Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team won two of its last three games to get into a little groove after a tough start to the season. The Nighthawks beat Bethel 50-34 on the road on January 9 in a game that had been postponed twice because of inclement weather. Then, after falling to a tough Lauralton Hall of Milford team 56-42 the next night, the Hawks earned a 45-28 win at Brookfield on January 14. “I think it’s good for the team morale,” Newtown’s Cassie Ekstrom said of the recent winning ways that followed a 1-4 start. “We’re playing really well together. We’re really intense and aggressive.” Ekstrom is one of the players leading that charge. She’s been Newtown’s jack of all trades contributor on the court — scoring from all over, rebounding, and coming up with steals.
Members of the Newtown Torpedoes swim team, on January 11, joined forces and hit the water at the Newtown High School pool for an event that had no first, second, or third place finishes affecting league standings, no opposing team, no heated races — but plenty of serious swimming and lots of heartfelt meaning. They swam lap after lap in the first Annual Newtown Torpedoes Swim-A-Thon, to raise money for the Daniel Barden Newtown Torpedoes Memorial Scholarship, in honor of the team member they lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy a little more than a year ago.
So far, so good for the Newtown High School wrestling team. The grapplers have won three early-season tournaments in Fairfield, Trumbull and, most recently Natick, Mass., and have had their way with four opponents in dual meets. Newtown placed fifth in the 14-team Danbury Holiday Tournament, won by the host Hatters. “We’ve been drilling a lot harder this year — practices are a lot harder,” 220-pound grappler Ryan Wagner said. “It’s definitely paying off a lot.” The Nighthawks captain and 132-pound wrestler James Leuci believes, can be top-five team in the state and finish among the best in the South-West Conference.
The Sandy Hook Run for Families is a 5K run/fitness walk that debuted last year to honor the memories of the victims of 12/14 and to support those affected by the events of that day. Approximately 15,000 runners and walkers took to the streets of Hartford and virtually in their own areas to show support for Newtown on March 23, 2013, raising more than $438,000 for The Sandy Hook School Support Fund. This year's event will be at Fairfield Hills on March 29, with a max cap set at 1,000 runners. Those spots will be awarded on a lottery basis, and registration for that lottery opens Sunday morning. A kids fun run will also be offered in March, with space for up to 250 young participants.
Organizers of the second Sandy Hook Run For Families are looking for help from Newtown children ages 2–10. A logo (or two, or ten) for this year’s race is needed, and local children are being tapped for their artistic talents. Newtown children have been invited to draw a logo for the T-shirts that will be given to youth runners for the second annual Sandy Hook Run For the Families, which will be held in March at Fairfield Hills. The creators of the ten winning logos will receive a $15 gift certificate to The Toy Tree in Sandy Hook. Entry forms can be downloaded or picked up at the office of The Newtown Bee.
Newtown High School’s hockey team earned a 4-0 win over the host Watertown-Pomperaug of Southbury team at Taft School’s Mays Rink in Watertown on January 4. Goaltender Patrick McLoughlin kicked aside all 21 shots he faced to earn the shutout. Jonathan Lovorn scored two goals and had an assist, Zach Waller and Matt Sabia both scored, and Hayden Savoia, Cooper McLean, and Dan Harrison all registered assists. The Nighthawks then blanked visiting Tri-Town 3-0 at Danbury Ice Arena on January 8 to improve to 4-1-1 this season.
Newtown High School’s gymnastics squad had its first meet of the season when the Nighthawks participated in the Pomperaug Invitational in Southbury on January 4. Newtown, with a score of 128.8, placed fourth among 13 teams. Daniel Hand of Madison won the meet with a score of 140.7, Fairfield Ludlowe was second with a score of 131.55, Farmington came in third with a score of 130.45, and Glastonbury was edged out by Newtown and placed fifth with a score of 127.15.
Newtown High School’s wrestling team continued its winning ways with four wins during competition at the Trumbull Duals on January 4. The Nighthawks were among eight participating teams and won the competition, edging runner-up Trumbull 36-33. With their early-season success — they also won the Fairfield Ludlowe Invitational and defeated Bunnell of Stratford and Bristol Eastern — the Hawks cracked the top ten in the Norwich Bulletin state coaches poll this week, knocking Trumbull from the ranks and claiming the No. 8 spot.
Members of the Newtown Youth Basketball Association (NYBA) invite the Newtown senior citizen community to a special night at Newtown High School on Thursday, February 6. The evening will feature dinner with NYBA players at 6 pm, followed by admission to the girls’ varsity game against Weston at 7 pm.
Newtown Babe Ruth Baseball will have its Third Annual Hot Stove Dinner on Thursday, January 16, from 6 to 9 pm at The Waterview in Monroe. This night of baseball is designed to promote a positive baseball culture in the area and will include a talk from current Major Leaguer John McDonald.