The boys in the trenches led the Vineyard high school football team to a shutout victory in their home opener against Monomoy Friday night as the Vineyarders defeated the Sharks 21-0.

On an unusually cold September night, the wind was whipping as the lights came on and the two teams took the field for the opening kickoff. Monomoy came to the Island undefeated, touting an offense that scored a combined 78 points in their first two games. With the Vineyard still searching for a victory after falling to Salem the previous week, it appeared they faced a tall task in shutting down the Sharks.

However, momentum was on purple’s side from start to finish. Senior TJ Lett scored all three Vineyard touchdowns, starting by taking the opening kick 85 yards to the house and sending the Vineyard fans into a frenzy.

In the second quarter, Lett burned the Monomoy defense on a go route and sophomore quarterback Frankie Paciello dropped a 30-yard dime right into Lett’s hands for the second Vineyard TD. Lett’s final score came on a broken fourth quarter play in which he picked up a dropped lateral screen pass, reversed direction, and sped around the entirety of the Sharks’ defense for a 60-yard score.

Fans turned out for Friday night lights. — Jonathan Fleischmann

After the game, Lett sang the praises of the Vineyard defensive and offensive lines.

“Our line was honestly just aggressive, they weren’t waiting to catch the runner,” he said. “They were making plays and thankfully I didn’t have to make too many tackles.”

Lett, a senior, also plays safety on defense.

“All-around we played good defense. And the same goes for our line on offense, they’re some dogs,” Lett said with an ear-to-ear smile.

For Tony Motolla, the win marked his first as the Island’s new head football coach. He said his boys were focused, well prepared and played with a lot of heart.

“The kids just played really well,” the head coach said. “They ran, they were physical and really locked into what Monomoy was trying to do offensively. Our kids did a great job of executing our game plan and being relentless.”

Next up the Vineyarders play Sandwich on the Cape Friday before returning home the following Friday to take on Nauset.

Also this past weekend, the cross country squad traveled to East Greenwich, R.I. for the Ocean State Invitational, a massive meet that featured runners from over 100 different schools. On Saturday, Vineyard runners earned four top 20 finishes in fields of 300 and 235 runners respectively at the hilly 5K course at Goddard Memorial State Park,

For the Vineyard boys, Daniel da Silva placed ninth finishing in 16:56. Daniel Serpa finished 12th with a time of 17:01, and teammates Broden Vincent and Linus Munn rounded out the pack finishing in 19:38 and 20:03.

Alexa Schroeder led the way for the Vineyard girls finishing in 20:17, good for 15th. Wren Christy was right behind her, earning 17th with a time of 20:29. Wren’s sister Eloise completed the course in 23:38.

Girls soccer is on a roll. Last Tuesday the team defeated Barnstable 5-0 for their third of four consecutive wins. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Cross Country head coach Joe Schroeder said almost everybody on his team improved their times from last year and it was a solid performance all around from the Island’s runners.

Back on the grass, the Vineyard girls soccer team continued to dominate last week as they extended their winning streak to four games and outscored opponents by a combined score of 29-3 during that time.

Their four-game win streak began with an 8-2 win over Dennis-Yarmouth then an 8-1 win on Nantucket. Last Tuesday they shut out Barnstable 5-0 and then Sturgis East 8-0 the following day.

Against Barnstable, the Vineyard defense allowed only three shots on goal as Paige and Reese Malowski and Elena Giordano got it done on offense for MV. On Wednesday, senior Josie Welch netted a hat trick as Reese Malowski also scored twice, her sister Paige once, Ella Keene once and freshman Emily Coogan once as well.

“Really what we’ve been working on is what I call small soccer,” said head coach Matt Malowski. “Not just relying on individual ability and really working on utilizing everybody’s strengths.”

The head coach also credited his team’s recent success to their composure, senior leadership and breakout play from their freshmen.

“They’ve been impacting the game in a really positive way,” he said.

Up next, the girls will be tested at home Tuesday when undefeated Falmouth comes to the Island for a critical divisional matchup.

Last week was a little rougher for the boys soccer team as they took their first loss of the season Tuesday against perennial powerhouse Barnstable. Both teams came into the contest on the Cape undefeated and the Vineyard having shut out their first three opponents.

However, this time around the Vineyarders were unable to corral their opponent’s offense as they fell 3-1 against the Red Hawks. Kaike Maia scored all three of Barnstable’s goals and Arthur DaSilva scored for the Vineyard.

This week the boys look to get back on track when they take on Falmouth on the road Tuesday then Sturgis West at home on Wednesday.

The field hockey team also had an outpouring of offense last week as they took down Brockton 8-0 on the road last Monday. Reese McCracken and Sierra Flanders shared the shutout in net for the Vineyard as Sofia Balsas Fuentes and Clementine Zeender each scored twice while Aileen Mahoney, Alana Nevin, Andrea Morse and Charlotte Scott all also found the back of the net in the win. 

“We maintained steady pressure on attack, with many younger players featuring in the lineup more predominantly and even adding to the score,” said field hockey head coach Becky Nutton. 

On Wednesday, the girls returned home to take on Sturgis East in a back-and-forth battle that saw purple’s opponents eke out a 1-0 victory on a third quarter score. Coach Nutton said Sturgis stifled the Vineyard’s offense with strong transition defense which eventually paid off with the lone goal of the game.

This week, on Monday, Falmouth came across the Sound and defeated MV 3-1. Alana Nevin scored on a redirection from Aileen Mahoney to tie the score but Falmouth pulled away before halftime and held on for the win. 

​​”The second half looked like we were holding more sustained attack and making smarter choices in the midfield,” Coach Nutton said. “Senior captain Nellie Long was a crucial presence in center midfield, stopping a lot of Falmouth momentum in the second half of the game. Andrea Morse and Alana Nevin were playmakers on the forward line, but execution on goal was where we fell short in the end.”

Finally, last Tuesday, the golf team improved their record to 5-1 on the season as they took down Falmouth 245-268 at Farm Neck. Nick BenDavid led the way for purple with a 38 and fellow tri-captain Richie Combra also had a solid outing shooting 40.

This week the Vineyard golfers are busy, taking on Cardinal Spellman at home Monday then Nauset on the Cape Wednesday and Dennis-Yarmouth back home the following day.