When questioned on Aug. 31 about the coming fall sports season at East Hampton High School, Joe Vas, who’s in his fifth year as athletic director, was sanguine.
“Girls volleyball is always good, boys soccer will be good, boys volleyball will be good, golf will be good, girls tennis will be good, both girls and boys cross-country should be good, girls soccer has great numbers, football has good numbers, though not a lot of size — they’ve got to stay healthy — field hockey, whose numbers have been down the past couple of years, has a good turnout again, and, of course, girls swimming should be very good.”
The football team was to have participated last Thursday in a four-way scrimmage at Southampton High School, along with the Mariners, Greenport, and Hampton Bays.
A preseason pick to finish last among the 12 schools in its division, the Bonackers, who consequently won’t have to face any of the top three — Sayville, Huntington, and Bellport — won’t be pressured to live up to great expectations.
Speaking of football, and of concussions, Vas, who noted that “you don’t have to play football or lacrosse to get them — in fact, you don’t even have to be hit in the head to bruise your brain,” said that Randi Cherill, the school’s trainer, had recently given “Impact” neuro cognitive function tests to all the high school’s athletes, with the exception of tennis and track, as part of the required physicals.
“I love it,” Cherill later said of the test that is under the aegis of St. Charles Hospital. “It tests memory, recall, reaction time . . . it takes over 30 minutes to administer, and it establishes a baseline, so a comparison can be made should you get injured. Most of the schools in Section XI are doing it.”
Back to the fall’s prospects, Vas said, “We’ve got the numbers to be competitive across the board. How well we do in each of the  sports will depend on the kids. We certainly have the opportunity to be successful.”
Giving a talk to about 200 athletes gathered around him on the high school’s turf field early last Thursday morning, the A.D. said, “If you’re all-in, things will generally go your way. We’re building a strong program here. I’m really excited. We have an outstanding coaching staff, and every varsity coach who needs one will have a paid assistant. . . . Our year will go as our senior leadership goes. If you reach for the sky, we’ll skyrocket. We go as you go. And remember, my door is always open.”
Among the new coaches is Michelle Kennedy, who has taken over girls tennis from Jim Nicoletti. Kennedy, who’s the school librarian, played the sport at Salve Regina. She may be assisted by one of the East Hampton Indoor/Outdoor club’s pros.
Kalie Peters will assist Becky Schwartz with the varsity field hockey team; Robyn Mott will be the junior varsity field hockey coach; Will Collins will be the jayvee boys volleyball coach, and Josh Brussell, the former jayvee coach, will assist the boys varsity coach, Dan Weaver.
Sara Faraone will assist Kathy McGeehan with the varsity girls volleyball team, Nicole Calloway will be the girls jayvee volleyball coach, Tiffany Lamprecht will assist Mike Vitulli with the varsity girls soccer team, and John McGeehan, the girls swimming coach, will be assisted by Meg Preiss and Angelika Cruz.
On Friday afternoon Vas said there was to be a “family community track night,” in which, from 3 to 6 , there were to have been various competitions for kids of all ages.
A committee, he added, had been named to consider nominations for Bonac’s first Hall Of Fame class.
Jim Nicoletti is the president, Ellen Cooper and Ed Bahns are the vice presidents, and Kathy McGeehan is the treasurer. The board members are Dick Cooney and Mike Burns, both former East Hampton School District athletic directors, Bill Herzog, Erin Abran, and Sandy Vorpahl.
“There will be two longtime East Hampton residents appointed too,” he said. “Our plan is to announce the members of the first class at our June athletic awards dinner and to induct them at the following homecoming. . . . People can nominate athletes, entire teams, coaches. . . .”
This year’s homecoming will be on Sept. 24. Eastport-South Manor will be the football team’s opponent, in a night game. “Just about every team will have a contest during homecoming week, we’ll have a carnival, a dance, a bonfire. . . It should be a lot of fun.”
Concerning another subject, Vas said he will buy new schowcases for the school’s trophies, plaques, and memorabilia, rather than stick with the old ones. “I’d like to do it right,” he said.