The spring sports season at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School is in full swing after weeks of delayed games due to prolonged winter weather.

Almost every team has dealt with cancelled games and been forced indoors to practice, athletic director Mark McCarthy said.

“We have to get some spring weather here,” he said. “We’ve cancelled more games than we’ve played so far. We can’t catch a break.”

Despite conditions, coaches said a promising season is ahead for their squads. Several teams have players returning who have already solidified their dominance in the sport. Others are dealing with a young roster full of talented upstarts.

All games and matches are played at the high school athletic fields (except sailing), and are free for spectators until tournament play. The sailing team practices in the Lagoon Pond off the Oak Bluffs Sailing Camp Park. Home meets are held on the Lagoon.

Boys’ Tennis

The boys varsity tennis team not only has new players coming to the court, but two new coaches. Co-coaches Tony Omer and Ryan Sawyer are taking over for Bill Rigali who had coached the team since 2016.

“Neither of us was prepared to do it by ourselves,” Mr. Omer said. “I think we make a pretty good team.”

He said a snowed-out first game and training relegated to high school hallways has not dampened the enthusiasm of the nine-member team heading into the season.

Boys varsity tennis has new players and new coaches to match this year. — Mark Alan Lovewell

He singled out freshman Max Potter as the one to watch and the best player on the team after a series of challenge matches with teammates.

Mr. Omer added that many of the players have trained at Vineyard Youth Tennis and can hit the ball incredibly hard. With 15 games ahead in his freshman season, Mr. Omer said he’s focusing on the basics and hoping the players rise to the challenge.

“It’s pretty simple. You win or you lose,” he said. “We’ll see how we stand after the first couple of matches.”

The team plays Bishop Feehan on Friday at home at 3 p.m.

Girls’ Tennis

Only one loss marred the Vineyarders near-perfect season last year, culminating in a third state championship in a row. Coach Nina Bramhall, who co-coaches with Liz Roberts, said she’s feeling confident that this season will continue the streak with the return of most of her star players.

That is, if the weather will allow them to get started. Ms. Bramhall said two matches have been cancelled already and the girls are growing restless.

“They are raring to go and we’re just itching to get out there,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like the season has started yet.”

Ms. Bramhall said the players to look out for this season are Lizzie Williamson and Victoria Scott, the reigning two-time state doubles champions. There’s also Kat Roberts in singles play who Ms. Bramhall said only lost one game last season.

All three athletes have been recognized by the Boston Globe on their 2017 list of Eastern Athletic Conference (EAC) All-Stars and All-Scholastic team honorees.

The team’s dominance hasn’t gone unnoticed by the conference, and this year the Vineyarders will move up from division three to division two in the playoffs. Ms. Bramhall said she’s optimistic and called it a fun, new challenge.

Most of all, she hopes the girls will embrace team camaraderie and the memories they’ll make this season, win or lose.

“It’s a nice opportunity for them to be part of a team that they love,” she said.

Opening home matches again Bishop Stang were Wednesday.

Boys’ Lacrosse

Coach Chris Greene’s squad may be coming off a disappointing 7-11 season last year, but Mr. Greene said he is guaranteeing a postseason fight this year due to a strong team of returning upperclassmen.

“These guys have been through the system and know what we’re doing,” the coach said. “I’m expecting for us to be highly competitive and we will make the playoffs.”

The squad is already off to a strong start with solid wins in their first two games against Plymouth North and powerhouse Bishop Feehan.

Mr. Greene chalks it up to his four team captains: John Morris, Matteus Scheffer, Sam Rollins and Sam Wallace; he said they bring leadership on the field that was absent last season.

“The kids that have come back are committed, and have a lot of head, heart and hustle,” he said.

Mr. Greene added that the team has benefited from strong friendships and a sense of family. Players typically eat breakfast together before weekend games and parents hold BBQ nights for the squad often. He said he hopes the players remember the moments just as much as their time on the field.

“I hope they look back and know they had a good time and enjoyed the opportunities to be successful in this sport,” he said.

