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2011-12 Loaded With Awards And Championships-What A Year For The Newtown High School Sports Teams!



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2011-12 Loaded With Awards And Championships—

What A Year For The Newtown High School Sports Teams!

By Andy Hutchison

Newtown High School’s 2011-12 sports season certainly was one to remember. It got off to a bit of a slow start when Hurricane-Turned-Tropical Storm Irene resulted in late-August power outages, halting tryouts and preseason practices. Once the sports campaign finally got going full steam ahead, however, there was no stopping the Nighthawks. A bizarre Halloween snow/ice storm altered fall season playoff scheduling — but the Hawks overcame unusual weather and tough opponents to experience tremendous success throughout the school year.

Collectively, the Nighthawks earned five South-West Conference team championships, nine conference runner-ups, a pair of SWC sportsmanship awards, two state titles, and four state semifinal appearances. Newtown High had 30 All State athletes and a pair of All New England honorees to go along with 154 All SWC selections. What’s more, many team members were involved in various community service-related activities throughout the school year.

The cheerleading, dance, and girls’ and boys’ basketball squads all teamed with the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials and the American Cancer Society during the Coaches vs Cancer crusade to raise hundreds of dollars to help in the fight against cancer.

Autumn Awesomeness

In the fall, Newtown High’s football team made its second straight appearance in the SWC championship game, falling to Masuk of Monroe for the second year in a row. The Nighthawk gridders also reached the state playoff semifinals and were represented with a trio of All State players.

The NHS cheerleading squad, which boasted four All State athletes, earned a third-place finish at the SWC championships. They participated in Valentines for the Troops. The girls made cards and purchased candy, toiletries, snacks, and small nonperishable items for a members of the Armed Forces serving overseas. Newtown’s dance squad members earned runner-up accolades in the SWC.

Both of the high school’s cross country teams stood out this past campaign, as the boys and girls each claimed SWC runner-up trophies. Jake Feinstein was the individual conference champion and earned All New England honors. Both squads collected food for FAITH Food Pantry and the girls’ cross country team captured the SWC Sportsmanship Award.

On the pitch, there was plenty of soccer success. The girls were runners-up in the SWC and reached the state semifinals. The girls’ booters also had a pair of All State selections and the boys’ booters had one. In the pool, the girls’ swim team earned a runner-up finish in the conference.

The volleyball team, after winning the SWC’s Colonial Division, earned the SWC championship and a state crown. Voted the top team in all of Connecticut, the Nighthawk spikers had two All State honorees. Newtown’s volleyball and field hockey teams both held fundraisers to fight breast cancer.

Winning Winter

New season — same result: The first three letters of winter summed up what the Nighthawks did in this campaign.

On the court, the girls’ basketball team, following the lead of the volleyball squad, earned the Class LL state title and was voted the No. 1 team in the state. The Nighthawks had an improbable semifinal round comeback over Hillhouse en route to knocking off Mercy in the pinnacle game. The Nighthawks also had a representative on the All State team.

Newtown High’s boys’ cagers, meanwhile, earned the distinction as the best sports in the conference by claiming the SWC Sportsmanship Award. The seniors on the team volunteered their time at the annual Giorno Basketball Tournament.

In the pool, the boys’ swimmers held a fundraiser in the name of former swimmer Greg Chion and raised more than $400 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

On the wrestling mats, led by Cory Fisher’s 170-pound division championship, the Nighthawks finished second in the conference as a team. Fisher and teammate Mac Morlock, based on strong finishes in the state championships, both qualified for the State Open meet.

The winter campaign included several superb individual achievements, including basketball player Riley Wurtz scoring her 1,000th career point, and Fisher and teammate Nick Crudo both reaching the 100-win milestone.

Newtown’s boys’ track squad, led by All State selection Feinstein, won the SWC championship. The girls’ runners, meanwhile, were second in the conference.

On the ice, the Nighthawk hockey team, led by a pair of All State selections, got to the SWC championship game and also qualified for the Division II State Tournament in the team’s first season at the D-II level after previously competing at the D-III level.

Senior hockey player and team captain Ted Benoit earned the Southern Connecticut Storm Special Hockey Mentor Award.

Led by All-SWC honorees Leah Wallace and Elisha Wilson, Newtown High’s new gymnastics squad placed fifth in the state championships.

Newtown High’s Varsity Winter Guard was awarded first place in the Scholastic National A division of the Musical Arts Conference.

Spring Success

In the spring campaign, Newtown High’s athletes continue to excel. On the baseball diamond, the NHS sluggers, who had one All State selection, earned the South-West Conference championship and held a March of Dimes Fundraiser. The softball team, which also had an All State honoree, raised $500 for the FAITH Food Pantry.

Both lacrosse teams had memorable campaigns. The girls, for the eighth year in a row, won the SWC title. The SWC Colonial Division champs also went on to reach the state tourney semifinals.

They held a March of Dimes Fundraiser and had four All State athletes. The boys, meanwhile, also had an All State selection and got all the way to the state semifinals.

On the tennis courts, the girls, winners of the Colonial Division, earned the overall conference title and freshman Caroline Kelly won the SWC’s individual championship. She also reached the State Open finals. The boys’ tennis team also captured the Colonial Division championship and was runner-up in the conference. Cam McCleary won SWC individual singles championship.

Both track and field teams had several standout performances and the boys produced an All State athlete, while the girls had an All New England honoree.

Golfer Abbey Doski won her fourth individual South-West Conference championship and took home All State honors.

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