Newtown wins on emotional night
The Newtown, Conn., community came together Friday night for the first home game of the high school football season. It was also the first local autumn home game since the senseless shootings at Sandy Hill Elementary School rocked the town, nation and world on Dec. 14.
The "Glimpse of the Future" was a success in the stands and on the scoreboard as Newtown defeated Bethel High School, 22-14.
The game meant much more.
The night was a green-out as fans at Blue and Gold Stadium matched the green-and-white Sandy Hook Elementary School jerseys worn by every player, big and small, the nameplates on their jerseys bearing the message, "Stay Strong," reported the Danbury News Times.
"In the end, a win is a win. That's what this game is all about," coach Steve George said. "We're a resilient town. We went through a lot of horrible events, but in the end, things will be alright. The kids played hard until the final whistle."
Other events that marked the evening were the high school cheerleaders being joined by younger counterparts for the first cheer. The youth players and cheerleaders paraded around the track at halftime.
"It was just kind of overwhelming," lineman Dom Scarangella told the newspaper of the emotions. "I've never seen so many people at a game. We played for them tonight. It was good to distract them from everything that happened."