The match had been circled on Newtown High School’s wrestling team’s schedule from the moment it was announced in preseason: New Milford at Newtown, January 22. “We’ve been thinking about this really all year long,” as a matter of fact, Newtown Coach Chris Bray said after the South-West Conference juggernaut Green Wave — unbeaten in SWC action since 2009 — battled past Newtown 36-29 in that clash. The Nighthawks now have the February 15 SWC championships marked on their slate. That will be the next chance for the Hawks to overcome their rivals.
Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team is proving to be quite a resilient and competitive group. The Nighthawks suffered a tough-to-swallow 63-59 loss to host Notre Dame-Fairfield on January 17, the team’s fifth loss by nine or fewer points, after reeling off four consecutive victories in the wake of a four-game slide to begin the season. “They compete — they play hard,” Newtown Coach Tim Tallcouch said after the Notre Dame game. “It’s all you can ask for.” Well, maybe the Hawks could have asked for some better fortunes in the foul department. The Lancers went to the free throw line for 26 attempts, more than doubling Newtown’s 11 trips to the charity stripe (Notre Dame was 17 of 26 and NHS went 7 of 11).
Tension and pressure in sports tends to get magnified when playoff time rolls around. While the stakes aren’t as high in the regular campaign — when there is always another game to bounce back — down-to-the-wire nail-biters at any juncture of the campaign provide a little taste what potentially will come in the postseason. Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team had a pair of close-to-the-finish contests this past week: A 41-39 overtime win over visiting Notre Dame-Fairfield on January 17 and a 43-38 setback to visiting Pomperaug of Southbury in a game played at Western Connecticut State University’s O’Neill Center the next night. Whether or not being involved in such tight games will pay dividends for the players remains to be seen, but it certainly can’t hurt.
(AP) A children’s triathlon program inspired by the life a 7-year-old boy who was killed on 12/14 is expanding in Connecticut. The CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation has reached an agreement with the Greater Waterbury YMCA, Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut in Danbury, and the Central Connecticut Coastal YMCA in Trumbull to host the Race4Chase Kid's Tri program. The program honors Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski, who competed in his first triathlon the summer before he was killed.
Sandy Hook-based Leaps of Faith Adaptive Skiers Club invites individuals with any and all disabilities to hit the slopes this winter for adaptive skiing at Mount Southington in Plantsville. Leaps of Faith will offer both beginner and advanced snow ski classes with certified instructors. There is no charge for the classes, but they usually fill quickly and registration is required.
The way Newtown High School’s hockey team’s defensive and goaltending play have been, there hasn’t been an overwhelming need for explosiveness on offense. But that doesn’t mean the Nighthawks aren’t thrilled to pile up the goals as they did in a 10-3 win over the Shepaug-Litchfield-Nonnewaug team at Linen Rink in Washington, on January 10. The Nighthawks had blanked visiting Tri-Town 3-0 at Danbury Ice Arena on January 8 for their second straight shutout, then got that double-digit effort two days later. Senior Jon Lovorn, who joined the school program after playing club hockey, netted four goals to lead the charge in the ten-goal romp. Hayden Savoia scored twice and assisted a tally, and Matt Sabia registered four assists.
That 0-4 start is in the dust. Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team, having won four straight games, has a clean slate now. The Nighthawks defeated Abbott Tech of Danbury 74-54 on January 10, then fought back to top Brookfield 57-46 on January 14 — in a pair of home contests to get back to .500. “We’re getting contributions from everybody. The kids are playing very well,” Newtown Coach Tim Tallcouch said. Newtown trailed Brookfield by three points after three quarters and used a 23-9 fourth quarter to put the game away, dropping the visiting Bobcats to 2-4 overall. Brian LeBlanc had 22 points — all in the second half — to go along with Mike Davis’s 19. The Hawks sank ten 3-pointers. LeBlanc and Mike Davis combined for nine of them. Troy Frangione had nine rebounds and seven assists.
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.