Authors Posts by Michael Cummo

Michael Cummo

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My glider ride.

South Beach, Katama - Photos by Michael Cummo

Katama Airfield, the country’s oldest continuously-run grass airfield, is situated behind South Beach in the southeastern part of the Island. It is bustling with activity: Biplanes and other small aircraft take off and land constantly; nearby kids seem content to watch them drift into the clouds. To truly experience what the airfield and pilots have to offer, I thought, I might have to get up in the air on one of the planes. I’m jittery around heights, but I decided to do it anyway.

On Saturday, veteran pilot Bob Stone, who has been flying out of Katama for decades, took me up in his glider. A glider is a heavier-than-air craft that uses the air against its lifting surfaces to drift through the sky. A little supplemental engine helps with the liftoff. We twisted and turned through the air over Edgartown and Katama, circled a few clouds, and continued to climb. Once we reached an altitude of about 4,000 feet, Bob Stone cut the engine. An eerie, yet beautiful, calm seeped into the plane as the usual thrum and hum of the engine were replaced by the sound of wind and the occasional crackle from within our headphones.

At an altitude of 10,000 feet in the middle of the Island, Bob said, passengers would be able to see the Prudential Center in Boston. I was not so lucky, and ever-growing clouds prevented us from climbing that high.

As he turned the glider back toward Earth, Bob started having fun, dipping his wing, at one point, toward the ground at a 90° angle, eliciting a scream from me, before he jovially leveled off. Once the engine is cut, the plane is designed to flit around the sky before eventually landing; once the plane begins its descent, there is no stopping it. The only time he turns the engine back on is directly after touching down on the runway, to help slow the speeding plane to a stop.

With shaky legs, I emerged from the cockpit, bursting with adrenaline. Martha’s Vineyard from the air is beyond words, more beautiful than I could have imagined.

I crossed an item off my bucket list, and would recommend you do the same. Here’s a video of several clips, stitched together.

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Arthur Santry is bringing his Rhode Island/Washington entry Temptation/Oakcliff to try Edgartown Race Weekend for the first time since the early 1980s, when he sailed with his father in the ‘Round-the-Island Race. – Photo courtesy of PhotoBoat.com

The Edgartown Yacht Club race weekend looks more competitive than ever this year, with 20 boats new to the competition out of 48. A series of buoy races just off Edgartown Harbor is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, July 23 and 24, followed by a Round-the-Island Race on Saturday, July 25.

Edgartown Race Weekend provides competitive racing for boats 28 feet and longer in divisions for IRC, PHRF (Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker), and HPR. Specific classes for Double-Handed, One Design, and Classic yachts are added when at least three boats are entered for each discipline. Competitors have a choice of sailing just one session or the other, but the trend since 2012, when buoy racing first was added to the mix, has been participation over all three days.

For more information, contact raceadministrator@edgartownyc.org.

 

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1B Brian Campbell leads league with .400 batting average.

Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox in a game last month. – File Photo by Michael Cummo

The streaking Martha’s Vineyard Sharks have slowed down a bit in recent weeks, and now hold a 16-9 record. While still in first place, the Sharks lead has shrunk to just half a game over the North Shore Navigators.

On Monday night, the Sharks lost a tight game to the Brockton Rox 6-5. The Island boys started strong, with Brian Campbell knocking Jack Roberts home with an RBI single to give the Sharks an early lead. In the fifth inning, the Rox broke the game open with three quick runs. Second baseman Jack Roberts made an error, allowing Rox center fielder Billy Endris to score. Two batters later, Brockton left fielder knocked two teammates home with a single. Down 5-2, the Sharks continued to fight for a victory. Each team scored a run in the sixth, but the real comeback attempt came in the bottom of the eighth inning. Shortstop Guy Davidson, who went 2-3 with a walk on the night, hit a two-run home run to give the Sharks life. Unfortunately, that was where the comeback ended. Brockton closer Tommy Stoffel entered the game following the homer and shut the Sharks down. In 1⅔ innings of work, Stoffel struck out three Sharks batters and surrendered only one hit. First baseman Brian Campbell continued his strong season, though. Against Brockton he went 4-5, raising his batting average to a league-leading .400.

On Sunday, July 5, the Sharks defeated the Worcester Bravehearts 9-4. Ryan Kelly hit a two-RBI single in the bottom of the third, kickstarting a six-run assault. Donovan Casey hit a two-RBI single of his own two batters later, and first baseman Jon Mayer blasted a two-run home run. In the sixth inning, catcher Domenic De Renzo hit a three-run home run to cap the Sharks scoring on the night. Matthew Tulley picked up the win, giving up four runs and striking out seven in five innings of work.

