Super Fans Follow Football Team, Making a Joyful Noise

There is one sure place to hear a cowbell: Vineyard football games.

While football has its great players on the field, there also are performers in the seats.

The fans all bring talent to the bleachers.

Frank Daly of Vineyard Haven tries to make it to every game with his cowbell. With his red wool cap, he is easy to spot in the crowd.

Game Memories Remain Vivid For Former Vineyard Players

In 1964, the Vineyarders recorded the first of three undefeated seasons in its history. Bob Tankard, Coach T as he is also known, remembers it well.

“Apponequet was the big game that year,” said Mr. Tankard, a halfback and defensive back on the 1964 team. “We had never beaten them and they were supposed to run over us. The game was played in a northeaster and it ended a 0-0 tie. We felt like we had won.

Nantucket Cancels Junior Varsity Contest

Martha’s Vineyard junior varsity players, fully prepared to face the Nantucket junior varsity team this Saturday, were frustrated by a late cancellation from Nantucket. Citing a lack of numbers the Nantucket High School announced it would not be able to provide a competing team. “Obviously we’re not happy at all,” said Vineyard junior varsity coach Phil Hughes this week.

Junior Varsity Footballers Get Physical

The sounds of a bloody brawl direct me to the football field behind the regional high school where the junior varsity team is warming up for Saturday. Getting nearer, one cry stands out. “I want to see Balboni get killed!” I quicken my step, wondering whether I’m about to scoop an altogether more serious event.

Boys’ Soccer Team Wins First Playoff, Then Loses to Medfield

It was déjà vu all over again for the boys’ soccer team Sunday as the team again found itself in a sudden death penalty kick shoot-out in the opening round of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament.

Although the Vineyarders prevailed in the shoot-out against Dighton-Rehoboth, thanks to the efforts of goaltender Nico Cuba, to win the game 3-2, there was a surreal quality to the game which marked the third time in three consecutive state tournament games the team’s fate was decided by a shoot-out.

Vineyarders Climax Season Against Traditional Rival

It’s been a season of peaks and valleys for the Vineyard football team.

They shot out to a 5-0 record to start the season and earned a top rank in their division by the Boston Globe. And as if that weren’t enough, a news crew from NBC taped two 30-minute segments that will air later this year during a halftime of the network’s NFL Sunday Night Football program. Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated published a story showcasing the Vineyarders.

Sporting Teams Start Hearts With Close Opening Games

Just as the first snows arrived on the Island yesterday, other signs of winter were in evidence around the Island this past week.

In addition to Christmas sales and plastic lawn Santas, the young athletes of the Vineyard could be found practicing their jumpers and perfecting their slap shots, as the high school sports scene moved from the autumnal fields of soccer and football inside to the cozy confines of ice rinks and basketball courts.

Defeat Snuffs Football Superbowl Hopes

Asked to describe his team's effort in last Friday's crushing 20-16 loss to the Crusaders from Cape Cod Tech/Harwich, no-nonsense Vineyarders football coach Donald Herman doesn't have to think long for an answer.

"Soft," he said roundly of his team's effort in the loss that effectively eliminated the team from going to the postseason. "We were soft and we were flat. I am not happy with what is going on right now."

Lots of Guts, Glimpses of Glory Shade the Sports Year of 2007

It was a year of ‘what ifs' for the teams of the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in 2007, as several teams missed the playoffs by the slimmest of margins, while others lost games in the state tournament that could have turned on the bounce of a puck or a roll of the ball.

Mohawks and Lucky Pins: Superstitions Wield Power

Former Red Sox player Nomar Garciaparra could not bat without checking his batting gloves. Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics will not get on the floor without patting his hands in the rosin.

The pro athletes have their pre-game rituals and so too do the Vineyarders.

For members of the varsity football team and the cheerleading squad, the superstitions are sometimes hidden, oftentimes underneath the jerseys, helmets and uniforms, but they are there nonetheless.