MVRHS sports highlights
File photo by Ralph Stewart
Riseborough qualifies for N.E. track meet
The third time was the charm for the Vineyarders, who finally got to compete in the Massachusetts All State meet on Tuesday at Fitchburg State University.
The meet was postponed twice, on Saturday and again on Monday, because of inclement weather.
Maggie Riseborough seized the day and placed sixth in the shotput with a throw of 36' 7.25" to earn a spot in the All New England Outdoor Track and Field Championships, held on June 9, at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine. The event is the most prestigious in the region. Maggie also threw the discus 103' 7", good for 10th place.
The 4 x 400 relay team of Rafael Maciel, Peter Keaney, Je' Vaughn Crooks, and Jeremy Alley-Tarter turned in its best time to date at 3:34.14, to place 21st overall. Alley-Tarter also competed in the 800-meters at the All State and finished 19th in 2:02.54.
The Vineyard sailors competed in the Cape and the Islands championships, held in Nantucket and Dennis-Yarmouth over the weekend.
Half of the scheduled three-day event was cancelled, however, due to the foul weather and high winds.
The Vineyard girls sailed on Friday in fleet races in Nantucket.
M.V. sailed in ten races against nine other schools and placed sixth. Anna Flaherty skippered the first six races with Zana Van Rooyen on crew. Zana skippered the rest of the way with Maddy Moore on crew. All three girls are freshmen.
Things started brightly, with M.V. in the top three or four in the early races. Unfortunately, the Vineyarders incurred an Over Early Start (O.E.S.), which carries a fleet plus one penalty, and their day was effectively over.
Still, the team had a great time in Nantucket and traveled to the Cape to meet up with the boys. Saturday's co-ed fleet racing event was postponed to Sunday morning.
Jesse Thomas skippered in A Division with Katie Johnson on crew. Raz Sayre skippered in B Division with Doug Andrade on crew. Each duo raced four times on what coach Andrew Burr described as "a good course, with good length."
The sailors enjoyed a 10- to 15-knot breeze at the start. The wind picked up to between 16 and 18 knots for the final few races.
Sayre and Andrade had a stellar day, finishing 1-1-1-3 in four races as the Vineyarders took second place overall, behind Barnstable and ahead of hosts Dennis-Yarmouth.
The afternoon team racing session started with 20- to 25-knot winds, which quickly wreaked havoc on the Vineyard fleet. One boat broke down as did two masts. The event was soon cancelled completely, a disappointing reality for seniors Jake Sudarsky and Tyler Shapiro.
Despite the truncated event, Coach Burr was pleased with the final result. "Seeing Raz [Sayre] finish the way he did, being a freshmen, was great," the coach said. "It was a great season. The future looks bright for the team."
It has been a long time coming, but the baseball team went 12-9 this season and qualified for the state tournament after a 10-year absence. They were matched up against higher seeded Dover-Sherborn in the first round of the MIAA tournament on Saturday.
Their return to the tournament wound up as a long, frustrating, and nerve-wracking experience for both players and coaches. The Vineyarders went the distance and then some against the Raiders and lost in painful fashion in 13 innings by a final of 2-1.
The Vineyarders stranded 14 base-runners in the game, and the Raiders won in the bottom of the 13th – the sixth extra frame since high school games only go seven innings — on a bases-loaded infield single off the foot of reliever Ryan Fisher.
Will Stewart, the Vineyarders best pitcher all season, started and went nine innings, giving up only one run while striking out seven and walking only one. He was relieved by Ryan Fisher, who went four-plus innings and gave up only the one run.
Coach Gary Simmons said he knew it was going to be a long day in the first inning, when Noah Stobie hit the first pitch of the game to left field followed by a hit by Jack Roberts. Stobie later scored on a long hit to centerfield by Ramon Espino.
Stobie scored easily, and the ball appeared to have plenty of distance to allow Roberts to score as well to give the Vineyarders an early 2-0 advantage. But in a strange turn, the ball rolled underneath the fence, which automatically gave Espino a ground rule double.
Roberts wound up stranded at third, and the Vineyarders didn't score another run all game.