Before the holiday, the Sharks picked up a win on Friday, July 3, defeating the Brockton Rox 6-1. Sharks pitcher Soren Hanson was outstanding, throwing 6⅔ innings and striking out nine. He gave up only four hits and two walks on the night, and lowered his season ERA to 4.15. Donovan Casey (two RBI) and Bobby San Martin (three RBI) each hit a home run, while Jack Roberts stole his fourth base of the season.

The Sharks next play at home on Thursday, July 9, when they take on the Seacoast Mavericks.

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At the newest stop on the African-American Heritage Trail, a chance to honor those slain in Charleston.

Jacqueline Hunt, former Martha’s Vineyard NAACP president requested a moment of reflection to honor those who had been slain in Charleston, S.C., the previous week. Photo by Michael Cummo

On Sunday, dozens of people gathered at the former home of Emma Chambers Maitland, at 113 Dukes County Avenue in Oak Bluffs, for the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Ms. Maitland’s new place on the African American Heritage Trail.

Ms. Maitland, who in her life was a singer, dancer, boxer, wrestler, and nurse, was a longtime resident of Oak Bluffs. Barney Zeitz created the plaque that commemorated her life and spirit.

After an introductory speech by Elaine Weintraub and several amusing anecdotes from Frank Chambers (Ms. Maitland’s nephew), Jacqueline Hunt, former Martha’s Vineyard NAACP president, who had known Emma as a girl, requested a moment of reflection to honor those who had been slain in Charleston, S.C., the previous week. Everyone in the crowd circled up and gripped hands as Ms. Hunt discussed the horror of the killing, and she also noted how lucky we are on Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate diversity.

Attendees included Oak Bluffs Selectman Kathy Burton, Barney Zeitz and family, and retired Oak Bluffs Police Chief Joe Carter and his family. The unveiling marks the 16th African American heritage site. For a full story on Emma Maitland, read the MVTimes story here: mvtimes.com/2015/06/24/welcome-to-the-trail-emma-maitland/.

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The Island’s collegiate baseball team won their first home game of the season on Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2.

The walk-up song for Sharks' outfielder Donovan Casey is "Rude Boy" by Rihanna, and everyone was all smiles when it was played Tuesday night. – Photo by Michael Cummo

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks season has officially begun, and it started with a bang. The team won four of its first five games in the last six days.

The Island’s collegiate baseball team played their first home game of the season last Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2. After trailing for the first half of the game, Ricky Surum knocked in the Sharks’ first run with an RBI single. Donovan Casey went 3-5 on the night, scoring a run and knocking one home. Pitcher Evan Roberts got the win.

Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox. – Photo by Michael Cummo
Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox. – Photo by Michael Cummo

Tuesday night, they defeated the Bristol Blues 8-0 in a shortened game at home. The encroaching fog allowed the teams to play five innings of baseball, and new pitcher Jeff Gelinas picked up the complete game shutout. He allowed only four hits and five strikeouts in his first Sharks start. Leadoff hitter Ryan Kelly sparked the offense immediately, hitting a single then scoring on a Blues error. Donovan Casey also knocked in Jack Roberts for the second run in the first inning. The Sharks never looked back, scoring an unearned run in the second inning and exploding for five runs in the fourth. Ricky Surum, the first batter up in the inning, was hit by a pitch. Then Surum stole second, eventually scoring on a Steven Foster double. Donovan Casey put the game away for good with a two RBI double immediately following a Blues pitching substitution.

The Sharks now sit tied for first with the Nashua Silver Knights at 4-1 in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s East Division. Martha’s Vineyard will travel to Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday to take on the Seacoast Mavericks.

Last Friday, the Sharks traveled to Brockton, where they lost to the Brockton Rox 8-2. The Sharks were hampered by the outstanding play of Rox pitcher Will Whitlock, who only gave up one hit in his four innings of work. Sharks pitcher Matthew Tulley, who picked up the loss, allowed three runs while striking out six.

The Sharks traveled to Worcester on Saturday and did not disappoint, defeating the Worcester Bravehearts 11-4. The Sharks played excellent team baseball, having every player record at least one hit. Standouts included outfielder Steven Foster, who stole two bases, and relief pitcher Mac Curran, who struck out all three batters he faced.

