Whalers harpoon Vineyard hopes
As fate would have it, the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School field hockey team drew none other than the Nantucket Whalers in the first round of the MIAA Division Two South tournament.
With no Island Cup football to be played this year and a fall sports regular season void of the inter-island rivalry for the first time since the late 1950s, it was left to coach Lisa Knight's squad to carry the Vineyard mantle.
They traveled by boat, by bus, and boat again, weathered choppy seas, and performed admirably on Nantucket Friday afternoon against the fifth-seeded Whalers.
The 12th-seeded Vineyarders had the lion's share of possession, shots, corners, and long hits, but the Whalers made the most of their opportunities and gutted out a hard-fought 2-1 victory in a game that bristled with intensity.
The winning goal was a strange one, with Hailie Ciamataro scoring off of a Morgan Tornovish free-hit 6:30 into the second half. The ball seemed to skip off a foot or leg in the crease and shot up high in the twine.
The Vineyarders pressed on for the next 20 minutes, earning a number of corners, but just couldn't find a finishing touch. The Whaler defense did a good job of limiting quality chances in front of goal, often forcing the Vineyard forwards to attack from the sides.
The M.V.'s two best attempts came when Katie Hines whistled a shot past the Whaler goalie wide right and Kate Cecilio forced her way into the crease, poking the ball past a waiting Hines and the right post.
M.V started the game brightly, but Nantucket scored on their first shot, against the run of play, when Kelly Reid swatted a shot through a mass of legs in the crease, to put the Whalers up 1-0 at the four-minute mark.
Nantucket took the momentum and enjoyed their most consistent stretch of the half for the next ten minutes, but the Vineyarders were poised and mounted counterattacks of their own, resulting in two long hits.
Kate Cecilio made the second one count, fighting through goalmouth traffic and slotting in the tying goal with 12 minutes left in the half.
M.V. held the edge in play to the break, but a second goal would not come.
The Vineyarders finished their campaign at 8-5-4, while the Whalers improved to 14-2-2.
Coach Knight praised her team's performance, which was solid, if a little rough around the edges, Understandable, considering the players had but two brief practices prior to the game, due to the rash of flu-related illnesses hitting the school.
With so many players giving solid, dogged efforts, Kate Cecilio, Hayley Pierce, and Taylor Perrotta were particularly strong for M.V.
Eight Islanders competed in the first Middle School Cross Country Championships over a 1.68-mile course at Devens, Saturday.
Silas Berlin of West Tisbury won the 6th-grade race in 10.25. Nate D'Angelo was 17th.
Jeremy Alley Tarter finished fifth in the 8th-grade race. Thorpe Karabees was 50th.
The West Tisbury girls team placed 18th of 22 teams.
Bob Ogden is the coach.
Also Saturday, at Wrenthem, Islanders competed in the 34th annual MSCTA Cross Country Invitational.
Running in the Boys 5K Sophomore Division 2, freshman Michael Schroeder was 23rd, freshman Kyle Joba-Woodruff 33rd and sophomore Max Miner was 91st of 216 entered.
In the sophomore girls race, Shivonne Schofield finished 23rd and Shelby Ferry was 72nd of 132 runners.
Of 226 freshmen, Josh Markovitz was 42nd, Ryan Sawyer 124th, and Andrew Hakala 158th.
Michael Kendall was 106th and Craig Kingsbury 246th out of the 318 runners in the Junior-Senior boys race.
Julia Sadowski was 67th and Hallie D'Angelo 89th of the 259 in the girls Junior-Senior race.
Dana Gaines sent this photograph of Grace, the Vineyard gig, finishing its toilsome way at the "brutally rough" annual Head-of-the-Weir Regatta at Hull, with winds gusting to 35 knots, Saturday, October 31. Dana writes, "I and all of the other single scullers had to abort at the half-way point as we never would have stayed upright in those conditions. Only 20 of the 49 starters reached the finish, most of those were the big traditional wooden boats."
The Vineyard varsity football team improved its season record to 5-3 with a 13-7 win over Bishop Stang at North Dartmouth, Friday. The EAC League win was the more satisfying as many members of the team had come down with the flu and practices were cancelled the previous week.
Martha's Vineyard did all of its scoring in the second quarter: two touchdowns with the ball in the hands of Josh Baker, first on an 11-yard pass from Randall Jette, then on a nine-yard run. Dhonathan Lemos kicked the extra point after the first TD.
MV quarterback Randall Jette had previously demonstrated his remarkable skill at carrying the ball, dodging would-be tacklers, using a straight arm, bouncing off defenders, and rushing for as much as 247 yards in a single game. Saturday his passing skills were on display. He gained 116 yards through the air and less than half of that on the ground. He spread the ball around to a half-dozen teammates throwing to Baker, T.J. Van Gerven, L. Moreis, Delmont Araujo, and Mike deBettencourt.
The Spartans scored on their first possession of the second half, on a quarterback sneak from the two yard line climaxing an 11-play, 55-yard drive, despite fumbling the ball twice (and recovering twice) and being penalized 10 yards for holding.
This Saturday's game at Hanover is with South Shore Vocational Technical High School, which has a 2-7 record having defeated Diman Voke of New Bedford, 22-20, and Charlestown H.S., 32-6. They have lost games to North Shore Vocational, 34-6, Hull, 37-0, Hanover, 32-12, Cape Cod Tech, 14-0, Bristol Plymouth 41-6, Blue Hills, 12-0, and Bishop Connelly, 38-20.
The Vineyarders finish their season at home with Brighton H.S., Saturday, November 21, at 1 pm.
