Gustavo Silva is chased Mike Dexter and Kyp Cooperrider. Photos by Ralph Stewart
The very popular Friends of Vineyard Soccer program, aka M.V. Youth Soccer, meets at the West Tisbury School fields on Saturday mornings. Learning and playing, 365 youngsters are divided between mini-kickers (kindergarden), Under 8s (lst and 2nd grades), under 10s (3rd & 4th) and, this year for the first time, a six-team boys school league and a four-team girls school league for kids in 5th through 8th grades.
The aforementioned leagues are associated with the schools by name, and as much as possible, by membership. But they are not part of the schools' athletic programs.
After three weeks of boys league play the Oak Bluffs (Reuben) and Charter school teams are unbeaten at 3-0, followed by Up Island (Dwane) 2-1, Oak Bluffs (Moore) 0-2-1, Up-Island (Poole) 0-2-1, and Edgartown 0-3.
Edgartown leads the girls league at 3-0. Oak Bluffs/Tisbury is 2-1, Up-Island is 1-2, and Charter is 0-3.
The chain tells the news. MV fails to make the first down, and Warriors rejoice.
A rude awakening
Dreams of an undefeated season, a Mayflower League title, and a Super Bowl invitation were rudely interrupted Friday evening on Dan McCarthy Field when the Warriors of Blue Hills took advantage of Vineyard miscues to walk off with an 8-6 win
The Warriors running game impressed, even with their best rusher, Jerry Nelson, operating at less than full throttle. He had sat out last week's game with West Bridgewater and limped off the field Friday after being tackled by Bubba Brown on the sixth play of the game. It was Nelson's fourth carry,
The first Vineyard error was the most costly as it led to Blue Hills's only touchdown. M.V. had stopped the Warriors on the 43, but immediately gave the ball back when Eric Dolliver fumbled. Runs by Ryan Mello and Jose Santiago moved the line of scrimmage to the Islanders' 7-yard line. From there, Tim Leear carried into the end zone. Leear also added a two-point conversion.
It had taken Blue Hills 16 plays, all running plays, to go 70 yards for the score.
Then it was the Vineyard's turn. They survived a mistake when Josh Paulson fumbled the kickoff as Nick Gross covered the loose ball. Blue Hills contributed 15 yards with a personal foul. Nine rushing plays moved the ball to the Blue Hills two. From there Paulson scored on the first play of the second quarter. The try for a two-point conversion to knot the score failed.
That was the end of the scoring. B.H. 8, M.V. 6.
Suffice to say, the field was wet, the temperature was uncomfortably chilly, at least for the spectators, and the gusty cross-field wind complicated the passing game, more of a problem for the Vineyard than Blue Hills.
It seemed clear that the Islanders had more weapons than did their opponents, but the weather, the loss of center Christian Flanders at the end of the first quarter, and a number of avoidable errors combined to level the playing field, made it anyone's game, and Blue Hills got the nod.
Bob Bubba Brown had quite a night. He made a slew of tackles, blocked a punt and was elected Homecoming King by the student body to reign at the Homecoming Dance with his cousin, Amanda Brown, who was chosen Queen.
The Vineyard's next game is 1 pm, Saturday, at CapeTech.
Hayley Pierce (1) and Jane Alexander (5) join in celebrating a score. Number 6 is sophomore Olivia Gross.
Field Hockey fortunes
The MVRHS varsity field hockey came that close to tying a stronger Note Dame Academy team out of Hingham, Saturday. Close, but no cigar.
The Academy girls were clearly in charge of the game, possessing the ball and playing most of the first half in front of M.V. goalie Lauren Petkus, whose blocks and kicks kept the Vineyard in the game and Notre Dame off the board for 27 minutes. With 12:22 to go until the break the Academitions found the net to take a 1-0 lead.
Goalie Lauren Petkus kicks the ball away from her net.
The Islanders rallied in the second half and challenged their visitors until, with two minutes and 18 seconds left in the game, Jane Alexander converted a pass from Hayley Pierce in a dusty cloud all but hiding the ND goal to tie the score.
The Vineyarders had hardly finished celebrating when Notre Dame scored again, retaking the lead and winning the game.
It was something like a victory for the Islanders. They had lost to Notre Dame, 5-1, at Hingham, just two days before.
Monday the girls topped Wareham, 2-1. Senior captain Jane Alexander put M.V. on the board with her fifth goal of the year in the first half. The Vineyarders dominated play, taking eight shots on goal to the Vikings' one in the first half, eight to four in the second.
Wareham evened the count early in the second half but five minutes later, Lauren Petkus provided the winning tally, improving the team record to 5-6-4.
With three games left on the schedule, M.V. needs two more points to qualify for post-season play. They could get them Wednesday with a win at Nantucket.