Mariners win league championship

Wingers Victoria Dowling, left, and Devyn Darcy, right, lead the team down the gangway with the championship banner in hand. — Rich Saltzberg

The Martha’s Vineyard 10 and under youth hockey team, the Mariners, took the South Coast Hockey League championship Sunday on a sudden-death overtime goal by Rory Carestia. 

The game was played at Boss Arena in South Kingston, R.I., against the Newport Whalers. The final score was 3-2. The Mariners went into the playoffs as sixth-seed underdogs.

Sunday afternoon the team came off the ferry Martha’s Vineyard in Vineyard Haven to a lights-and-sirens salute from Vineyard EMS, fire, and police vehicles. The team proudly carried their victory banner down the gangway, and were met by cheering fans and parents. 

“What a gift as a coach to be able to watch these kids grow individually and as a team to such great heights,” Coach Paul Galligan said. “They never gave up on themselves or their teammates, and it showed. That alone is a huge win for us all. Perseverance proved to be invaluable, and this team is proof that anything is possible. Huge thanks to the amazing coaches and parents for their dedication.” 

“We started off the season losing our first 13 games straight,” Coach Ted Rosbeck said. “These kids really worked hard, and their improvement was incredible.” Rosbeck said he was part of a “collective” of four coaches that also included Daryl Owens and Myles Thurlow, and he came away from the season with a lesson from the kids that outweighed the coaching he’d given them.

“They taught me a lot more about not giving up,” he said.