- COACH — BOBBY PATTISON (2nd year, 7-3)
- CONFERENCE — SWC Division I
- PLAYOFF CLASS — Class LL (844 boys enrolled)
- HOME — Blue and Gold Stadium, Sandy Hook
- 2017 RECORD — 7-3 (SWC Division 1 co-champions)
- 2018 OPENER — Sept. 7 vs. New Fairfield, 7 p.m.
- TEAM WEBSITES — NighthawksFootball.com | MaxPreps | TWITTER — @NewtownFootball
- DAN MASON, Sr., RB/LB (6-0, 220)
- MATT DUBOIS, Sr., RB/LB (6-2, 210)
- JOE PAGETT, Sr., WR/DB (5-8, 160)
- CARSON IVEY, Sr., OL/DE (6-3, 260)
- JOE ZELLER, Sr., DT (5-11, 270)
- SHEA TALBOT, Sr., TE/LB (6-0, 200)
- RILEY WARD, Jr., WR/DB (5-8, 160)
- JARED DUNN, Jr., FB/LB (6-3, 220)
- JACK MULLIGAN, Jr., TE/LB (6-3, 225)
- KYLE GOOD, Jr., OL/DE (6-3, 250)
QB/P Ryan Kost (All-State); DE Alex Street; DE Ryan Williams.
When Bobby Pattison took the helm prior to last season, he inherited a team that had just graduated a tremendous senior class, which included Division I standouts Ben Mason and Seth Willis, and had just won its fourth South-West Conference title in five years and completed an undefeated regular season.
When they reported to preseason camp last August, Pattison’s Nighthawks were fairly young and unproven, at least at that point.
Over the course of the ensuing three months, they molded together to form a unit, stepped up to fill the leadership roles left vacant by the graduation of their predecessors, and hammered out another triumphant season for the Blue and Gold.
Newtown shut out its first three SWC opponents last year. But, at 7-3, the Nighthawks missed the state playoffs for the first time since 2010, finishing 10th in the Class LL state playoff rankings (the top eight qualify).
Newtown finished its season on a high note, however, with a resounding 14-7 victory at Masuk that secured for the Nighthawks a share of the SWC Division I championship.
Most of that team is back this year, including the entire starting offensive line.
“Experience is our greatest strength,” Pattison said. “We return all five linemen, our top running back and our top wide receiver. Our linebacking core is all returning, as well as most defensive backs.”
Running back Dan Mason rushed for 478 yards and eight touchdowns last season as a junior. Wide receiver Joe Pagett caught 22 passes for 465 yards and four touchdowns last year as a junior, while classmate Shea Talbot grabbed 19 passes for 328 yards and a touchdown, and Riley Ward hauled in 23 passes for 327 yards and six scores as a sophomore.
Last year’s starting quarterback and punter Ryan Kost graduated, as did starting defensive ends Alex Street and Ryan Williams. Filling those holes is obviously key.
Kost threw for 1,562 yards and 15 touchdowns, while Street and Williams combined for 113 tackles and 5.5 sacks.
Newtown opens its season vs. rival New Fairfield at Blue and Gold before an intriguing Week 2 matchup with SCC power Cheshire. The Nighthawks also get a matchup Norwich Free Academy out of the ECC on Oct. 13, the first meeting of the two schools since 2012’s Class LL quarterfinals, an NFA victory. After an Oct. 19 home game vs. Pomperaug, the Nighthawks play three straight road games before their annual showdown with Masuk.
Sept. 7 — NEW FAIRFIELD*, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — CHESHIRE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 — at Stratford**, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 — BETHEL*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 — at Norwich Free Academy, 1 p.m.
Oct. 19 — POMPERAUG**, 7 p.m.
Oct. 26 — at Bunnell**, 7 p.m.
Nov. 2 — at Brookfield*, 7 p.m.
Nov. 9 — at New Milford*, 7 p.m.
Nov. 21 — MASUK**, 7 p.m.
Home games in CAPS