A sense of community broke out

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Since there is no point in looking at a half-empty glass, know that we have a variety of positives to take from the soul-shriveling beatdown your Vineyarders absorbed from Nantucket in the 40th Island Cup game on Saturday.

First, Donald Herman knows his team. He promised a better showing than the 48-6 loss in 2018, and his lads delivered, getting to the end zone twice more than last year. To summarize the game succinctly: Their sweep runs were more successful than ours.

Second, the jittery young Vineyarders who took the field on Saturday against a senior-heavy Whaler squad will be the senior-heavy squad next year. And we learned what a special person resides in sophomore player Antone Moreis. On Saturday, Moreis became a leader, playing hard until the final whistle — and succeeding — on both sides of the ball. Moreis scored all the Vineyarders’ points, and accounted for 213 of the Purple’s 342 yards from run, pass, and kick/punt returns. 

And to our absolute delight, in the JV game, junior lineman Brendon Pires launched a perfect walk-off 30-yard field goal with 00s on the scoreboard to give the Purple a 3-0 victory, the stuff of legends.

And the first-ever flag football games between third/fourth grade and fifth/sixth grade squads from Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard happened in the morning, complete with mini-Island Cups. 

To mix a metaphor, the whale soared in both contests, but as the indefatigable Vineyard flagball “commissioner” Chris Roberts noted, the Whalers have experienced flag travel teams, while the nascent Purple program began recently under Jessie Damroth at the Island Boys and Girls Club. 

Now, the reason this pigskin-palooza is important is that it gave kids and parents from both islands a chance to intermingle, to know each other, over the course of a six-hour football day, which even included some “Whale-gating” by Nantucket’s Constanzo, Sullivan, and Pearson families.

And that could lead to more mellow expectations for fan and player behavior.

Finally, there is the delight of the kids themselves. We were talking with young Vineyarder flag quarterback Isaiah Geddis to get his name, when to our surprise, a line of his teammates formed, waiting to give their names to the newspaper guy. One kid doubled back later to make sure the laughing reporter had it right.

As promised, here are the names volunteered by some of the Purple’s formidable flag gridders: Isaiah Geddis, Rocco Blandini, D.J. Silvia, Ian Nunes, Ayden Nairn, and Liam O’Donnell.

Gotta love it.