Authors Posts by Michael Cummo

Michael Cummo

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The first home football matchup of the season found the Vineyard overmatched.

Sophomore Ennis Foster runs past a Bishop Feehan defender. –Photo by Michael Cummo.

The first home football game of the Martha’s Vineyard season ended Monday afternoon with a disappointing 22-0 defeat at the hands of a strong Bishop Feehan squad. Despite the defeat, the Junior Varsity boys made a solid defensive showing.

Freshman Zach Moreis makes a tackle behind the line of scrimmage.
Freshman Zach Moreis makes a tackle behind the line of scrimmage.

With only 20 boys in uniform to Bishop Feehan’s 41, the Vineyarders faced an uphill battle. They started strong, though, and the MV defense had a “bend but not break” attitude, giving up some yardage but eventually making a fourth-down stand and getting the ball back.

With 2:50 left in the first quarter, MV muffed a fourth-down punt attempt and fell on the football at their own 9-yard line, giving the Shamrocks great field position. Freshman Curtis Fournier had something to say about that, though. On fourth down, he batted down a Bishop Feehan pass at the line of scrimmage, causing the Vineyard bench to erupt.

Quarterback Sam Bresnik scrambles away from pressure, looking to throw it downfield.
Quarterback Sam Bresnik scrambles away from pressure, looking to throw it downfield.

It was a brief surge. The Vineyarder offense stalled, and at halftime the boys were down 6-0 after a touchdown and failed conversion early in the second quarter. During the opening drive of the second half, MV quarterback Sam Bresnik had a nice nine-yard run, but it could not save the drive. The Vineyard offense was focused on executing option plays, most of which were runs. But the Shamrocks defense stacked the box, making it hard to find running room.

With six minutes left of the third quarter, Bishop Feehan scored again on a screen pass, and after the two-point conversion left the Vineyarders trailing 14-0.

Linebacker Elijah LaRue sacks the opposing quarterback for a loss.
Linebacker Elijah LaRue sacks the opposing quarterback for a loss.

Freshman Zach Moreis had a good day on the ground, putting together several solid running plays. But that was not enough to make up for costly turnovers. With 3:20 left in the third quarter, a fourth-down punt was again muffed, and even though Martha’s Vineyard fell on the loose ball, a turnover on downs gave Bishop Feehan field position in the red zone. After a seven-yard TD run, MV was down 22-0 with just over a quarter remaining.

The boys did not give up, though. Their defense put together a solid effort culminating in a turnover; linebacker Wilson Redfield tipped a Feehan pass behind the line of scrimmage, falling on the loose ball, eliciting a raucous cheer from the fans and the bench alike.

To their credit, the junior varsity team never conceded the football game. They played hard, and made Bishop Feehan work to score. The next home game is 6 pm Friday, when the boys varsity team takes on Bishop Strang.

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Vineyard forward Olivia Smith pokes the ball past the onrushing Whitinsville Christian goalkeeper for the first goal of the game.

The Martha’s Vineyard girls varsity soccer team came away with only a point after drawing with Whitinsville Christian at home 1-1. Olivia Smith put the Vineyarders ahead just after halftime, but Whitinsville tied it 10 minutes later.

Courtney Howell marks a Whitinsville Christian player during a 1-1 draw.
Courtney Howell marks a Whitinsville Christian player during a 1-1 draw.

The game’s first half was unremarkable, with each team doing just enough to keep the opposition out of the goal. Martha’s Vineyard came out of halftime strong, with determination and poise. Three minutes into the second half, the Vineyarders broke on a counter, and Emily DeBettencourt gave a lead pass to Olivia Smith, who curled a quick shot past the onrushing Whitinsville Christian goalkeeper. The ball trickled into the back of the net after the quick tap, and Olivia Smith smiled from the ground, after being knocked there during the goal.

Junior Molly Houghton dribbles toward goal.
Junior Molly Houghton dribbles toward goal.

Minutes later the Vineyard defense had a momentary lapse. The defense let in a near-post shot that might have been prevented with a quick defensive rotation. But the girls quickly recovered, and played well the rest of the game.

