey team, meanwhile, compiled its best record in 10 years (10-7-0-2) and qualified for the South-West Conference playoffs for the first time in the history of the league, advancing to the semi-finals before being topped – in overtime – by New Milford.

The cheerleaders spent much of the summer and fall raising $20,000 to attend the National Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Florida and then had the pleasure of hosting the South-West Conference championships in January (where they finished fifth). The cheerleaders concluded their season on March 19 with a first-place finish at the Western Connecticut State University competition.

While winter was not as successful from a hardware standpoint, the wrestlers finished seventh at the SWC championships while Alex Read captured the 189-pound title with a win over previously undefeated Doug Sutherland and went on to join the 100-win club, securing his 101st win at the CIAC Class LL tournament.

The indoor track and field team slashed the record book to ribbons this past winter as the girls’ shattered records in the 600-meters (Colleen Thornberg) and 1000-meters (Sadie Ball) and 4x400 relay (Julie Landin, Whitney Allison, Thornberg and Ball) and the boys shattered records in the 4x200 relay (Zack Varga, Dan Tichon, Liam Cawley and Dan Gindraux) and 4x400 relay (Gindraux, Cawley, Varga, Matt Cole).

The boys’ swim team finished a strong 7-3 in the dual meet season and then claimed a fourth-place finish at the South-West Conference championships under first-year coach Matt Childs.

On the basketball floor, Ashley LaRocque finished her high school career with 751 career points … seventh on the all-time list (tied with Jenn Wyslick).

Then came spring and a lot more excitement.

The girls’ lacrosse team – despite the loss of prolific scorer Meg Regnery – captured its second South-West Conference championship as the boys’ lacrosse team finished runners-up in the SWC after a spirited effort against Joel Barlow.

The girls’ track team won its second consecutive South-West Conference championship (and fourth in the last seven years) as Alex Konneker won three individual titles for the second year in a row and Sadie Ball won two individual titles. The boys’ track team won the Colonial Division title with the electric debut of Marcus Tracy, but late-season injuries kept the ‘Hawks from challenging New Milford for the SWC title. But Konneker and Tracy both went on to capture their respective CIAC State Open 400-meter championships.

Meanwhile, the girls’ tennis team finished the regular season at 14-1 (with 11 wins in a row to start the season) and finish runners-up to Joel Barlow for the South-West Conference team championship. Katie Serock and Jenna Moser captured the third-doubles title at the SWC individual tournament.

The softball team reached the South-West Conference championship game (where they lost to Masuk, 2-1) after defeating nemesis Lauralton Hall in the semifinals and snapping Hall’s 58-game winning streak. Hall, and pitcher Kim Ovittore, allowed five runs all year … four of those to Newtown. In the midst of all that, Newtown pitcher Lisa Morgan set the all-time strikeout record at a staggering 680.

And the baseball team enjoyed its best season in a 10 years: a 12-8 record with a trip to the South-West Conference playoffs (for the first time in seven years) and a trip to the CIAC Class LL tournament. The Nighthawks also enjoyed a trip to Cooperstown, New York, where they play Pomperaug High School on Doubleday Field.

In the entirety of the 2004-05 school year, Newtown teams earned 243 wins (101 of those in the fall) and boasted a .646 winning percentage. And while compiling all of those wins, the football (Colonial Football Officials), girls swimming (Waterbury Swim Officials), boys lacrosse (SWC), boys track (SWC) and girls track (SWC) all earned Sportsmanship Awards.

What an incredible year!

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply