Authors Posts by Michael Cummo

Michael Cummo

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Bryce Nelson and Steven Brown try to push the puck in during a scramble in front of the Nantucket net.

In a Saturday afternoon match against their island rivals at MV Arena, the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys varsity hockey team unleashed its offensive firepower and defeated the Nantucket Whalers by a score of 9-1.

Senior captain Austin Morley slides a near post shot past the Nantucket goalie for the first goal of the game.
Senior captain Austin Morley slides a near post shot past the Nantucket goalie for the first goal of the game.

The first period began with a bang when senior captain Austin Morley’s near post shot slid past the Nantucket goalie after only 3 minutes into the game. Martha’s Vineyard skated well and kept possession for the majority of the first period, limiting Nantucket to very few offensive opportunities. With 4 minutes remaining in the first, the Vineyard dialed up the pressure. Off three consecutive face-offs, Emerson Mahoney, Joe Davies and Nainoa Cooperrider all had shots on the Nantucket net.

Emerson Mahoney doubled the Vineyard’s lead only 3 minutes into the second half following a slick pass from Austin Morley. The Vineyarders continued to pressure the Whalers and with 2:49 left in the second period, Jonas Lukowitz received the puck at the blue line, skated through the Nantucket defense and slotted the puck into the corner of the net for a beautiful unassisted goal, increasing the home team’s lead to 3-0.

Emerson Mahoney skates towards the Nantucket goal.
Emerson Mahoney skates towards the Nantucket goal.

Just 72 seconds later, Nantucket got one back after Vineyard goalie Nick Kent’s save ricocheted into the path of a Whaler.

With a score of 3-1 entering the third and final period, Nantucket increased the pressure. After just 30 seconds, Martha’s Vineyard goalie Nick Kent was forced into making a double save that kept his team’s two goal lead intact and changed the momentum of the game.

The Vineyard responded to the saves with tremendous gusto, scoring six goals in the final 14 minutes of the game.

A scramble in front of the net allowed Tristan Araujo to find an open Emerson Mahoney, and he would not be denied, scoring his second goal, and increasing the Vineyard lead to 4-1. The Vineyarders next goal came 150 seconds later when Greg McCarron slotted a goal through a pile of skaters that had fallen in front of the Nantucket goal.

During the celebration, Vineyard forward Steven Brown and a Nantucket defender had words for each other but were quickly separated by an official. Following that incident, the remainder of the hockey game was scrappy. The refs called several penalties and the players had several tangles, none escalating further than a shove and a shout.

With 11:29 left in the third period, Barry Macdonald’s goal put the Vineyard up 6-1. To the delight of the supporting student section, Nantucket’s goalie was replaced with their backup to a cacophony of cheers rising from the stands.

The prettiest goal of the game was unquestionably Tristan Araujo’s that put the Vineyard up 7-1. The sophomore defenseman received the puck at Nantucket’s blue line, fought off pressure from two Nantucket defenders and slid the puck through the legs of Nantucket’s goalie, making it look effortless.

Tristan Araujo races past a Nantucket defender on his way to putting the puck in the back of the net.
Tristan Araujo races past a Nantucket defender on his way to putting the puck in the back of the net.

Freshman forward Jacob Gundersen scored with 4:22 left in the game. The final nail in the Whalers coffin was hammered in by junior forward Jeremey Mercier with 77 seconds left to play.

The Vineyarders will look to continue this dominant performance when they take on Coyle & Cassidy at 5 pm, Wednesday at MV Arena.

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Senior captain Austin Morley celebrates after he scored the first goal of the game.

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys varsity hockey team fought an exciting, competitive game against Bishop Feehan Saturday night that ended in a 3-3 tie at the MV Ice Arena. Senior captain Austin Morley netted his first ever hat-trick. But for a last minute goal by the Shamrocks, the Vineyarders would have picked up the victory.

In front of a group of dedicated fans that chose hockey over the Patriots playoff game, the boys came out fighting. With just 7 minutes gone in the first, Austin Morley released a snapshot from the high slot that slipped past the Feehan goalie, putting Martha’s Vineyard up 1-0. Some solid defense kept the Shamrocks out of the net, most notably from defenseman Nick Vukota, who was solid throughout.