Following the Friday-night loss to the Brockton Rox, the Sharks reversed the script on Sunday night, and defeated the Rox 8-2 at the Shark Tank. The Sharks began the game with two unearned runs from a Brockton fielding error, with Brian Campbell and Donovan Casey scoring. Donovan Casey was involved again in the third inning, hitting a double and eventually scoring on a Chris Weiss single. The Sharks put the game away for good in the eighth inning. Leading 4-2, Steven Foster led off the inning with a walk. Ryan Kelly then hit a

Aubrey Ashmun, left, and Yannick Gonsalves threw out the first pitch before the Sharks game on Sunday night after each received a scholarship  from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.
Aubrey Ashmun, left, and Yannick Gonsalves threw out the first pitch before the Sharks game on Sunday night after each received a scholarship from the Sharks Charitable Foundation. – Photo by Michael Cummo

monster triple, scoring Foster. The very next batter, Jack Roberts, singled home Ryan Kelly to extend the lead to 6-2. Jack Roberts and Brian Campbell then scored unearned runs, giving the Sharks an unlosable lead. Pitcher Justin Garcia went six innings, giving up only one earned run while striking out five.

Before the start of the game, student athletes Aubrey Ashmun and Yannick Gonsalves, who will be playing

their respective sports in college, received $1,000 scholarships from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.

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The Island’s collegiate baseball team won their first home game of the season on Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2.

Soren Hanson pitched against the North Shore Navigators on opening day Thursday.

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks season has officially begun, and it started with a bang. The team won three games in four days.

The Island’s collegiate baseball team played their first home game of the season on Thursday, defeating the North Shore Navigators 5-2. After trailing for the first half of the game, Ricky Surum knocked in the Sharks’ first run with an RBI single. Donovan Casey went 3-5 on the night, scoring a run and knocking one home. Pitcher Evan Roberts got the win.

On Friday, the Sharks traveled to Brockton, where they lost to the Brockton Rox 8-2. The Sharks were hampered by the outstanding play of Rox pitcher Will Whitlock, who only gave up one hit in his four innings of work. Sharks pitcher Matthew Tulley, who picked up the loss, allowed three runs while striking out six.

The Sharks traveled to Worcester on Saturday and did not disappoint, defeating the Worcester Bravehearts 11-4. The Sharks played excellent team baseball, having every player record at least one hit. Standouts included outfielder Steven Foster, who stole two bases, and relief pitcher Mac Curran, who struck out all three batters he faced.

Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox.
Brian Campbell smacks a base hit into the outfield against the Brockton Rox.

Following the Friday night loss to the Brockton Rox, the Sharks reversed the script on Sunday night, and defeated the Rox 8-2 at the Shark Tank. The Sharks began the game with two unearned runs from a Brockton fielding error, with Brian Campbell and Donovan Casey scoring. Donovan Casey was involved again in the third inning, hitting a double and eventually scoring on a Chris Weiss single. The Sharks put the game away for good in the eighth inning. Leading 4-2, Steven Foster led off the inning with a walk. Ryan Kelly then hit a monster triple, scoring Foster. The very next batter, Jack Roberts, singled home Ryan Kelly to extend the lead to 6-2. Jack Roberts and Brian Campbell then scored unearned runs, giving the Sharks an unlosable lead. Pitcher Justin Garcia went six innings, giving up only one earned run while striking out five.

Aubrey Ashmun, left, and Yannick Gonsalves threw out the first pitch before the Sharks game on Sunday night after each received a scholarship  from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.
Aubrey Ashmun, left, and Yannick Gonsalves threw out the first pitch before the Sharks game on Sunday night after each received a scholarship
from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.

Before the start of the game, student athletes Aubrey Ashmun and Yannick Gonsalves, who will be playing their respective sports in college, received $1,000 scholarships from the Sharks Charitable Foundation.

The Sharks’ next home game is Tuesday, June 9, against the Bristol Blues.

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The team lost to Hanover 12-4 in the first round of playoff competition Monday.

Matt Davies gives his dad Doug a hug. – Photo by Michael Cummo

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys lacrosse team, which went into the playoffs following a stellar 11-7 season, lost to Hanover 12-4 in the first round of the MIAA South Sectional Division 3 playoffs Monday. It was the last game for 14 graduating seniors, who composed nearly half of the entire team, and the entire defense.

From left, front: Mike Mazza, Cooper Wilson, Austin Fournier, Liam Smith, Matt Davies, Oren Osnoss, Mike Morris. Back: Thomas O'Shaughnessy, Dan Costello, Gavin Fynbo, Spencer Schofield, David Mascias, Luke Makracken, Andrew Fournier.
From left, front: Mike Mazza, Cooper Wilson, Austin Fournier, Liam Smith, Matt Davies, Oren Osnoss, Mike Morris. Back: Thomas O’Shaughnessy, Dan Costello, Gavin Fynbo, Spencer Schofield, David Mascias, Luke Makracken, Andrew Fournier.

