Leigh Libero can round the bases with the best of ’em after putting the ball into play in Newtown Women’s Softball League action, but she certainly doesn’t take for granted being able to run well. Libero, a former soccer player at Boston University, tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a game more than a decade ago, and a graft made from her body’s tissue was used to get her back onto the playing field. The repair didn’t last. Libero tore her ACL again just one year later. Her surgeon suggested using donated tissue from a deceased donor.
Youth sports games are primarily for the enjoyment of participants, their proud parents, and other family members in attendance, and coaches who help their developing players improve. In the case of Newtown youth baseball and basketball contests, the games also serve as an opportunity for an up-and-coming announcer to gain experience from the press box and scorer’s table, all the while adding to the at-the-field atmosphere for those team members and their families. Robert Hutchins, who will enter his sophomore year at Newtown High School, has served as public address announcer for Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball, and Newtown Youth Basketball games since his first game in the press box at Glander Field in 2010.
Changes abound for the Newtown Youth Football and Cheerleading program as it kicks off the campaign with late-summer preseason preparations. Pigskin training has been unfolding at Treadwell Park with cheer strategizing taking place behind Hawley School throughout the month of August as always, but the program has a new president and has joined a different league for the 2014 campaign. Longtime Coach Adam Carley succeeds Sean Dunn at the helm. Previously a member of the Colonial League, the Newtown gridiron teams and cheer squads are now part of the Shoreline Conference.
The Newtown Renegades baseball team saw its regional title hopes end at the hands of Exeter, N.H., in a 4-1 loss at Glander Field on August 6. The Renegades had won their first two Cal Ripken 11U New England Regional Tournament games, including a thrilling 8-7 win over Exeter, before falling to New Milford and Exeter in the rematch, to get dropped from the double-elimination tourney.
The Newtown Thunder rolled off a remarkable string of victories in a three-day period at Hawley School Field to win the Cal Ripken Summer Extreme 9B League playoffs. The Thunder had dropped a game early in the playoffs, resulting in a playoff run with no room for error the rest of the way. And the team showed its resiliency in its quest for the title, capping off the winning streak with a victory over the Newtown Nighthawks.
Newtown High School’s fall sports tryouts will be held later in August. Most teams will meet on Saturday, August 23. The football team will meet on Monday, August 18. Athletes are asked to bring water to all tryouts.
The Newtown Renegades baseball team will face Exeter, N.H., in a must-win Cal Ripken 11U New England Regional Tournament game on Wednesday, August 6, at 5:30 pm. The teams will battle at Glander Field, on Mile Hill Road South, in a rematch of an August 2 contest in which Newtown overcame a 7-1 deficit to pull out an 8-7 victory. The Renegades fell into the loser’s bracket of the double elimination tourney with a 7-2 loss to New Milford on August 5. Josh Taylor drove in both runs, and Luke Galer smacked a pair of doubles in the setback.
Young football players will have the opportunity to exhibit their football skills when NYA Sports & Fitness Center hosts an NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition on Saturday, August 30, at 11 am. The competition is free and open to boys and girls ages 6-15. The NFL Punt, Pass & Kick football competition allows youngsters to showcase their talents in punting, passing, and kicking with scores based on distance and accuracy.
The host Newtown Renegades baseball team used a pair of late-game heroics to pull off victories in their first two games of the Cal Ripken 11U New England Regional Tournament at Glander Field on August 2 and 3. With the victories, the Renegades are just two (or as many as three) wins away from capturing first place in this double elimination tourney. The Renegades will host New Milford at 5 pm on Tuesday, August 5, with the winner advancing to the championship round on Thursday, August 7 (and Friday, August 8, if necessary). The loser of Tuesday’s game will still have a chance to fight its way into the pinnacle round by battling out of the loser’s bracket with a win on Wednesday.
In the inaugural season of the 16-year-old Prep Division of Connecticut Babe Ruth Baseball, the Newtown 16U team traveled to North Haven and captured the state championship on Saturday, July 26 by beating Fairfield in the semifinals and North Haven in the finals. In the championship game, Newtown beat North Haven 4-2. Connor Miller was superb on the mound, pitching all seven innings.