Seekonk trims Vineyarders

Herman rebuilds in his 40th coaching season.

Jayden Coyle, shown here during last year's abbreviated season in April, carried the Vineyard offense Friday with 152 all-purpose yards. — Ralph Stewart

The Vineyarder varsity footballers opened the fall 2021 season with a 27-6 loss to the Seekonk High School Warriors on Friday night at Seekonk.

Seekonk had TDs in each of the four quarters on big-play drives ending in short (5- to 10-yard) runs. The Purple scored in the fourth quarter on an 80-yard kickoff return by Jayden Coyle, who had 152 all-purpose yards that comprised virtually all of the Vineyarder offense.

Coach Don Herman knew he faced a significant rebuild this fall after losing offensive stars including Antone Moreis (transfer), Zach Smith, Braden Sayles, two-way line star Brian Torres, David Butkowski, and Hunter Meader to graduation. The first three named are playing college ball, the first time MVRHS has sent three players from one class to the next level. Meader is spending a postgrad year playing hockey at Bridgton Academy, a prestigious showcase Maine school for top high school athletes.

“A rebuild? Yeah, for sure,” Herman said Monday as he began his 40th coaching season. “We also lost Owen Amodio, a senior out for the season with injury. We have one senior on the offensive line now,” he said.

“Seekonk is a good team, and their kids played seven-on-seven football this summer, which our kids chose not to do,” he said.

Herman isn’t panicking, and sees the cup as half-full, sort of. “We have 42 kids, most we’ve had in a while, and may have some JV games. On Friday, we had opportunities to make plays, but weren’t able to do it. We gave up too many big plays, and missed opportunities to get off the field on three and out. But we’re moving on,” he said. 

The Vineyarder road doesn’t get easier this week. The Purple travel to Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical High School on Friday for a 6 pm kickoff. “They’re a big program, more than 100 kids. We know them as a Mayflower League opponent, and played them close a few years ago,” Herman said.