Hard-hitting, fast-paced hockey at the collegiate level is quite a jump for those who have finished their high school careers. Dave Landau Jr, just completed bridging that gap with a ladder-climbing stint through junior hockey — one in which his skills on and off ice have left a big impression on his coach and others in the game. The 20-year-old defenseman from Newtown, this month, finished his second season in the Junior A level Minnesota Junior Hockey League, a college preparatory league, and is ready to make the move to college hockey beginning this coming fall.
All town fields remain closed, according to a reminder from Newtown Parks & Rec, which made the announcement via email Friday, March 27. Treadwell and Tilson artificial fields remain closed as well, due to snow cover and frozen sub-surface conditions.
The Newtown Police Department announced, on March 26, that certain roads on and around the Fairfield Hills campus will be closed during the Sandy Hook 5K, set to take place on Saturday, March 28. Police will block off roads into the campus, as well as Mile Hill Road South and Nunnawauk Road. The roads will be closed to traffic from approximately 8:45 am until about 9:45 am.
School spring sports are underway; Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. As of the middle of this week, plenty of snow and ice still caked the athletic playing fields, tennis courts, and golf courses in town, as well the Blue & Gold Stadium track, leaving Newtown High School’s athletics department having to be creative in approaches to tryouts and practices. Spring tryouts were held this week, March 23–25, and had to be conducted, for the most part, indoors. Early preseason scrimmages that were set to begin on Thursday, March 26, have been canceled. It is anybody’s guess as to when the playing fields will be ready for game action, and the likelihood is that area athletic directors, coaches, and the student athletes will have to deal with postponing and rescheduling early April competitions to a more substantial degree than in the past when typical April rain forces the movement of some games.
The 3rd Annual Sandy Hook 5K will take place at Fairfield Hills on Saturday, March 28, with Kids Runs beginning at 8:15 am and the 5K at 9 am. The race, despite an increase in runners from 1,200 to 1,500, sold out the day registration began, back in January. But there are still ways for those interested to become involved this year and in the future through donations, sponsorships, and volunteering opportunities, as well as via a virtual run option.
We may be closer to the end of last football season than we are to the kickoff to the next campaign, but preparations for the upcoming campaign are about to get back into full swing for some gridders, including Springfield College’s Max Nacewicz. A former Newtown High School defensive standout, Nacewicz and his teammates, beginning next week, will participate in a month’s worth of spring drills and practices before a layoff of sorts leading into the August preseason.
Newtown’s Senior League boys’ basketball championship game took place at Newtown High School on March 19. Team Red defeated Team Gray 51-41. Connor Roche scored 13 points, Erik Street had 12, and Jack Pirone contributed 11 to lead the Red squad. Spencer Tolson, Adam Bergeron, and Gordon Walsh each added five; and Alex Street contributed in the victory.
Basketball teams for AAU tournaments are forming now for girls in sixth grade and boys in fifth grade. Tryouts will be held at the Newtown Middle School A gymnasium March 23, 25, and 27 from 6 to 8 pm.
Newtown High School hosted the first Special Olympics Unified Sports South-West Conference Tournament on March 18. The event brought together unified sports basketball teams from host Newtown, as well as Joel Barlow of Redding, Bethel, and Bunnell of Stratford. Following a parade of athletes, Julia Bogdanoff sang the National Anthem. Each of the squads followed with The Unified Sports Oath, led by Garrett Fitzpatrick: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Then the games began.
Newtown High School’s boys’ swimming and diving team participated in the Class LL state championships at Wesleyan University on March 17. The Nighthawks scored 137 points and placed 14th among 21 teams to score in the meet. Greenwich, with 836, was the winner. The Nighthawks had some strong performances.