The boys played their last regular-season home game on Thursday against Dennis-Yarmouth. They were joined by their parents on field before the game, as part of senior day festivities.

Boys lacrosse coach Chris Green spoke briefly about the impact of the departing seniors before the boys presented flowers to their parents on the field. With their eyes seemingly already on the playoffs, the boys dropped their last regular-season game 6-4. Tom Irwin, Greg McCarron, Spencer Schofield, and Mike Morris each scored one goal in the loss.

Four days later, on Monday, the ninth-seeded Vineyarders traveled to play eighth seed Hanover. The Vineyard took time to settle into the game and find its rhythm. Hanover jumped on the opportunity, taking a 3-0 advantage into the second quarter.

Tom Irwin shoots (and scores) against Dennis-Yarmouth on senior day, May 28.
Tom Irwin shoots (and scores) against Dennis-Yarmouth on senior day, May 28.

The Vineyard played them even through the second, down 4-1 at halftime. Martha’s Vineyard looked to have gotten something going early in the second half after scoring a quick goal, but again Hanover answered, making it 6-3 after three quarters. As the fourth quarter wore on, Hanover were fielding more ground balls and winning more faceoffs, making it impossible for the Vineyard to chip away at the small lead. Eventually the game fell out of reach for the Island team, and they lost 12-4.

Mike Morris and Austin Chandler each scored one goal, while Jacob Gunderson scored two. Senior goalie Austin Fournier, one of the Vineyard’s best players the entire season, ended his lacrosse career on a high note, notching double-digit saves.

Captain Liam Smith kisses his mom Alison as dad Tom Smith looks on during a brief senior day ceremony on Thursday.
Captain Liam Smith kisses his mom Alison as dad Tom Smith looks on during a brief senior day ceremony on Thursday.

Instead of lamenting over the number of departing players, Assistant Coach Tom Keller said the team was lucky to have had so many seniors for the entire season.

“Having 14 seniors was amazing,” Coach Keller said. “This season was the first time in a long time where we were not physically overmatched. We had the size and strength that matched up well with other, larger teams.”

Despite the playoff loss, close observers agreed the boys lacrosse team had a successful season, and the Vineyard boys should hold their heads high.

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The seniors and their parents posed after throwing out the ceremonial first pitches. From left: Coach Gary Simmons, Henry Gallagher, Tina Miller, Steve Gallagher, Jack Slayton, Heather Slayton, John Roberts, Tim Roberts, Liz Roberts, Steve Mussell, Mike Mussell, and Robin Mussell. – Photo by Michael Cummo

On Friday, the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School baseball team faced a must-win game away against Triton in order to make the playoffs. The team won the game 2-1, behind a stellar pitching performance from senior Tim Roberts, and were rewarded with the ninth seed in the MIAA South Division 3 bracket.

On Saturday, the team will play eighth seed Norton. If they are victorious, the Vineyarders will then take on top-seed Fairhaven.

Three moms: From left, Liz Roberts, Tina Miller, and Heather Slayton. – Photo by Michael Cummo
Three moms: From left, Liz Roberts, Tina Miller, and Heather Slayton. – Photo by Michael Cummo

Last Thursday, the day before their must-win game against Triton, the boys celebrated senior day before taking on Bourne at home. A parent of each of the four soon-to-graduate seniors threw out a first pitch to his or her son. Even though a few of the ceremonial pitches went wide of their mark, smiles were ubiquitous.

The game against Bourne, however, provided little to smile about. Bourne jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings, and stretched the lead to 8-2 after four innings. Vineyard pitcher Jacob Cardoza was replaced by Aidan Aliberti, and the Vineyard offense remained quiet.

The last time the boys baseball team qualified for the playoffs was four years ago, when the now-seniors were freshman.

Speaking about his seniors, Coach Gary Simmons said, “They have been a huge part of the team. They have played a lot, in big roles, and helped get us to the playoffs.”

 

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Samuel Jurek of Somerville bested all runners Sunday with a finish time of 16.57.

More than 600 runners took part in the Oak Bluffs 5K on Sunday morning.

On a sunny, windy Sunday morning, more than 600 runners converged on Oak Bluffs for the 26th annual Oak Bluffs Memorial Day 5K Road Race.

Somerville’s Samuel Jurek was the fastest, He finished the course with a time of 16:57, maintaining an impressive mile pace of 5:28.

In first place, Samuel Jurek crosses the finish line.
In first place, Samuel Jurek crosses the finish line.

Dylan Lunch, 16, from East Taunton, finished second with a time of 17:33. Third place finisher Michael Schroeder from West Tisbury was the fastest Islander. Steve Imbraico and Ryan Sawyer of Edgartown finished 12th and 13th respectively.

