Martha's Vineyard Sports Highlights
Last week the Tisbury Tigers handed the Edgartown Eagles their first loss of the volleyball season winning three of the five games at the Tisbury gym and West Tisbury, with home court advantage, took three of four from Oak Bluffs. Season-ending standings were (1) Edgartown, 5-1; (2) West Tisbury, 4-2; (3) Tisbury, 3-3; (4) Oak Bluffs, 0-6.
The playoffs began Monday. Tisbury visited West Tisbury and came away with a 3-2 win. Edgartown hosted Oak Bluffs and won by the same 3-2 margin.
The finals, Edgartown versus Tisbury, will be played on Friday in Edgartown.
Vineyard swimmers sample Olympic methods
Think about the amazing underwater images of Michael Phelps, Dara Torres and the world's best swimmers as we watched the Olympics on television this summer. Remember how the TV announcers were able to analyze the swimmer's strokes and show us how very subtle differences led to winning margins of mere hundredths of a second. Recall the beauty, power and efficiency of these world champions, and you can sense the excitement and awe that the Mansion House Masters swimmers experienced as they brought the NEM Video and Coaching crew to Martha's Vineyard to film and analyze their strokes.
The Mansion House Masters, our island's masters swimming group, took this bold and humbling step so that they, like the Olympians, could discover what they needed to do to improve their strokes and learn to swim at their ultimate best. Nine Vineyard swimmers, women and men ranging in age from 30 to 65 years old, participated. A swimmer from off-Island who learned of the clinic when she checked into the hotel was welcomed to join the session in typical Vineyard fashion. The swimmers spent five hours early on a recent Sunday morning being filmed, getting general pointers, and receiving personalized critiques of their strokes. In a few weeks, each swimmer will receive a DVD of their strokes along with a lengthy, written critique describing what needs improvement and what each can do to correct their specific problems.
As the in-pool session came to its end, parents and children coming to the Mansion House for a casual Sunday morning swim sat along the side of the pool listening to the swimming coaches give their advice. One father was heard to say "now I know what to tell my son while we're swimming today." Another told the team that he was very impressed that this level of training had come to Martha's Vineyard. He also commented that the swimmers and their commitment to self-improvement provided a great role model for his daughter and all of the Vineyard children.
The effort was supported by the Mansion House, which reserved several hours of pool time for the filming, provided a room for the humbling analysis session, and gave the team members coffee and muffins to buoy their sometimes bruised egos. The session was a great success, and everyone involved enjoyed the opportunity to learn.
When you next go to the Mansion House pool you will probably see someone in the water concentrating on keeping their "hips up, heads down, elbows high, or streamlining themselves to look like an arrow." They will also be glancing at their watch to see if they were just a fraction of a second faster on each lap.
The first test of the new and improved Vineyard Masters swim team will be at Boston University, December 10-12 at the New England Short Course Meet.
Winner in the 10 and under division at the fifth annual Martha's Vineyard Skate Board Park Association competition at the Park, Saturday, was Miles Jordi. Second place honors went to Mike O'Brien and Mercer Kelly. Third were Jade Correll and Alex Nague.
At win, place and show in the 11-15 division were (1) Eric McElhinney; (2) Wesley Groover and Zion Morris; and (3) Bo Hurwitz and Daniel Henderson.
Travis Myers was judged to be tops in the 16 and up division, followed by (2) Richie Medeiros and Ben Luckey; (3) Steve Correll; and (4) John Gault.
Recently discharged from the U.S. Army after eight years, where he was first a student, then a teacher of hand-to-hand combat, Jeff Nader, now an Air Traffic Controller at the Martha's Vineyard Airport, competes in Mixed Martial Arts tournaments. As an amateur he compiled a record of 11 wins, 5 losses. (He lost five of his first six fights against more experienced fighters. Since then he won 10 fights in a row.)
Jeff had his first professional fight Saturday at Plymouth in Plymouth Memorial Hall. He told The Martha's Vineyard Times, " My opponent was less experienced but bigger. He had to come down to my weight class (light heavyweight, 205 pounds.) He had previously fought as a heavyweight at 225 pounds. Still, he probably weighed 20 pounds more than I do. Less weight proved an advantage as I was lighter and quicker and able to slip his punches. I ducked a jab and shot him low and took him down to the ground and started punches in bunches. I connected with a solid straight left and the referee stopped the fight."
Jeff won by a TKO in one minute, 21 seconds of the first round. His next scheduled fight will be back at Plymouth on January 17.
Jeff writes, "I look at the fights as a chance to showcase some of Martha's Vineyard's talent including my coaches and teammates."
Jeff trains with Rodrigo Zanon in Jiu Jitsu, boxing and kick boxing. As many as a dozen athletes train with him at the Vineyard Fitness Center in Edgartown.
Martha's Vineyard Youth Hockey
Last Saturday in a Neponset Valley League game the Martha's Vineyard Bantams beat Barnstable, 3-1, on goals by Shay Hill, Thomas Wilkins, and Kyle Francis.
Sunday, Nantucket sent some high school players to challenge the Martha's Vineyard Bantams and went home with two wins in their pockets, 7-0 in the first game, 4-2 in the second.
Also Sunday, the Martha's Vineyard Squirts acquitted themselves well against Barnstable. Justin Alexander had multiple breakaways. Brahmin Thurber was strong on defense. Saige Araujo was outstanding.
The Martha's Vineyard PeeWee Cape & Island team lost to a strong Canal team in State Playdown games, Saturday and Sunday.
Previously, the Martha's Vineyard Cape & Island Squirts team lost double-headers to Y/D, Saturday, and Nantucket, Sunday.Soccer on the road
Martha's Vineyard Youth Soccer
The Martha's Vineyard Youth Soccer competitive travel soccer program will choose players for the Under 10 and Under 11 Spring teams at the Boys & Girls Club, Edgartown, on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 2 pm. Players should bring shoes and clothing for indoor and outdoor play.
For more information, call Matt Poole at 508-645-3139 or Esteban Aranzabe at 774-521-9445.
Volleyball finals in sight
The Tisbury varsity volleyball team defeated West Tisbury on the Hawks court, Monday, three games to two and will face Edgartown in the finals, Friday, at Edgartown.
The Eagles outlasted Oak Bluffs by the same 3-2 margin.
The interscholastic basketball season won't begin until December, but teams will begin the selection process and practice next week.
The Herb Putnam Memorial "Mulligan" scramble at Farm Neck, Saturday, Nov. 8, will start at 9 am, shotgun, not 12 noon as indicated on the tournament application. (Rain date is Sunday, Nov. 9.)
The tournament will benefit the Herb Putnam scholarship fund at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School. Registrations close at noon Friday, Nov. 7. For information, call John Ledden at 508-627-4333.
Deadline for registering for Martha's Vineyard Youth Basketball for third through eighth graders is Monday, Nov. 10. Youngsters may register online at mvhoop.com. Call 693-5341 with questions.
The Martha's Vineyard Adult Hockey League offers play in Men's Beez, Seniors, Women's, Intermediate co-ed and Novice. Call Beth Blankenship-O'Connor, 774-521-9878 to learn more. Check Arena's website www.mvarena.com for schedule and times.