Jr. High's finish up
The MV Junior High football team finished its season with a 40-0 trouncing of Providence Country Day at Providence, Saturday. Tyler Paulson scored the first TD, returning a punt and followed that by rushing for a two-point conversion. Joseph Turney scored the second touchdown on a 50-yard jaunt. Paulson scored two more touchdowns and two more rushing conversions. The final score was by Wayman Harrison. Tony Breth added the final two-point conversion.
The M.V. Ospreys, an Island women's ice hockey team, played its first games of the season in a double header with the Hurricanes of Cape Cod, Sunday at the M.V. Arena.
The Ospreys won the first game handily, shutting out the 'Canes, 6-0. The second game ended in a 2-2 tie.
The Ospreys attack is headed by team co-captain Pavla Rego and includes Sheila Rose, Melanie Dickson, Tara Topley Simmons, and Chrissy McCarthy. Goaltending duties are shared by Dardy Slavin and Theresa Temple shielded by defenders Karin Welch, Prudy Fisher, and Kara Shemeth. Guest player Justine Shemeth De-Oliveira took the ice in the first game. Dardy Slavin left the cage to play wing in the second. Co-captain Angie Grant was sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Gene Townes is the team coach.
The Ospreys look forward to playing the Hurricanes again, this time on the Cape.
New members are sought. All levels are welcome.
VTC Turkey Open tennis tourney
The Vineyard Tennis Center, Workout and Spa will host its 14th annual Turkey Open the weekend of November 13-15. Mixed doubles draws will be available at every level of play. Open to the public, the entry fee is $50. All proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
The first Gay Head Renegade, a 13.1-mile race beginning Sunday at 10:30 am at Sunset Avenue will be followed by a BYOB Chowdah and Chili party. $10 registration is for charity. Call Pat Parker with questions: 508-901-0850.
The annual Turkey Trot 5K will be Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 26, at 8:30 am. $10 registration is for heating for elders. Roger Wey is major domo: 508-693-4509.
Registration for the winter season of basketball in the RCBL (Recreational Community Basketball League) are proceeding apace and five teams are fairly well established: including the Bulls, the Heat, the Lakers, and a new team, the Suns. There will be a sixth team, as yet unnamed, according to RCBL Commissioner Pete Lambos.
The 12-game season, with playoffs, is scheduled to begin on Monday, Nov. 30. All teams will play once a week on Monday or Wednesday evening. Men 18 years or older interested in playing in the RCBL should get in touch with Pete Lambos at the Boys &Girls Club: 598-627-3303
The Martha's Vineyard Figure Skating Club will host the 2009 Vineyard Open figure skating competition at the M.V. Arena on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 11 am to 2 pm. This will be the first time in ten years a figure skating competition will be held on the Vineyard. Admission is free. Skaters from throughout the commonwealth are expected to compete.
The Flag Football semi-finals will be played at the B & G Club on Saturday.
At 9 am the top-seeded Cowboys are home to the 4th place Seahawks.
At 10 am the second-place Jets tackle the third-place Colts.
Game three pits the fifth-place Bears against the sixth-place Patriots.
The Flag Football finals are Sunday. Winners of game one versus the winners of game two.
Rec leagues organize
Also at the B&G, Recreational Leagues for boys and girls will begin November 30. Fifth- and sixth-grade boys will practice Tuesday or Wednesday and play games on Friday. Girls will practice Monday or Tuesday with games on Thursday. Register ($40) at the Boys & Girls Club or online at www.mvbgclub.org/basketball.
First- and second-grade boys and girls Biddy Ball season, with Saturday games, begins December 5. Registration is $20. All participants must be members of the MVB&G Club.
Third- and fourth-grade league begins play on February 8. Registration fee is $40 and all must be dues-paying members of the B&G Club.
Turner at Croquet Nationals
Jim Turner of West Tisbury, the Vineyard's champion Croquet player, is competing in the National Croquet Championships at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, near Palm Springs, California.
Jim writes that there are 61 players entered in the tournament, 30 of whom are Championship flight and 15 of those have negative handicaps. Suffice to say it is a gathering of the superstars of croquet.
With his doubles partner, Chris Mondt of the San Francisco Croquet Club, Jim is undefeated in the early going. He writes, "Sunday morning was devoted to doubles play. Chris and I are one of the top-seeded teams and so had two pretty easy games, winning both handily. In the afternoon, I had one singles match against a good 7 handicap player and won, 18-9."
Having gone 3 for 3 the first day, Jim and his partner were 2 for 3 the next as competition stiffened.
The M.V. Croquet Club, Jim's neighbors in West Tisbury, and all Islanders are rooting for Jim to bring home the gold.
In MV Youth Hockey action Friday, the Vineyard Junior Highs shut out the Ashland Junior Highs, 5-0, at Raynham in a Neponset Valley League contest.
Saturday, at the Kennedy Arena, Hyannis, the MV Squirts overwhelmed the Barnstable Avalanche, 7-1. Josh Forend had a hat trick. Tristan Araujo scored twice. Colin Buckley and Jackson Mahaffey also scored. Assisting were Jackson Mahaffey, Jack Murray, Josh Forend, Tristan Araujo, JJ Mendez and Shay Sullivan. Zach Fullin was in goal.
At the MV Arena, Saturday, the MV C&I Jr. High team tied Hetland (New Bedford) in the first of a double-header, 3-3.
Hetland squeezed out a win in the twin bill, 6-5.
Caleb Hallet impressed mightily in goal. Emily Hammett and Oliver Lane were also strong on defense. Jack Slayton scored twice in the second game as did Nick Kent and Brian Fraser. Andrew Wiley hustled and Callie Jackson played a strong physical game.
At the Moore Arena in Orleans, the MV PeeWee B team skated by Lower Cape, 7-2.
Sunday, at Foxboro, the MV Midgets tied Tri-County, 2-2.
At Raynham, the MVYH PeeWee State team trounced North Attleboro PeeWee State, 9-2.