Defenseman Nick Vukota skates away from Bishop Feehan pressure.
Defenseman Nick Vukota skates away from Bishop Feehan pressure.

One minute and seven seconds into the second period, Austin Morley scored his second goal of the game, putting the Vineyard up 2-0. But that lead was short lived when Feehan’s Jack Hanson scored three minutes later, making the score 2-1. After the first Feehan goal, the boys in purple began pressuring Bishop Feehan higher on the ice.

The forwards, notably Nainoa Cooperrider, kept pressuring the puck in Feehan’s third, converting turnovers into shots on goal. Several times in the second period Cooperrider was able to knock the puck from a Shamrock defender and get a shot off, only to have it turned away each time. Junior forward Emerson Mahoney was able to break away for a one-on-one against Bishop Feehan’s goalie, but his shot went wide of net, eliciting a groan from the fans in the stands.

In the third period, the Vineyard came out skating a bit slow. Feehan’s Kyle Brown leveled the score at 2 after a defensive error saw Brown unmarked in front of the net. He was able to receive a pass and slot it into the Vineyard goal with little difficulty. But the Vineyarders responded, not content with a tie. Vineyard ice man Jonas Lukowitz had a great shot saved after a one-timer pass from Emerson Mahoney. The Vineyard’s Steven Brown also had a shot denied after a great spell of possession.

Forward Joe Davies tries to slide through two Feehan players.
Forward Joe Davies tries to slide through two Feehan players.

With 9 minutes left in the game, Martha’s Vineyard really began to turn up the pressure. Emerson Mahoney outskated everyone, leaving him alone with the Shamrocks goalie, but he was unable to convert the breakaway. Seconds later, a Bishop Feehan turnover created a one-on-one opportunity with Joe Davies, but the forward shot wide of the Feehan net. This pressure caused problems for the Shamrock defense, and after several minutes the Feehan defense could be heard shouting curses of frustration.

With 6:02 left in the game Emerson Mahoney once again led a Vineyard charge, this time faking a shot before passing to Austin Morley, who would not be denied, giving Martha’s Vineyard a 3-2 lead. The home crowd would only enjoy that lead for 75 seconds, though.

Bishop Feehan’s Kyle Brown tied the game 3-3. With Feehan gaining momentum, defender Matt Davies became a brick wall, not allowing the Shamrocks to cross half-ice, knocking down any passes meant for their forwards.

Despite the tie the Vineyarders play is much improved from earlier in the season. The boys have taken several tough losses this year, but after this performance everyone’s spirits should be up. Martha’s Vineyard skated well, passed extraordinarily and improved on their recent defensive lapses.

Sophomore Nainoa Cooperrider attempts to get a shot off after falling to his knees in front of the Feehan goal.
Sophomore Nainoa Cooperrider attempts to get a shot off after falling to his knees in front of the Feehan goal.

The 3-3-2 Vineyarders take on an undefeated Somerset-Berkeley on Wednesday in Fall River.

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Sarah Thomas clears the puck away from the Vineyard goal.

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School JV girls hockey team lost to a strong-skating Sandwich team, 8-0, Saturday afternoon at the Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena. The Vineyarders faced a scoring onslaught in the first period that ended with the Blue Knights up by 5 goals.

Amber Cappelli tries unsuccessfully to poke the puck into the Sandwich net.
Amber Cappelli tries unsuccessfully to poke the puck into the Sandwich net.

The girls tightened up their defense in the second and third periods, but could not put the puck in the net. In front of a boisterous crowd, the girls continued to push up-ice trying to score a goal without success.

Vineyard goalie Jaime Joseph did her best to protect the net, and blocked several close-range shots, but could not keep every puck out of the net.

The Vineyard girls hit the third period strong and made several shots on net, but failed to score. Amber Cappelli had a breakaway run and shot, but it was blocked by the Sandwich goalie. Shannon O’Connor and Caroline Roddy also had several strong moves and shots turned away.

Despite the lopsided score, the junior varsity girls had many moments when they looked strong. The next game is Thursday, Jan. 8, in Brookline at Larz Anderson Park.

JV Vineyard goalie Jaime Joseph gets big to protect the net.
JV Vineyard goalie Jaime Joseph gets big to protect the net.

