CIAC: Newtown wants focus kept on football

The Newtown football team celebrates after scoring first against Bethel in the first half on 9/20/2013.  Photo by Arnold Gold/New Haven Register

The Newtown football team celebrates after scoring first against Bethel in the first half on 9/20/2013. Photo by Arnold Gold/New Haven Register

In an attempt to quell any potential national media attention on its football team as the 1-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre nears, Newtown is asking that coverage be limited to local media and that all questions stick to football-related topics.

On the eve of the team’s state quarterfinal game vs. Ridgefield, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, on behalf of the town and school, sent an email to media members requesting discretion when covering the team.

“The school is requesting that media access to the game, and any subsequent Newtown football tournament games, be limited to the family of media  entities who have demonstrated their long-term commitment to Connecticut athletics,” the CIAC said in an email. “In addition, the school requests that questions directed to players and or coaches following the game be restricted to game-related topics.”

Newtown (12-0) is the top seed in the Class LL playoffs. It has already received national attention as it plays for its first state championship since 1992.

Should the team win two games, it would play for a state championship at Central Connecticut State, which is scheduled to take place on Dec. 13 and 14.

Because the 1-year anniversary of Sandy Hook is Dec. 14, the CIAC football committee has honored the town and school’s request to play the night before. “The football committee felt that was a reasonable request to honor,” said Joel Cookson, the CIAC media relations director.

Newtown has already fielded many requests for interviews throughout the season. attended its Thanksgiving week game vs. Masuk and wrote a story tying the Dec. 14 tragedy to the team’s fortunes and its impact on the community. The Hartford Courant did a feature the week of Thanksgiving.


  1. Rob (On Connecticut's East Coast) says

    While I can understand and respect their request to keep all things about football, I give a raised eyebrow to their jerseys. You can’t put a rainbow colored Obama sticker on your Prius and not expect people to talk about whether or not you are a Liberal.

    Despite their request, I saw it written here on Gametime, and frankly, I agree: “Wouldn’t it make for a grand media event if hey were playing football on Saturday, or if they had won a title on Friday Night up at Arute Field?” It will be very difficult to keep the “Big Media” away from that story should it play out that way. Again, best of luck in the playoffs, you earned your spot with an Undefeated Regular Season; now finish it up.

    • Sean Patrick BowleySean Patrick Bowley says

      @Rob – in fairness to them, those jerseys were created by and for the team in the summer before greater powers stepped in and asked everybody to tone down any tributes and the team agreed. That was their ‘community day’ event and since then have kept a relatively low profile.

  2. Newtown and SWC says

    I am rooting for Newtown to win and for one of the M teams from the “weak” SWC… but I believe Newtown played in the states last year so it was not 1992 but rather 2012 in reference to the last time they played in states. With that being said, they have a tough road but they are a class team that is big, strong can run and pass. GOOD LUCK NEWTOWN.

  3. Rob (On Connecticut's East Coast) says

    Quarterfinal from last year:

    #5 NFA over #4 Newtown (63-21)

    And to respond, I get what you are saying Sean. I just think that they will have a hard time staving off those questions while wearing the Tribute Jerseys. Not that it should or shouldn’t be either way, sometimes the media just aren’t on their best behavior.

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