It was a time for nearly all the Newton High School and middle school athletic teams to scrimmage, or at least be introduced, Friday night at Fischer Field for the annual Newton Fall Sports Fest.


It was a time for nearly all the Newton High School and middle school athletic teams to scrimmage, or at least be introduced, Friday night at Fischer Field for the annual Newton Fall Sports Fest.

According to Newton activities director Brian Engelken, numbers appear to be healthy for Railer athletics this season.

“The soccer team’s numbers are up significantly,” Engelken said. “Even the football team, which I thought was going to be down a little bit, their numbers are about normal, or even up a little higher than average. Across the board, with maybe the exception of gymnastics, numbers are up.”

Engelken said he has three standing goals for the athletic programs at Newton.

“The one goal I have that I impress on every coach, regardless of the sport or the season, is we want to improve throughout the year,” Engelken said. “I don’t look at wins or losses to determine how a coach is doing. I want to see a team do better at the end of the season than the beginning of the season.

“I want our coaches to treat our players with respect and dignity. We want our programs to represent the community and school with their behavior, and we want to improve as the season goes on from the beginning to end.”

The evening ended with the Railer football team scrimmaging. The offense appeared ahead of the defense early in the evening, but the defense improved as the night went on.

“I was happy with what I saw,” Newton football coach Brent Glann said. “We played very fast, and we moved around. After the week we had, it’s been a very hard-working week for us — especially Thursday night. I was happy to see us playing football tonight.

“I was happy with the way we threw the ball. The defense did not start off well. That was a concern for us. They will have to start off better next week. But the defense picked it up as the night went along.”

The football team ended its second week of practice with the scrimmage. Newton opens the season at 7 p.m. Friday at Liberal.

“We have one week to go,” Glann said. “We’re excited, just like everybody else in the state. We want to get through this week injury free.”