Oh, those growing pains

Purple drop second OT game, fall to Sharon, 15-7.

Ty Mathew tries to shake a Sharon tackle. — Ralph Stewart

Oh boy.

Feels like it’s head-check time for the Vineyarder gridders after a 15-7 overtime loss last Friday night to a winless (0-3) Sharon High School team. The Purple fell to 0-4 as Sharon (1-3) collected its first win of the season.

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) team passed the gut check test two weeks ago against Salem High School in an overtime war in the trenches loss in which they fought to a game-long draw against a physically dominant team, falling short by a two-point conversion in OT.

“There’s no quit in them, but the mental mistakes are killing us. I was feeling good before the [Sharon] game because this was the best practice week we’ve had, but it didn’t carry over to the game,” longtime Coach Donald Herman said on Saturday.

With six games remaining, including the Island Cup at Nantucket (currently 2-2), now would be a good time for the light bulb to go on for this lovable but frustrating young Vineyarder squad.

“The problem is offense. Now sometimes we are going to be mismatched physically, I get that. And we’re young. I get that. But we have two touchdowns in four games, and we were discombobulated and confused on Friday night,” Herman said.

“Examples: pre-snap penalties. We didn’t line up properly. Three defensive offsides. We have to be aware the opponent is going to try to draw you offside. We’re young, there are going to be mental mistakes, but not to this degree. Coaching has to do better. That’s on us. What’s on the kids is to take what we teach and use it in a game,” he said on Saturday.

From a statistical perspective, life was somewhat better.The disparity between offensive plays, which approached 2 to 1 in favor of a couple opponents, was a lot better. Stats indicate Sharon ran 45 plays from scrimmage, and the Vineyarders ran 38. 

The biggest game stat came from Sharon sophomore running back Gabe Korn, who ran for 150 yards and two TDs on 25 carries, consistently beating Vineyarder containment on outside sweeps.

The Vineyarders, led by Ty Mathew (41 yards), Jayden Coyle (39 yards), and Hiaggo Goncalves (15 yards), ran for more than a hundred yards. The passing game netted only 21 yards, but Atlas Zack had six completions with no picks.

The defensive leaders have been consistent all season, with Harper Hearn (seven tackles), Kaleb Hatt and Gabe Brito (six), and Alec Calverley (five) leading the way. Christian Turner had four stops, and emerging defender Kaio Pereira, T.J. Lett, Jayden Coyle, and Luke Baldwin all had three stops. Andrew Purdy had two drops, and Miguel Barillo had a tackle. 

Says here the light bulb will go on. The Purple face two winless opponents, Nauset (away game beginning at 5:15 on Friday) and Cathedral, before facing Nantucket, followed by winless-to-date Bristol-Plymouth RVT at home, an open date, and finishing the season at David Prouty (currently 3-2) in Spencer. 

For those of you who are raising or have raised teenagers, it’s that feeling parents get: Good kids, talented, and you have to be patient til that light bulb shines.


  1. I always enjoy Jack Shea’s sports columns, a dedicated informed sports reporter , calls it like he sees it, gets both sides of the story and gives credit when it’s due. Nice job Jack, go get’em boys , Coach I feel a win coming soon !


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here