For most of open play, Whitinsville Christian controlled possession. The Vineyarders did a good job at breaking with pace when it was turned over, but overall they failed to mount any coordinated attacks. The defense was solid, though, shutting down most of the opposing offense and limiting the number of shots on target.

As the clock ticked down, the Martha’s Vineyard girls seemed to run out of steam, and for the final five minutes they were fighting to keep the draw. The girls’ next chance at a victory is on Thursday, Sept. 25, when the Vineyarders travel to Coyle and Cassidy High School, located in Taunton, for a 4 pm game.

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Jason Lages, who netted a hat trick, dribbles through traffic against Bishop Feehan High School. —Photo by Michael Cummo
Silas Berlin wins a challenge. —Photo by Michael Cummo
Silas Berlin wins a challenge. —Photo by Michael Cummo

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys varsity team came out swinging against Bishop Feehan High School, and did not stop until the final whistle. Led by star Jason Lages, who notched five goals, the Vineyarders defeated Bishop Feehan 8-0.

Within the first four minutes, Jason Lages put one in the back of the net off an assist from Yannick Gonsalves. With quick passing, decisive movements, and the ability to push forward, Martha’s Vineyard dominated, and led 4-0 at the half. Brandon Dwane had a goal and two assists, and Nevin Wallis had one goal and one assist, all before halftime.

A composed Vineyard team emerged from halftime with the same spark, scoring a goal four minutes from restart. Jason Lages scored his third goal at the 50th minute, using fancy football to dribble past the Bishop Feehan keeper and slot it home. Gordon Moore added another to round off the decisive victory, bringing the Vineyarders to 3-1-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Keeper Joao Gonsalves earned his first clean sheet of the year.

The boys’ next match is at Somerset Berkley Regional High School on Thursday at 4 pm.

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Ginger Howell of Gloucester finished first among all athletes competing in the Vineyard Triathlon.

Ginger Howell of Gloucester, the overall winner, crushed the competition in the Vineyard 70.3 Triathlon on Sunday. Ginger finished the swimming, biking and running in 4:52:43, a full five minutes and fifteen seconds before the first place finisher in the men’s division, Wayne Nichols from St. Croix, who finished with a time of 4:57:58 to take second place overall.

Todd Cleland of Oak Bluffs was third with a time of 5:30:04.

The triathlon began at 6:30 AM and included an open water swim, followed by a 56 mile bike route around the Island, and ended with a 13.04 mile run through and around Oak Bluffs. A total of 74 athletes participated, some individually and others in teams of three.

Racers could also elect to race with a team in a relay format. Team Holmes Holers, comprised of Islanders Gary Maynard, Hudson Maynard and Lee Greathouse, was the winning relay team with a time of 4:46:28. Swimmers could also elect to participate only in an open water race; Leslie Craven, from Vineyard Haven, was the fastest overall swimmer with a time of 33:33.

Results:

Female winners: 1, Ginger Howell 4:52:43; 2, Kathleen Wanat 5:24:49; 3, Alexis Ball 6:04:36; Male winners: 1, Wayne Nichols 4:57:58; 2, Todd Cleland 5:30:04; 3, Charlie Iselin 5:45:50; Relay Team: Homes Holers, Gary Maynard, Hudson Maynard, Lee Greathouse 4:46:28; Female Open Water swimming: Leslie Craven 33:33; Male Open Water swimming: Mike Hagadorn 33:42.

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Veronika and Hannah Buckley. Photo by Ralph Stewart.

A total of 66 paddlers and five dogs raced off State Beach and through Sengekontacket Pond in the 23rd annual Oar & Paddle Regatta, hosted by Island Spirit Kayak. The 2.4-mile race course began at Little Bridge and followed the beach up Nantucket Sound to Big Bridge, to the pond side and back to Little Bridge. The race, which raised $1,593.70, was a benefit for Friends of Sengekontacket, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Sengekontacket Pond and its barrier beaches.

Winner Dana Gaines crossing the finish line.
Winner Dana Gaines crossing the finish line. Photo by Ralph Stewart.

