Published: Sep 07. 2021 07:30 am
It’s been two seasons, but the Newtown High Schools football team is the defending Class LL state champion and back for another season on the roster. A year after the coronavirus-altered 2020 makeshift 7-on-seven touch football campaign, the Nighthawks, along with the rest of the state’s teams, are hoping for a full, traditional season of state playoffs to top it all off. to close.
It’s great to practice there again. The kids are happy and having fun, said coach Bobby Pattison. Hopefully we can get through the season with few hitches.
Even in the absence of virus-related issues, whether individual, team or opponent quarantines, or a worst-case scenario of a shutdown, this will be a challenging season for the Nighthawks, who face four tough non-conference teams as part of their schedule of ten games.
In addition to taking on South-West Conference rivals Pomperaug of Southbury, New Milford, Bunnell of Stratford, Weston, New Fairfield and Masuk of Monroe, the Hawks will face four foes from two other Conferences, and they are all traditionally in the playoffs or at least the post-season mix. NHS plays against Fairfield County Interscholastic Conference (FCIAC) teams Darien and Ridgefield, and Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC) teams Cheshire and Shelton.
Pattison is excited to face these adversaries but is concerned about the Connecticut High School Football Alliance and its schedule consistency across the board, he said. Not all conferences play four crossover games like we do. Not all conferences are involved,” the coach noted. There really is no SWC because 40 percent of your scheme is against the FCIAC or SCC. We play against Darien, Ridgefield, Cheshire and Shelton. Those teams had a combined record of 34-9 in 2019; three of those teams made it to the state playoffs.
Newtown will try to reach the top again.
Our goal is to win another championship. Expectations are not lowered. New group of children, same expectations. Most teams have the same goal as us: to win a state championship, Pattison said.
It’s always a challenge. You have to stay healthy, stay focused and be mentally/physically strong. The next 100 days will not be easy, Pattison said during the preseason. It will be a struggle every week. They are four quality programs that also aim to win a state championship.
Captains are Andrew Jacobs (running back/linebacker), Chris Stowell (outside linebacker/wide receiver), Mike Carbone (offensive and defensive lineman), Eric Gray (wide receiver/defensive back) and Caleb Smith (wide receiver/defensive back).
As the preseason unfolded, senior Jake St. Louis and junior Dylan Magazu competed for the starting quarterback job.
Other key players include Noah Clark (Offensive and Defensive Lineman), Colin Breslin (Wide Receiver/Defensive Defender), and Matt Jacobs (Wide Receiver/Defensive Defender).
We are very confident in our skill positions. Our skill is deep on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. We have athletes on the perimeter and we are excited. We’ll probably be spreading it more than in the past, Pattison said.
The Hawks open up against a visit to Pomperaug on September 10 and head out a week later to take on New Milford. Newtown defeated Darien for the state title two years ago and will face Darien for a rematch on September 24. The Nighthawks host Ridgefield on October 1 and entertain Cheshire on October 22. The Shelton competition kicks off on October 29. Every game is on Friday night at 7pm, with the exception of the annual Thanksgiving Eve clash with Masuk: NHS will host the Panthers on November 24 at 6pm.
Sports editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at: [email protected].
Center Noah Clark blocks after snapping the ball to quarterback Jake St. Louis (obstructed). Also pictured are linemen Julian Crone, left, and Brady Fodor. Brandy Jacob’s photo
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