"That would have changed the whole complexion of the game – it was just a freak thing for that ball roll underneath that fence," the coach said. "Then after that I think we were a little tight: we put runners on and couldn't knock them in, and in other innings went 1-2-3 at the plate."
The coach admitted the rest of the game, in which the Vineyarders repeatedly failed to get a big hit, was a gut-wrenching experience. "It was excruciating, especially after the seventh when they were at bat – because it could have been over with one swing of the bat," he said. "It takes a few years off your life for sure."
But the coach said his team had an excellent, if not historic, season. "After the game I told the kids they played a heck of a game. Obviously it was our last game, and I told them to savor it. I told them to look around and remember the moment and remember the faces, because these are the friends and memories you will remember," the coach said.
The coach said he hopes this was a season the team can build upon. "This was the first year we were actually competitive in our league, and it was huge for the kids to win more games than they lost in the league," he said. "We were close to playing .750 ball in our league, so I am encouraged. I think the returning players are looking forward to another strong season next year . . . I know I am."
Softball coach Donald Herman said he can sum up Saturday's first-round loss to Medfield in two words: missed opportunities. "We had seven base-runners on in the second through sixth inning but just couldn't get that hit when we needed to. Missed opportunities was the theme of the day."
The 17th-seeded Vineyarders ended the season 10-10 to qualify for the tournament, and were matched against the 16th-seeded Warriors on the road. The Vineyarders had two situations with the bases loaded and no outs, but failed to push across a run.
Meanwhile the Warriors took advantage of two Vineyarders' errors to score two runs in the bottom of the sixth to break open what had been a tight 2-1 ballgame. The Vineyarder's top pitcher Hailee McCarthy started and gave up only two runs while striking out three.
Shelby Lavin scored the lone run for the Vineyarders and went 3-for-3, while Kendall Robinson went 2-for-3 with a walk. Emily Cimeno knocked in the lone run for the Vineyarders.
Coach Herman said his team went beyond his expectations this season. "I look at the game Saturday; Medfield had six seniors while we had only one. We were a young team all season, and improved all season. I told the girls afterwards that we went a heck of a lot further and more games than I thought we would, and they should be proud of their season.
"I thought we played some pretty good ball the last four or five games of the season. It's a shame that is when we started playing our best gall. If we had played like that earlier we could have won one or two more games and maybe gotten a higher seed."
Coach Herman said his team should be strong again next season. They will lose only one senior, Sarah Williston, and will return two strong pitchers in McCarthy and Cimeno.
The boys' lacrosse team started the season slow, suffering some key injuries while losing a number of games by only a few goals. But they got hot late, and won three road games in five days to close out the season and qualify for the state tournament.
They earned an 18th seed and went on the road to play perennial power and 7th seed Austin Preparatory School in Reading last Tuesday. The underdog Vineyarders battled all game and took a early 2-0 lead, but a series of penalties allowed the Cougars to get back in the game.
The Vineyarders eventually lost 8-6 and were eliminated from the tournament.
Coach Chris Greene said his team had a few unlucky breaks, but overall played solid.
"It was one of those days where things didn't go our way. In the second quarter we had three or four minutes of penalties that set us back; but we were playing well. At halftime I didn't need to make many adjustments. We just couldn't get the ball in the net," the coach said.
After falling behind 5-2 at the half, the Vineyarders roared back to put some pressure on the Cougars, but it was not to be on this day. "Normally this season we have fallen behind and then rallied to take a late lead, but we literally ran out of time."
Nick Costello had two goals in the loss, while teammate Charlie Everett had four goals. Denver Maciel had a pair of assists and Colby Gouldrup had an assist. Senior goalie Nelson Dickson was sharp in goal, making 19 saves.
The coach said his team should be proud of their effort and proud of their season.
"Winning out like that to close the season was really an accomplishment. We played well against Austin Prep, I was proud of the kids. They left it all out there on the field and they should hold their heads high," Coach Greene said.
The team will lose a number of key seniors to graduation next year. Gone will be Gouldrup, the team's top face-off man, who won around 64 percent of all the draws this year. Leading scorer Everett, who had over 70 points, will also depart.
The team will also lose stand-out goalie Dickson, and Connor Smith, who anchored the defense all season.