Sporting Teams Start Hearts With Close Opening Games
Jim Hickey

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.

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Students Enliven Island History, Earning Heritage Trail Awards

Winners for the annual Heritage Trail project were announced at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School this week. The project involves sophomore history students who go out and trek the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard, and then do a research project which is judged. Projects fall into categories: writing, art, physical projects and electronic projects.

The winners this year are as follows:

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Vineyard Captures Fabled Island Cup
Jim Hickey

Even before the 30th annual Island Cup game began on Saturday, things didn't look good for the visiting Whalers from Nantucket.

When the players in blue and white stormed the field before the game and tried to plant their flag, the wooden mast snapped in half and the Whalers' banner fell onto the ground.

Things only got worse for the Whalers after that.

The Vineyard exploded for 28 second quarter points, all fueled by Nantucket turnovers, to put the game out of reach early en route to a 48-6 drubbing.

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Breaking News: Saturday, Nov. 17 - Vineyard Trounces Nantucket to Keep Island Cup
Jim Hickey

The Vineyard rolled over Nantucket Saturday in the annual Island Cup game by a final score of 48-6 in a contest that was easily decided by the second quarter and even more lopsided than the final score indicated.

With the win, the Vineyarders continued their recent string of dominance over the Whalers in the storied rivalry. They have won five straight Island Cups and eight out of the last nine.

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Vineyarders Climax Season Against Traditional Rival
Jim Hickey

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.

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Two Islands, One Cup: Big Game Tomorrow
Jim Hickey

For 364 days of the year, the Vineyard and Nantucket sit on their respective perches in the ocean and gaze at each other with casual disregard.

The two Islands may share ocean currents, topography and even a boat line, but beyond that they have little to do with each other.

But for one glorious day of the year, these two estranged siblings shake off their shared disdain and come together for a sporting contest that is part family reunion and part grudge match.

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Nantucket Cancels Junior Varsity Contest
Sam Bungey

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.

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Junior Varsity Footballers Get Physical
Sam Bungey

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.

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Mohawks and Lucky Pins: Superstitions Wield Power
Julia Rappaport

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.

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Game Memories Remain Vivid For Former Vineyard Players
Jack Shea

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.

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