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Mother Nature Continues To Impact Schedules

Never mind head-to-head competitions. Mother Nature is having the biggest say in who wins and loses these days. And it’s been both teams “losing” (as in losing out) in given matchups thanks to hosts and visitors not getting a chance to play as a result of snowstorms.

A winter that has had the schedulers making more changes than coaches make to their lineups in blowouts continues to be a snowy (and game-altering) one.

Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ basketball teams had their February 18 clashes with Bunnell of Stratford postponed thanks to snow. This after having their Valentine’s Day games versus Masuk of Monroe postponed by, what else … a pileup of white fluffy stuff. Where’s the love, Mother Nature?

The girls’ team’s makeup date with Bunnell is Thursday, February 20 (7 pm at NHS), and the boys’ game was moved to Saturday, February 22 (also 7 pm, in Stratford).

Newtown’s girls’ squad is scheduled – provided there isn’t yet another storm – to begin South-West Conference tournament play on February 22 (game time, opponent, and location to be determined pending the outcomes of late-season clashes throughout the conference).

Jeremy O’Connell, coach of the Newtown girls, said the loss of practice time and changes to the schedule “doesn’t hurt as much at the end of the season as much as the beginning — hurts just staying sharp. Most things are in place and the kids can use a little break to refresh their bodies.”

The Newtown boys’ cagers, including a Wednesday, February 19, makeup clash with Masuk, and a regularly scheduled February 21 visit to Immaculate of Danbury (7 pm), stand to have three games in four days.

Tim Tallcouch, coach of the boys, doesn’t want to allow the changeup in routine to hamper his team’s outlook. “Easier to stay focused when you are playing for SWC and state tournament positioning. The more you make a big deal of it the more it will filter down to your players,” Tallcouch said.
 
Time off is nothing new for the NHS boys’ swimming and diving team which, throughout much of the season, has only one meet per week on the slate. The team has, multiple times, had to wait two weeks to compete and lost out on practice time in between as well. The NHS swimmers were scheduled to visit Joel Barlow of Redding on February 18, but the clash was put on hold until a date to be determined.

During the February 15-16 weekend, the SWC wrestling championships in Southbury were delayed a day, and Newtown’s hockey team had a game postponed. The track and field State Open in New Haven was put on hold for a couple of days and took place on February 17.

“We haven’t been on ice for six days since our last game, and will play tomorrow,” Paul Esposito, Newtown’s hockey coach, said on February 18 as his team prepared (more accurately, waited) for a February 19 skate with Sheehan of Wallingford. “Kids can do off-ice exercise but being off skates for a period of time has an effect on play – expect it to show in first period of a game to shake off the rust. The hope is other teams face similar situations in regards to being off ice for periods of time. It definitely puts a kink into a team’s rhythm and momentum.”

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