A home match against Plymouth is set for Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Girls’ Lacrosse

Last season for the girls lacrosse team was full of frustrating losses in nail-biting games separated by just a goal or two, according to coach Kurstin Moore. Despite the heartbreak, Ms. Moore said it was a building year, and this season should be much more competitive.

Coach expects great things from girls lacrosse team. — Mark Alan Lovewell

The team is still young, but Ms. Moore said she expects great things out of a couple of returning players — Skyla Harthcock and junior captain Addy Hayman, as well as a new goalie, sophomore Evanna Quinn.

The team fell to Bishop Feehan 14-4 in the first game of the season last week when the conditions were so frigid that Ms. Moore said she didn’t think the girls could feel their fingers afterward.

She added that practices have been difficult due to poor conditions and the loss of practice time outdoors is hard to overcome. But that hasn’t lowered her expectations for the season and hopes for aggressive, high-scoring performances from her 17-member squad.

“I’m super happy with how they’re mixing together as teammates,” Ms. Moore said. “I hope they get that drive to finish strong so they win the games by multiple goals.”


This is a transition year for Coach Gary Simmons’s team and the baseball program as a whole.

Last season was the best ever for the team as they advanced to the state division three semifinals off the strength of senior pitching in ACC conference play. Now Mr. Simmons is not only training new players but preparing for a move next year to the Cape and Islands conference, where new competition awaits.

“This year is different for us because we are playing more local than past years,” said the coach, who was just back from the team’s first game against Falmouth, a 5-0 loss.

This marks his 13th year of coaching the Vineyarders. He pointed to returning players, including captain and pitcher Sam Bresnick and catcher Nick Fiori, and new recruits like twin brothers Jeremy and Jared Regan, as the ones to watch for this season.

He said fans should expect shifting positions in the first few games as he figures out where players fit best, and which ones excel at cracking the bat.

“It’s going to take us awhile to figure out the right combo of players,” Mr. Simmons said. “It will be a fun team to watch. We’ll know better after the weekend where we stand.”

A double header against Nantucket is set for Sunday beginning at 12:30 p.m.

The girls’ softball coach could not be reached by press time.


Coach Joe Schroeder’s team of runners, vaulters and throwers might be the youngest in the program, but possibly also the team with the most potential.

“There’s a whole bunch of new faces,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.”

Some events where he’s expecting great performances are shotput, where junior Nathaniel Packer finished third in the league last year, and Amber Cuthbert, a speedy freshman in the mile.

The biggest star is junior Mackenzie Condon who in her first year of track last year was the league champion in long jump, 55 metre hurdles and high jump.

Mr. Schroeder said his goal is to get as many of his young athletes as possible to qualify for state championships. “We’re just trying to develop these young kids,” he said. “My number one goal is to familiarize kids with track and get them used to running at a varsity level.”

The program will also be moving to the Cape and Islands league next year to geographically suit the sport better, he added. The first home meet was held on Wednesday this week.


The spring sports season typically kicks off in late March with sailing, but this year Coach Andrew Burr said he wishes they could have gotten on the water even sooner.

“February would have been a better month to sail than March,” he said. “It was warmer.”

Despite poor conditions at sea, Mr. Burr said he’s excited for what his young, core team of skippers and crew can accomplish this season.

The Vineyarders fell 3-2 in a squeaker against Nauset in the season opener late last month, and placed fifth in the nine-team Clipper Challenge in Maine last week. Despite coming up short, Mr. Burr said there are positive takeaways.

“They executed very well on team racing,” he said. “It was a good start to the season.”

He said spectators should look out for co-captains Elizabeth O’Brien (crew) and Coltrane Leport (skipper), both returning from last year where the team just missed the chance at a Turk trophy, winding up in 17th place in the New England Schools Sailing Association.

The coach said he’s expecting a far better finish this year, but added that winning and losing isn’t how he measures success on the water.

“If they fail, so be it. Success to me is highly competitive races where the team goes after each one,” he said. “Ultimately if we can be in the top 12 this year, I would be so psyched. That is where I see them.”

The next meet will be held Saturday at Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, Conn.