Winner Dana Gaines beat out the field with an impressive time of 21:58, a full 4 minutes and 40 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher Justin Deary. Jessie Holtham took first place among women, edging out Jennifer Brotsky for first place.

The Oar & Paddle Regatta also recognized winners in other categories, including best plastic kayak time, won by Percy Burt, and best kayak pairs. Michelle and Jeff Knepper were the fastest among all doubles. In the pets category, Bridget Dunnigan and Roger Williams, with pups Mullet and Hogan, crossed the finish line first, while in the singles pet category Wendy Reagan and dog Nike took home the prize.

One of the unique things about this race is the amount of talent and creativity displayed, said organizer and Island Spirit Kayak owner Chick Stapleton. Many racers competed in handmade kayaks, including a cedar-strip kayak crafted by Randy Durbin. Others made their own oars or their own attachments for their pets.

Results:

Oar-Paddle_Delia-Passos.jpg
Delia Passos heads for the front of th starting pack.

Plastic Kayak Male: Percy Burt 27:11; Plastic Kayak Female: Anna Morin  35:38; 1st Kayak Double: Michelle & Jeff Knepper 37:28; Kayak Double f/f: Skylar & Lindsey Wagner 44:18; Kayak Triple: Matthew Parker, Ben Parker & Collin Stapleton 42:17; Kayak single w/lap child: Veronika & Hannah Buckley 52:33; First Child: Micah Deary 46:18; Senior Male (over 80): Herb Foster w/Joan Dunayer; Senior Female (over 70): Diane Dimitri 45:23; Double Kayak w/ Multiple Dogs: Bridget Dunnigan & Roger Williams, Dogs: Mullet & Hogan; Single Kayak w/Dog: Wendy Reagan, Dog: Nike 45:47; 1st Place: Stand Up Paddle Board: Delia Passos 49:06.

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Zak Danz tees off at the third hole at Farm Neck Golf Club.

The Martha’s Vineyard Region High School fall sports schedule kicked off Tuesday afternoon when the golfers took on Somerset Berkley Regional High School at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs. The Vineyarders posted the lowest combined score to win by eight shots, 259 to 267.

Chris Mayhew reacts after missing a short putt.
Chris Mayhew reacts after missing a short putt.

The Vineyard team of eight golfers split into four pairs and each pair played against an opposing pair from Somerset.

Grant Santos is pumped after sinking a putt.
Grant Santos is pumped after sinking a putt.

Although the matches were played in extremely hot and humid conditions, the Vineyard team looks stellar, with each golfer shooting below 50: Finn Simpkins led the pack with a score of 36; Kaitlyn Marchand shot 42; Zak Danz shot 44; Mason Jeffers shot 45; Ben deBettencourt and Chris Mayhew shot  46; and Jack Reagan rounded out the group with a respectable 49.

Jack Reagan sends one up the fairway on the second hole.
Jack Reagan sends one up the fairway on the second hole.

A good first match by any standards, the Martha’s Vineyard golf team looks to be on the winning path this season after a memorable finish last year. when the team qualified for the state tournament and won the MIAA Division 3 South Section (Cape and Islands) championship. Despite losing both their captains to graduation, the Vineyarders are off to a hot start.

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Edgartown 5K winner Charlie Burckmyer crosses the finish line with a thumbs up and a time of 20:02.00. — Michael Cummo

A total of 63 runners participated in the second annual Edgartown library 5K and Pennywise Path walk on an overcast Labor Day.

Ryan Oosting, 13, runs down the final stretch during the 2nd annual Edgartown Library 5K race. Ryan finished eighth overall and was the first person to finish under the age of 18.
Ryan Oosting, 13, runs down the final stretch during the 2nd annual Edgartown Library 5K race. Ryan finished eighth overall and was the first person to finish under the age of 18.

Boston resident Charlie Burckmyer placed first, running the 5,000 meter race in 20:02.00. Ryan Sawyer of Edgartown, 19, placed second, only 10 seconds behind Mr. Burckmyer, and Reann Steenkamp of Vineyard Haven rounded out the top three.

