High School Athletes Embrace the Burn of Hell Week

Regional high school students start classes later than usual this year, but the fall athletes are already on the fields preparing for the upcoming season. Mornings and evenings bring a flurry of activity to the quiet school campus as football, field hockey, cross country, soccer and golf shake off the summer haze and get down to business.

It’s a time of tryouts, when varsity and junior varsity teams are created, and a time of camaraderie as teammates work through drills and circuits. It is also exhausting.

Sports Illustrated Recognizes Vineyard Quarterback

Regional high school senior Alec Tattersall is one of six amateur athletes featured in the Dec. 10 issue of Sports Illustrated in the magazine’s popular Faces in the Crowd column. Tattersall is the first currently-enrolled Vineyard student to appear in the column. Field hockey alumna Liane Dixon appeared in Faces in the Crowd as a college player at Northeastern.

Football, Cross Country Advance in Post Season

The playoff runs of field hockey and boys’ soccer ended this week, leaving football and cross country the only Vineyard teams still in action. Football takes on league opponent Coyle-Cassidy in an away game tomorrow at 1 p.m. Cross country travels to the Eastern Massachusetts Divisional Championship meet, held in Wrentham, tomorrow.

As Fall Sports Seasons Close, Tournament Play Opens Door

Football plays its second-to-last home game of the season tonight at 6:30 p.m., taking on Eastern Athletic Conference opponent Bishop Stang.

The field hockey squad took on Plymouth South in its first post-season game on Thursday afternoon. Game coverage is available online at www.mvgazette.com

Boys’ soccer plays its first tournament game in an away game against Scituate Sunday at 3:30 p.m., and the varsity cross country runners compete in the Coaches’ Invitational this Saturday in Wrentham.

Field Hockey, Golf Team Advance to State Tournament, Football Falls in Homecoming

The Vineyard field hockey and golf teams have both qualified for the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament.

Concussions: Island Serves as Model in Tackling Sports Injuries

Junior defensive end Aaron Lowe’s head hurt after the Sept. 15 football game against Bristol-Plymouth. It wasn’t the score of the game causing the headache — the Vineyard had just taken an exciting 28-26 win. Rather, Aaron had suffered a mild concussion after taking a hit during a routine play. Donald Herman, the seasoned high school football coach, noticed Aaron seemed a bit confused after the game and sent him to see athletic trainer Tania Laslovich. The next day Ms. Laslovich gave Aaron a cognitive test to determine the severity of the concussion.

Nantucket Has Dominated Island Rivalry

The Nantucket varsity football team is a formidable foe. When the Whalers come to the Island tomorrow, they bring with them the state’s best coach and a lead in wins for the Island competitive trophy. Nantucket leads the series 35-22-3 since the rivalry began in 1953.

Their weakness is that they aren’t defending the trophy. And they are behind the Vineyard in wins and losses this fall. This has been a tough year for the Whalers. They are 3-5.

Football Fans Lament Loss of Big Game

There was a noticeable feeling of loss around the Vineyard this week.

“I can’t believe we’re not playing Nantucket this weekend,” one man lamented Monday while waiting for a haircut at Bert’s barber shop in Vineyard Haven. “What is the world coming to?”

For the first time in nearly 50 years, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard will not play the Island Cup football game this weekend, one of the most celebrated and storied traditions for both Islands that was cancelled this year for financial reasons.