Published: Aug 06, 2019 10:47 AM
The hot summer days are anything but a reminder of football season, except over at Blue & Gold Stadium, where each weekday morning for several weeks leading into preseason practices, members of the Newtown High School football team have been hard at work getting ready for game action.
Nighthawk gridders, who have been lifting weights and conditioning since the end of last season, have added some coach-led conditioning to their repertoire. In addition to workouts and weight work, the players participate in weekly competitions with a focus on team building as much as competitiveness. Coach Bobby Pattison and his staff oversee intense yet fun stations in which team members work in groups for bragging rights in a variety of challenges. This includes the prowler pull, move the mountain, tractor tire flip, and tug o’ war.
Football players may not practice with balls and pads until later in August as the regular season approaches. Following preseason practices and scrimmages, the regular slate begins with a home game on Friday, September 13, when South-West Conference foe and Boot Game rival New Milford visits Blue & Gold for a 7 pm kickoff.
The schedule has a different look this fall with twice the number of nonconference/crossover games as Newtown battles Southern Connecticut Conference teams Fairfield Prep, Shelton, and West Haven, along with FCIAC squad Danbury. SWC team Joel Barlow of Redding is back on the docket for the first time since 2016 as the Nighthawks visit Redding on November 15. The annual Thanksgiving Eve clash with Masuk will take place in Monroe on November 27.
Newtown High football players compete in a tug o’ war challenge as part of their summertime workouts and team building at Blue & Gold Stadium this summer. Pictured, front to back, pulling the rope and facing the camera are Lyle Petrellese, Grant Baker, Brandon Lombardo, Christian Leininger, Daniel DeOliveira (wearing glasses), Matt Reseska, and Aiden Kennedy. Jared Dunn is leaning in from the left encouraging his teammates. Other players looking on and awaiting their turn are, from left, Matt LaSorsa, Andrew Swierbut, Mark Sokk, Logan Ashby, and Luke Hannan. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Connor Breslin, closest to the towel at the center of the rope, works with teammates, from front to back, Nick Fischer, Matt Jacobs, Luca Manfredi, and Ben Pinto to compete in tug o’ war. Standing and observing and cheering on their teammates are Matt Williams, Jacob Riley, and Mike Loomis. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Matt Heinlein and James Knox compete in a tractor tire flipping drill. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Football players look on as teammates compete in a tractor tire flipping drill. The tandem of Michael Haddick and Jack Mulligan, on the right side, finish a turn. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Will Swierbut gives it his all in the prowler pull contest. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Nighthawks, from left, Brandon Lombardo, Mike Loomis, and James Knox compete in the prowler pull event. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Several Nighthawks sprint on the Blue & Gold Stadium track with medicine balls. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Jack Mulligan competes in the move the mountain drill, carrying a sandbag on his shoulders as he runs across the football field. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Brandon Lombardo and Aiden Kennedy use teamwork to flip a heavy tractor tire. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Kyle Good takes off in the prowler push contest. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)