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Participants in the Polar Plunge enjoy a dry moment before charging into the water.
It was a mad dash into Nantucket Sound.
It was a mad dash into Nantucket Sound.

On New Year’s day, a hardy group of more than a dozen men, women and young people dove into the icy waters of Nantucket Sound off State Beach in Oak Bluffs. It was not an example of mass insanity but was the fourth annual Woodland Polar Plunge, and it was all for a good cause.

The event, organized by Rob Baker, owner of the Woodland Grill in Vineyard Haven, raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Family and friends sponsor each participant. Last year, the group raised just under $400 and this year the Plunge raised more than $800 for the charity that helps returning soldiers recover from their wounds.

It was no swim for the faint hearted.
It was no swim for the faint hearted.

Most of those who ran down the beach sprinted into the surf and sped right back out into the warm embrace of towels. Only a few participants stayed in the water for longer than 20 seconds.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that this year’s plunge raised almost $500. In fact, the swim raised more than $800.

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The Trustees of Reservations host their own version of a Chappy sleigh ride.

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The Trustees of Reservations hosted a Chappaquiddick Sleigh Ride last weekend during Edgartown in Christmas. Running twice a day, the personalized tours began at the Mytoi Gardens with hot chocolate, tea, and holiday cookies. As someone who has never been to Chappy, I decided to go — this would be a great way to see the Island. Once we finished our cookies, we were ushered by Trustees staff into a pickup truck, or “sleigh,” which was decorated with Christmas baubles and garlands.

Trustees educator Molly Peach was on hand to point out Chappaquiddick highlights, including the nests ospreys had built on poles placed for them. Any time a member of the tour had a question, Molly was quick with an answer. The ride was extremely pleasant, especially when the heavy blankets were passed around.

Once the sleighs reached Cape Poge Lighthouse, there was a quick tour, which included the history of the lighthouse, which has been moved four separate times, and which was originally located 200 yards offshore. Who knew? Although no snowy owls made an appearance, the tour was a fun way to see a beautiful, remote part of the Island.

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Leo Neville lays one up against Barnstable. —Photo by Michael Cummo
Andrew Marchand reacts to what he thought was a made three-point shot while Ramon Dossantos, left, boxes out for a rebound. —Photo by Michael Cummo
Andrew Marchand reacts to what he thought was a made three-point shot while Ramon Dossantos, left, boxes out for a rebound. —Photo by Michael Cummo

The sixth-grade boys travel basketball team put up quite a fight Saturday afternoon inside the Oak Bluffs School gym. In back-to-back games, they first defeated South Plymouth, 58–30, before falling to Barnstable, 41–34.

Against South Plymouth, Leo Neville scored 12 points. Ramon Dossantos and Kamel Timmons both scored eight, while Michael Trusty and Aiden Rogers added seven. Apart from offense, the Vineyarders worked together to shut down South Plymouth’s offense. Marcellus Rubio, Andrew Marchand, Isaac Richards, and Keaton Aliberti were among the top defenders in the game.

In the second game, despite a disappointing outcome, Aiden Rogers had another impressive, scoring 12 points and shooting 2-3 from three-point range. The Vineyard played impressive defense throughout, including several tricky half-court traps, forcing several costly turnovers. Keaton Aliberti and Isaac Richards were again stellar on defense, with Michael Trusty and Marcellus Rubio also playing a big part. The Vineyard cut it to a one-possession game with just under two minutes to go, but ultimately could not prevent defeat.

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Keila Vecchia-Zeitz was the only player on the girls soccer team named to the Eastern Athletic Conference all star team. —Photo by Michael Cummo

The Eastern Athletic Conference has chosen 20 Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School athletes as all-stars for the recently completed fall season. Athletes from the football, soccer, cross-country, field hockey and golf teams were selected.

Boys soccer has the most representatives, with five — Brandon Dwane, Alex GordonBeck, Elie Jordi, Ben Poole, and Jason Lages. The girls soccer team had one all-star, Kaela Vecchia-Zeitz.

Four football players were recognized — David Macias, Jacob Cardoza, Ben Clark, and Mike Mussell.

The golf team, which had a successful season, had two players named — Chris Mayhew and Finn Simpkins.

