The football team plays its first home game of the season tonight at 6:30 p.m. against Old Rochester. Their next home game will not be until the end of the month.
On Saturday, the cross country teams host the sixth annual Vineyard Invitational meet, featuring 13 teams and over 420 athletes. The first races will be at 11 a.m.
Also on Saturday, boys’ soccer plays visiting Dennis-Yarmouth at 12:30 p.m.
The football team takes on Old Rochester tonight in what head coach Donald Herman says is “traditionally a very close game.” In previous years, the winning team (last season, it was the Vineyard) has landed the victory by just one touchdown.
Several players are sidelined with injuries, including juniors Aaron Lowe and Kyle Stobie, and senior Stuart Hersh. Lowe is expected to return to play within a week.
Senior Alec Tattersall takes on full-time duties as quarterback this season, after seeing a great deal of playing time last season. Senior Mike Cutrer starts at center, while senior Andrew Freitas takes on offensive and defensive tackle, and senior Doug Andrade plays left back and fullback. Senior Nick Costello returns to running back and safety from an injury that sidelined him for much of last year.
Several new squads await the Vineyard this year, including Cardinal Spellman (whom the Vineyarders will play for homecoming), Randolph, and Bristol Plymouth, a former Mayflower League foe whom the team has not seen since 2008.
Eastern Athletic Conference opponent Somerset looks to be a formidable match, with 27 seniors on its roster (about the size of the entire Vineyard varsity, noted Coach Herman). Somerset is the preseason pick to win the league, the coach said, “but that’s preseason — what matters is what happens at the end of the season.”
Eight seniors graduated from last year’s girls’ varsity team, leaving “a lot of shoes to fill,” as second-year coach Richard Bennet said before practice Thursday. Nine players return, however, including senior captains Finnoula Howell and Alayna Hutchinson and junior captain Isabelle Wadleigh. Sophomore Mariah Duarte is back in the goal, with senior Jennie Lindland as a backup (last year, Duarte was alone on the depth chart). Lindland, one of the fastest players on the team, will be used mainly on the field.
In total, 40 players form the varsity and junior varsity squads. The strong JV program, helmed by Garry Metters, “can be tapped through the season,” Coach Bennett said.
The team’s first game, against Dennis-Yarmouth, was canceled due to rain, although not until after the squad had already traveled to the Cape and warmed up in the downpour — at which point the match was called after lightning interfered.
Over the weekend, the girls played two scrimmages, taking a 2-0 lead (both goals by Lindland) against Bellingham before an injury-plagued second half resulted in a 5-2 loss. The team next played North Quincy, a Division 1 team, to a 3-0 loss.
The girls travel to Whitinsville Christian Saturday and play Sturgis in an away game next Friday.
Less than a full week into the season, the girls have notched a win and a tie going into league play.
The girls played Scituate to a tie in an away game last weekend, with junior Kat Dorr scoring on a Kendall Robinson assist. The next day, the team defeated Marshfield 2-1, with Robinson scoring on a Katie Stewart assist and sophomore Aubrey Ashmun notching a goal of her own.
“That’s a great start to the season; I’m excited,” head coach Lisa Knight said on Thursday. “I had pretty high hopes for this season because last year we were kind of a younger team.”
The team, which started five sophomores last year and was largely composed of juniors, missed tournament qualification by one point.
“By the end of the season we were playing outstanding,” Coach Knight said. “We grew a lot together last year. The nucleus of the team is back and we started right where we left off last season.”
Twenty-seven players form the varsity squad, which Coach Knight said allows for a deep bench that should sustain the team throughout the season. Thirty players make up the JV roster, including 17 freshmen.
The team is captained by seniors Dana Jacobs, Kendall Robinson and Katie Stewart. Senior goalie Katherine Antonsen, named an all-star during last weekend’s play day tournament, returns to hold down the fort.
The girls play Dennis-Yarmouth in an away game on Saturday and take on Westport at home on Tuesday at 3:15. They play league opponent Bishop Stang at home on Thursday at 3 p.m.
Coverage of boys’ soccer and golf will appear next week, along with full coverage of the cross-country Vineyard Invitational.
Coach of the Year Boys’ varsity basketball coach Mike Joyce has been named the recipient of the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year award for the Division 3 South Section. Coach Joyce will receive the award later in the fall.
The 2011-2012 basketball team went 21-3, advancing to the finals of the Division 3 tournament before falling to Wareham.
In 2011, Coach Joyce was named Division 3 Coach of the Year by the Boston Globe.