Young athletes Grant Baker, Jordan Conrad, and Michael McCann represent Newtown in the Redding-based Aspetuck Valley Rugby Club, and they recently completed a successful spring season. “They’ve been a great addition to the program,” said Coach Stuart Meyler, who has coached four seasons with the Aspetuck program. “Number one, they’re committed,” said Meyler, adding that participants are encouraged to play other sports, and many juggle lacrosse, soccer, baseball, and other activities with rugby. “We leave it very open,” notes Meyler, adding that the objective is to encourage up-and-coming athletes to get a feel for the game and see if they like it. Despite that flexibility, the Newtown players all made it to practices and games on a regular basis. Baker and Conrad played on the U12 squad, which went 5-2, and McCann competed on the U14 team, which boasted an 8-1 record. They’ve each played for two to three seasons and are strong contributors in matches as well as during practices.
Newtown Women’s Softball League scores and highlights from this past week are as follows: Black Swan 15, Cork N’ Barrel 5: For Black Swan, Kayla Mesko hit her first home run. Kayla O’Grady hit a grand slam, driving in four runs. Lisa Coates and Jess Gibbons made impressive catches in left center and left field, respectively.
The Post 100 Bethel Admirals U19 American Legion baseball team, which includes players from Newtown, won nine straight summer league games from June 30 through July 5, before finally losing 2-1 to first-place Waterbury, on July 8. The team improved to 16-4 and moved into second place in the Zone 5 standings. The Admirals visited Volunteer Field to begin a stretch of nine games over six days, and blanked New Milford 1-0. Jim Parker (2-for-2) singled down the left field line in the second inning to drive in the game’s only run. Hurler Joe Liquori protected the lead, striking out 11 New Milford batters.
Forget all of the grueling practices in the heat, and juggling academic responsibilities with sports. For Julian Dunn, the hardest part of participating in athletics at Newtown High School was — well … not participating. Dunn had to sit out his senior basketball campaign for college visits and football drills as he was on his way to his next step, playing football at the University of Maine, which is located in the town of Orono. Jessica Keller was talked into running track by Coach Doug Russell, and she participated — in part — to keep in shape for her primary sport of soccer. Keller went on to qualify for postseason championship races and help break school relay records.
Perhaps nothing is more synonymous with Newtown High School sporting events than the voice that can be heard emanating throughout the gymnasium, at Blue & Gold Stadium, on the back fields, and occasionally Treadwell Park, announcing starting lineups, and filling in the crowd between plays. That voice belongs to Jason “J” Edwards, a teacher at Newtown High by day, and a public address announcer by afternoon, night, and weekend. Edwards, this past spring, announced his 1,000th game for the Nighthawks.
Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) will benefit from a fundraiser at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, featuring the United Soccer League’s New York Red Bull II facing Newtown Pride FC of the Connecticut Soccer League, on Thursday, July 30, at 7:30 pm. The evening will kick off at 6, outside of the ballpark, with an interactive fan zone. All ages are welcome to join in the fun. All net proceeds from the event, including ticket sales and proceeds from a silent auction held that evening, will go to NYFS.
Women's Softball League teams Cork N' Barrel, My Place, Reach, Petzercise, Black Swan, and Donate Life are in action each week this summer. In a 15-13 win over My Place, the Corks got big hits from Denise Croden with a triple and three singles. Jen Pirone, Karen Alexander, Sue D'Andrea, and Chris Jannott also contributed at the plate.
Heading into this week’s action, the 19U Bethel Admirals American Legion baseball team, which comprises both Newtown and Bethel athletes, posted a 7-4 record. The Admirals entered into a stretch of 16 scheduled games in a span of 18 days, necessitated by five rainouts and an already truncated summer league schedule.
Future, past, and present come together on the back fields at Newtown High School for Coach Matt Memoli’s youth baseball camps each summer. Up-and-coming ball players — this past week — worked on fielding, throwing, pitching, and hitting skills and got pointers from Memoli and some of his former and current players during the Youth Baseball Academy and Middle School Academy.
The Newtown Scholarship Association (NSA) held its 23rd Annual Jack Friel Memorial Golf Scramble on June 22. The event is sponsored by Newtown’s two golf venues, Rock Ridge Country Club and Newtown Country Club. he winners playing Newtown Country Club were Chris Watson, Bob Watson, Chad Joshpe, and Steve Loughran and at Rock Ridge Country Club were Charles Nanavaty, Glenn Nanavaty, Mike Kehoe, and Terry Shanahan. Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ golf teams also played in the tourney. There were more than 100 participants playing golf in support of the Newtown Scholarship Association. For 78 years, NSA has focused on its mission to put a college education within reach for every high school graduate from Newtown.