The 3.1-mile race is a trail run, which means much of the race is conducted on skinny paths rather than pavement. Many runners, including third place finisher Reann Steenkamp, found the track enjoyable. “It’s fun to do something different,” Mr. Steenkamp said.

Referring to the Pennywise path and trail that make up the first two thirds of the course, he said, “Having something to look at while running is great.”

The final stretch of the race followed along bike paths towards the Edgartown school, where the finish line overlooked the library construction site.

Theresa Temple smiles as she approaches the Edgartown school ahead of two runners.
Theresa Temple smiles as she approaches the Edgartown school ahead of two runners.

Last year’s race was found to be a bit short, so this year the course snaked through the Edgartown school parking lot before reaching the finish line. To curb any confusion, race volunteers were placed at each turn of the new course, pointing runners in the right direction.

The top 10 included three kids under 14: Ryan Oosting, 13, placed eighth with an impressive time of 24:55.00 while Catherine Cherry, 12, and Liam Kelso, 12, finished ninth and tenth.

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Nicole Cancellare hits a rocket up the middle for the Snaps. — Photo by Michael Cummo

In two games of intense softball, the Mama’s Girls came out victorious, defeating the reigning champion Snaps 8-5 to claim the 2014 women’s softball title.

Snaps pitcher Susan Stephenson pitched in relief in both games.
Snaps pitcher Susan Stephenson pitched in relief in both games.

The Mama’s, previously undefeated in the playoffs, hosted the Snaps who had one loss. Because the tournament structure is double elimination, the Snaps had to win two games in a row to claim the title.

With a four  presidential helicopter flyovers kicking off game one, the Snaps started out hot and stayed that way. Snaps infielder Lauren Merry knocked in Crystal Roy with an RBI single for the first run of the game, and the Snaps poured it on from there. The Snaps led 3-1 going into the fifth inning but exploded for six runs, making the score 9-1. Back to back RBIs for Ryan Gold and Crystal Roy kickstarted the rally, and pitcher Chrissy McCarthy contributed to her own cause with a 2 RBI double.

With a patient approach at the plate, the Snaps continued to dominate, going into the bottom of the seventh inning with a 14-1 advantage. The Mama’s fought back, though, and strung together a four-run rally culminating in pitcher Jillian Sedlier’s two-run home run. But it was not enough as the Mama’s fell in game one, 14-5.

Mamas infielder Jamie Forend attempts to tag a Snaps baserunner but is moments too late.
Mamas infielder Jamie Forend attempts to tag a Snaps baserunner but is moments too late.

The second and decisive game was played under the lights, mere minutes after the first ended. The pitchers remained the same, Chrissy McCarthy for the Snaps and Jillian Sedlier for the Mama’s, but this time the Mama’s came out swinging. Down 1-0 after a first inning RBI single for Ryan Gold, the Mama’s took their first lead of the night after a Jillian Sedlier RBI sac fly and a bases loaded RBI for Caroline Davey, making it 2-1 Mama’s. They would not look back after that.

An RBI single from Lauren Williston extended the lead in the second inning to 3-1. The top half of the third showed tremendous defense by the Mama’s, particularly shortstop Danielle Pappas, who made an inning-ending diving catch to keep the lead intact. Snaps pitcher Chrissy McCarthy ran into trouble in the bottom of the third, when she initially struck out the first two batters, but then walked the next five, which scored two runs and put the lead at 5-1, Mama’s. Susan Stephenson came on in relief for the second game in a row and immediately ended the inning with a strikeout.

Danielle Pappas kept another run off the board in the top of the fourth, diving and snagging a hard ground ball to keep it in the infield. In the bottom of the inning, Caroline Davey extended the Mama’s lead with a booming bases-loaded double, clearing the bases and extending the lead to 8-1.

The Mama's celebrate winning the league championship.
The Mamas celebrate winning the league championship.

