Newtown High School’s cheerleading squad made it two straight South-West Conference championships, prevailing among 13 rival schools with a score of 184.2 at Weston High on February 7. Second-place Masuk scored 163 points and third-place New Fairfield had 144. “The girls performed beautifully. Before we took the mat, we asked each of them to stay calm and do their job. They have worked incredibly hard since August getting stronger and perfecting skills,” Coach Susan Bridges said.
The South-West Conference indoor track and field championships took place at the Floyd Little Athletic Center on February 7, bringing together the best runners, throwers, and jumpers from Newtown and rival teams. Newtown’s girls’ squad, led by Micaela Nowacki’s first-place finish in the shot-put event, placed fourth as a team with 38 points. Weston won the girls’ competition with 125 points, Pomperaug of Southbury was second with 63, and Masuk of Monroe was third with 49. Ten schools with girls’ lineups scored points in the championships. The NHS boys, who got a runner-up high jump performance from Cole Terry, came in seventh among 13 teams. Newtown had 27 points.
Members of the Newtown High School Blue Blaze basketball team, part of the state’s Unified Sports program which provides competitive sports opportunities for special needs students, displayed their teamwork, skills, and athleticism in a game against the visiting Bunnell of Stratford Bulldogs on January 29. The athletes brought out their competitive edge for a fun-filled and action packed 40-minute game.
Assisted by partners, some of whom are traditional high school athletes, the Unified Sports participants dribble, pass, shoot, and score during basketball practices and games throughout the winter. The partners can rebound, pass, and give pointers to their peers, but it is up to the athletes to score the baskets. During games, there are three athletes and two partners on the floor at all times.
Newtown High School’s boys’ swimming and diving team fell 96-88 to visiting and unbeaten Weston, last year’s Class S state champion, on February 3. The Nighthawks, who earned a 95-82 victory over host New Fairfield in their previous meet, on January 30, stand at 5-2 overall. The Hawks have two meets remaining before the postseason – a February 10 visit to defending Class M winner Brookfield and a February 18 home meet against Joel Barlow of Redding. Against Weston, the Nighthawks jumped out to an early lead as the 200 yard medley relay team of Tommy Horan, Seth Barrett, Matt Argraves, and Owen Gray finished first in a time of 1:49.34.
Newtown High School’s dance team came into the school year with a motto “New Team, Same Dream” as it embarked on another potential championship season. This “new team” experienced part of its dream, successfully defending its South-West Conference championship jazz category title, scoring 272 out of 300 possible points, at New Milford High School on January 31.
The Newtown Torpedoes youth swim program, sponsored by Newtown Parks & Recreation, held its second annual Swim-A-Thon at Newtown High School on January 31. Dozens of swimmers in three age groups – 8 and unders, 9-10-year-olds, and 11 and overs – combined to complete consecutive laps during the four-hour event at the Newtown High School pool. Swimmers are raising money through donations and pledges for the Newtown Scholarship Association to support The Daniel Barden Newtown Torpedo Scholarship, as well as go toward present and future needs of the team. Student volunteers helped set up the lanes and track laps completed by the Torpedoes swimmers while cheering them on. Among those on hand to donate their time were Newtown High swimmers who came up through the Torpedoes program. “It’s a good program and we wanted to help out because we started with the Torpedoes,” said Newtown High senior Eliza Eggleston.
After seeing their seven-game winning streak stopped by host Bunnell of Stratford on January 29, Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team didn’t wait long to begin what they hope is another long stretch of victories. The Nighthawks, one night later, got past host New Milford 60-55 to improve to 9-3 overall (4-1 in South-West Conference play). The Green Wave fell to 7-6 (4-2). The Nighthawks had three players in double figures. Will Dalton had 15 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a blocked shot; Harry Depuy scored 12, pulled down four rebounds, contributed two assists, and came up with a steal; and Jacob Burden dropped in ten points, had five rebounds, three assists, and a steal.
Winning close, down-to-the-wire nail-biters has become customary for Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team. The latest installment of the late-game magic came in the form of a 40-37 win over visiting New Milford on January 30. The Nighthawks made this one particularly memorable, after things appeared to be on their way to forgettable. The Hawks fell behind 14-0 before chipping away, taking their first lead in the third quarter, and finally escaping to remain perfect in the South-West Conference at 8-0. Newtown improved to 12-3 overall, and half of the team’s wins have come by seven points or fewer. The Nighthawks now have a trio of three-point victories thanks, in part, to a third quarter buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Sarah Lynch and a decisive fourth-quarter shot from downtown by Mali Klorczyk. With the score deadlocked at 27, Newtown’s defense forced a turnover near midcourt with only 1.9 seconds remaining in the third. Lynch took an inbound pass and sank a running 3-pointer.
Newtown High School’s wrestling team went into the Danbury High School gymnasium ranked No. 1 in the Norwich Bulletin state coaches poll — already having beaten the Hatters in the Danbury Holiday Tournament back in December — but came up short, 30-25, in a head-to-head competition with the second-ranked Hatters, on January 28. Newtown won five of 14 matches as Luca Crudo came out on top in the 113 pound division matchup, Joe Accousti won at 152, Connor LeMay prevailed at 160, Anthony Falbo won at 170, and Logan Walsh was victorious at 182.
Just a couple of days after snow postponed several Newtown sporting events, Mother Nature is at it again. The anticipated Monday through Tuesday blizzard caused several Newtown High School sporting events, originally slated for Tuesday, January 27, to be rescheduled a day in advance.