The cross-country team and field hockey team each had four all-stars — Julia Nevill, Patrick Best, Aivaras Gedvilas, and Pearl Vercruysse in cross-country and Aubrey Ashmun, Olivia Odgen, Julia Bettencourt, and Belle Dinning in field hockey.

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A home on Martha’s Vineyard is the prize for HGTV’s 2015 Dream Home Giveaway, the TV station announced earlier this week. In the program’s 19-year history, this is the first time a home on Martha’s Vineyard has been selected.

The home, which is in Edgartown, is only part of the total prize package; other gifts include a 2015 GMC Acadia Denali and $250,000 provided by mortgage lender Quicken Loans. Retailer Ethan Allen partnered with HGTV to furnish the lofty new home, which was designed by architect Patrick Ahearn in original Cape Cod style.

On Wednesday, nearly a dozen bloggers took to the home to tweet, snap, and capture anything within the home. The bloggers, whose projects included writing about home decor, sewing, and do-it-yourself projects, were given a tour by HGTV Professional Home Planner Jack Thomasson and HGTV Dream Home designer Linda Woodrum.

The entry period for the giveaway runs from December 29, 2014 through February 17, 2015, and participants can enter once per day at hgtv.com. The Giveaway Special premieres on January 1, 2015, at 9 pm on HGTV.

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Vineyard forward Jason Lages outpaces the defense. —Photo by Michael Cummo

The Martha’s Vineyard boys soccer team kept up their blistering season with a 3-0 victory over Falmouth on Monday afternoon. Alex GordonBeck scored in the third minute of the game and minutes later Jason Lages added a second tally. The boys looked composed throughout the first half, putting a half dozen shots either on target or very close.

The second half was more of the same. Lages scored his 29th goal of the season to make it 3-0, breaking the previous record of 28 goals in one season held by Lucas Brewer.

Goal scorer Alex GordonBeck works his way through traffic. —Photo by Michael Cummo
Goal scorer Alex GordonBeck works his way through traffic. —Photo by Michael Cummo

Defensive captain Ben Poole, who hit the crossbar from a freekick in the first half, was a defensive stalwart at the back, not letting Falmouth capitalize on any chances. Goalkeepers Matt Stone and Joao Gonsalves combined for the clean sheet.

At 13-1-2, the varsity soccer team is now ranked as the 17th best team in the state, according to an October 19 Boston Globe poll.

Their game scheduled for Tuesday, October 21, at Bishop Stang was postponed and rescheduled for Monday, October 27, and the game scheduled for Wednesday, October 22, against Dennis Yarmouth was also postponed, to October 29 at home at 3 pm.

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Running back Isaac Higgins leaps over a Berkley Somerset defender. —Photo by Michael Cummo
Captains Liam Smith, Mike Mussell, and David Macias hold hands before the coin toss during the last home football game of the season. —Photo by Michael Cummo
Captains Liam Smith, Mike Mussell, and David Macias hold hands before the coin toss during the last home football game of the season. —Photo by Michael Cummo

The Martha’s Vineyard varsity football team dropped its last home game of the season to Somerset Berkley by a score of 44-18 on Friday, October 17. With the loss the team falls to 1-5 on the season and 0-3 in conference play.

It was homecoming night and the Vineyarders looked up for the challenge against Somerset Berkley, which came in undefeated. With a roaring student section, the Vineyarders jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead, thanks to a 30-yard pass from quarterback Mike Mussell to Jacob Cardoza. It was a great start for a struggling Martha’s Vineyard team, but it would not last. Somerset responded with five unanswered touchdowns and eventually cruised to victory.

A raucous Island crowd lent its support to the hometown team. —Photo by Michael Cummo
A raucous Island crowd lent its support to the hometown team. —Photo by Michael Cummo

The Vineyarders had opportunities to narrow the score. A 60-yard touchdown run was called back on a penalty, and Martha’s Vineyard struggled to get going again. To their credit, the Islanders never gave up. Ben Clark scored on a 10-yard run in the second half and James Sashin caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Mussell. Defensively, Austin Chandler made 19 tackles in a huge performance for the Vineyarders.

The Vineyard’s next game is at 1 pm on Saturday at Coyle & Cassidy High School.