The first woman across the finish line was Kaelin Goulet, of New York City, who finished 31st with a time of 20:50.

Unofficially, the fundraiser for Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard raised approximately $14,000.

The first woman to finish the race was Kaelin Goulet.
The first woman to finish the race was Kaelin Goulet.

Longtime race organizer Roger Wey said this year’s race was the second largest ever. Only the inaugural race attracted more runners, he said. The race course began at Ocean Park and took participants up and around East Chop before dropping down to the finish line in front of the Wesley Hotel overlooking Oak Bluffs harbor.

Prior to the 5K the kids got a chance to burn some energy in the 1 mile fun run. Spencer Fletcher of Concord came in first with a time of 6:35. Thomas Nencka, of Bristol, Rhode Island was second with a time of 6:40 and Sachs Sachs of Southboro was third with a time of 7:00. The first Island runner to finish was eight-year-old Will Baliunas from Edgartown, who finished in sixth place. Ben Imbraico of Edgartown (8th) and Everett Dorr of Vineyard Haven (10th) round out the top ten.

Sixteen-year-old Dylan Lynch finished second.
Sixteen-year-old Dylan Lynch finished second.

The top ten finishers in the 5k are as follows: 1. Samuel Jurek (16:57); 2. Dylan Lynch (17:33); 3. Michael Schroeder (18:05); 4. Kevin Gesell (18:15); 5. Manuel Chinchilla (18:17); 6. Ken Gartner (18:24); 7. Brian Bourque (18:35); 8. James Kirk (18:49); 9. Erik Surface (19:01); 10. Harrison Backer (19:05)

 

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By the second half, it was clear the game was about about a good time and basketball entertainment.

Miguel "Miles High" Millien slams down a monster dunk while warming up in front of the packed crowd. – Photo by Michael Cummo

Comedy came to court Friday night, but there was no dancing jester, just the Harlem Rockets, a comedic troupe of basketball entertainers. The team took over the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School gymnasium for a challenge match against the MV Jammers, a team of local basketball greats and not-so-greats, in a family-friendly game courtesy of the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club.

One young fan was not intimidated by the height advantage.
Jayden Coyle was not intimidated by the height advantage.

In front of a large, boisterous crowd, the Rockets put on quite a show.

Before the game started, James “Speedy” Williams brought 11-year-old Dylan Biggs onto the court to spin a basketball on his finger. That fan interaction set the tone for the rest of the evening.

The match started started with an entertaining bang. A Rockets player slammed a huge dunk home. In subsequent possessions, the Harlem players displayed a wide range of skills, throwing alley-oops to one another and dribbling around the Vineyard players, always with a huge smile. The Jammers, though, would not allow themselves to only be comedic fodder. They kept the game competitive, with assistant girls coach and former high school standout Asil Cash hitting several sweet threes and Tim Roberts, a senior, trying to jump through the roof.

James “Speedy” Williams sets a ball spinning for Dylan Biggs.
James “Speedy” Williams sets a ball spinning for Dylan Biggs.

With four minutes left in the first half, several Jammers players fell to the court with “injuries.” The Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls youth basketball team replaced them, facing off against a team nearly triple their size. Aiden Rogers hit two perfect three-pointers, much to the delight of Vineyard spectators. They did score, though, and actually cut into the lead.

The halftime show, and there was a show, included an interactive game where children and parents alike were called to center court. The only rule of the game was to catch the ball when it was passed. The trick, though, was that Speedy Williams was doing fancy dribble moves and fakes in the center of the circle, all the while throwing surprise passes. The crowd was wholeheartedly invested in this game, cheering and hollering when anyone missed an easy catch.

James “Speedy” Williams, of the Harlem Rockets, throws a behind the back pass during a halftime game of catch.
James “Speedy” Williams, of the Harlem Rockets, throws a behind the back pass during a halftime game of catch.

When the second half started, the Rockets decided the crowd support was worth an increase in points. So Mr. Williams stopped the game and demanded the Jammers get more points. But no one was there to see a close game. In fact, no one even cared about the score after halftime. The crowd was in the moment, laughing and cheering with both teams. When the game finally ended, the Harlem Rockets stayed to mingle with the crowd and to sign autographs, much to the delight of the kids in the audience. They swarmed the court immediately after the game, shooting hoops and having a great time.

A true family event, this game was enjoyed by parents and kids alike. The Harlem Rockets are welcome back to Martha’s Vineyard anytime.

The crowd cheers after a huge Harlem Rockets dunk.
The crowd cheers after a huge Harlem Rockets dunk.