The Snaps had opportunities to fight back but could not bring baserunners home. In the fifth they left two baserunners on and in the sixth they stranded three, missing the most of good opportunities to fight back. The Snaps did show some punch, but it was too little too late. In the bottom of the seventh, pitcher Chrissy McCarthy hit a monster double, scoring two. Moments later, a Mama’s throwing error led to another run. Two more were tacked on with a double, but ultimately Mama’s pitcher Jillian Sedlier was able to pitch through it and end the game, 8-5, breaking the Snaps championship streak and giving the title to the Mama’s Girls.

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Peter Filosa threw out the first pitch at the Martha's Vineyard Sharks game on Friday night. — Photo by Michael Cummo

The Friday night game between the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks and Brockton Rox was preceded by a special pregame ceremony, thanks to Peter Filosa, a 32-year-old Medford resident with special needs who loves the game of baseball. In 2003, he fulfilled a lifelong dream by delivering a first pitch in Fenway Park, and since that special day he has been traveling throughout New England throwing out ceremonial pitches. Now he can cross off the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks from his list.

Starting pitcher Soren Hanson in mid windup during the second inning.
Starting pitcher Soren Hanson in mid windup during the second inning.

The second-place Sharks hosted the first-place Rox in what could become a crucial game come playoff time. The Sharks began the game in lights-out fashion, leading 2-0 after the first inning. Centerfielder Ryan Kelly hit a leadoff double and third baseman Will Toffey hit a home run to drive them both in.

Sharks starting pitcher Soren Hanson pitched very well, striking out seven in 5⅔ innings. His only mistake came in the second inning when he gave up a two-run homer to Rox designated hitter Cale Giddings, leveling the score at 2-2. Hanson was replaced by Mike Fitzgerald after giving up a second walk.

The Sharks took the lead again in the bottom of the sixth after rightfielder John Testani stole third and scored after a throwing error by Rox catcher Joe Freiday. The next batter, Ryan Kelly, hit an RBI single to score Sharks shortstop Brendan Cox, making it 4-2 Sharks.

In the top of the eighth Fitzgerald gave up a two-run double, leveling the score again, this time at 4-4.

Martha's Vineyard Sharks outfielder Rich Baerga hits a ground ball.
Martha’s Vineyard Sharks outfielder Rich Baerga hits a ground ball.

The score stayed knotted until the bottom of the 11th, when Rox reliever Brendan King walked Sharks shortstop Brandon Cox with the bases loaded, allowing Matt Lavanchy to walk in the winning run.

Sharks reliever Scott Stonestreet got the win, striking out five batters in the last three innings, keeping his ERA at 0.00. The Sharks are back at home again on Saturday, August 2, when they take on the Torrington Titans at 7 pm at the Shark Tank.

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Jamie Forend takes a mighty cut during the first inning. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Six weeks into the 10-week season, the Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Softball League is in full swing. One day after the Creamers won a rescheduled game in 10 innings, they fell behind early against Mama’s Girls and lost, 8-4. With the sun setting over Veterans Park in Vineyard Haven, “Play Ball” was announced at 6 pm to high temperatures. But that did not affect the energy and enthusiasm of both teams.

Creamers pitcher Terry Arias lofts one into the strike zone during the first inning.
Creamers pitcher Terry Arias lofts one into the strike zone during the first inning.

Pitcher Terry Arias got off to a rocky start, allowing several early runs and giving up several crucial rallies. Mama’s Girls pitcher Jillian Sedlier fared better, getting off to a hot start before giving up four runs in the fourth inning.

The Creamers are sponsored by Mocha Mott’s.

Errors ran rampant in the game, with Creamers shortstop Kaley Kiss bobbling two grounders, which extended the inning. The Mama’s capitalized, loading the bases and knocking in three. On two occasions, the Creamers overthrew their target and the ball sailed out of play, allowing Mama’s to take an extra base.

Kaley Kiss drives the ball into the outfield, kickstarting the Creamer's rally.
Kaley Kiss drives the ball into the outfield, kickstarting the Creamer’s rally.
Creamers third baseman Alleyne Hughes prepares to field a hot grounder.
Creamers third baseman Alleyne Hughes prepares to field a hot grounder.
Jillian Sedlier pitches for the Mama's Girls.
Jillian Sedlier pitches for the Mama’s Girls.