Spirits Fueled by 4 Ws

Cameron Yusko hoisted the Long Island trophy the golf team won last spring as his fall teammates knelt worshipfully. Durell Godfrey

    Although the football team was blanked 39-0 by Eastport-South Manor under the lights here Saturday night, there were enough good sporting results inside and outside that day to fuel East Hampton High’s homecoming spirits.
    Even as the football team was taking its lumps under the lights, joy reigned in the grandstands, with irrepressible students holding up an oversize headshot of Pete Vaziri (a tribute to his 95-yard touchdown runback against Kings Park) and brandishing placards that seemed to say “Bonac Pride Reientiess” (“Relentless,” apparently), “Get ’Em,” and “Let’s Go Bonac.”

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    At halftime, the band played, the dance team did the cancan, the cheerleaders leapt, and Ryan Joudeh, a running back sidelined for the moment because of an ankle sprain, and Kathryn Hess, the girls soccer goalie, who had just learned she’d been named second team all-state in softball, were hailed as homecoming’s king and queen.
    The day before, at a pep rally in the school’s auditorium, all the fall’s teams took the stage, with the golf and boys soccer squads hoisting trophies aloft — the golf team’s attesting to its Long Island championship last spring and the soccer team’s attesting to its triumph in the recent 10-team East End Cup tournament sponsored by Bridgehampton National Bank. The boys cross-country team waved an American flag, the girls tennis team came with rackets and served Nerf balls to their schoolmates, and the girls swimming team, which debuted in a nonleague meet at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter Saturday — one of eight teams to participate in homecoming contests — tossed out Nerf balls too.
    Earning homecoming Ws were field hockey, which crushed Hampton Bays 8-0, with goals by Dana Dragone (two), Meghan Dombkowski (two), Amanda Calabrese, Alyssa Bahel, Nicole Miksinski, and Laura Perez; boys soccer, which, likewise, crushed Amityville 7-0; girls soccer, which prevailed 1-0 over Elwood-John Glenn in double overtime, and girls volleyball, which swept Bayport-Blue Point by 25-17, 25-19, and 25-16 scores.
    In the girls volleyball match, Melissa Perez and Katla Thorsen each had six aces; Melanie Mackin had 14 kills, Perez eight, and Raya O’Neal seven. O’Neal had 16 assists and Maggie Pizzo had 10. Defensively, Thorsen had 17 digs, O’Neal had 12, and Lydia Budd had 10. The team had nine blocks in all.
    Girls swimming, while it did not win, “did very, very well,” according to the team’s coach, John McGeehan. “We went up against Half Hollow Hills, which is a League I school — we’re in League III. Half Hollow Hills was second in the county last year, to Connetquot.”
    Among East Hampton’s winners were Marina Preiss, in the 50 and 200-yard freestyle races; Carly Drew, an eighth grader, in the 100 butterfly; Maddie Minetree in the 100 free; Mikayla Mott in the 100 breaststroke, and the 200 medley, 200 freestyle, and 400 freestyle relay teams.
    Although it was the team’s first meet of the season, Preiss, in the 50 and 200 free, Minetree, in the 100 free, and the 200 freestyle relay team of Minetree, Drew, Morgan German, and Preiss were close to meeting New York State qualifying times.
    McGeehan said he wasn’t sure what the final score was, “but it was close.”
    A few of the girls cross-country runners took part in the Suffolk Coaches invitational meet at Sunken Meadow Saturday morning, with Ashley West placing 18th in the 5K Class A race in 21 minutes and 36 seconds, and with Dana Cebulski placing fifth in the freshman 1.5-mile race in 8:56. Diane O’Donnell, East Hampton’s coach, said she’s not seen a faster time run in that distance so far by runners in Cebulski’s division. West was in a field of 140 from 19 schools, Cebulski went against about 100 other ninth graders.
    It appeared for a while last week that Bonac’s girls had earned their first win of the season in a meet at Sunken Meadow with Mount Sinai, but O’Donnell said later she’d not seen Mount Sinai’s first runner cross the line. “It can be confusing — there are all sorts of races going on, boys and girls, and she must have come in with a group of boys.”
    Thus, instead of winning 27-28, East Hampton lost 25-30. Nevertheless, West and Cebulski served notice, finishing one and two over the three-mile course. West won in 20:24 and Cebulski “was a heartbeat behind.”
    The potential to win meets is there, the coach continued during a conversation Monday. “We’ll get one and two. How we do, though, will depend on the other four. I’m going to talk to them about team strategy at practice today. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve had that luxury!”
    In another homecoming contest, the girls tennis team lost twice to McGann-Mercy by 4-3 scores, a suspended match at second doubles carried over from the teams’ first meeting having preceded the regularly scheduled match here.
    Getting back to the field hockey team, it wound up doing surprisingly well in a 3-2 loss to Shoreham-Wading River — Newsday’s fourth-ranked team in any sport on Long Island — here last week.
    Shoreham jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the half, but East Hampton came back with goals by Dombkowski and Bahel in the second, and almost tied it with a shot by Dragone that was said to have been taken just outside the circle.
    As for boys volleyball, its coach, Dan Weaver, said Monday that, despite the homecoming loss in three to Eastport-South Manor, he still thinks the Bonackers and the Sharks are the two best teams in Division II.
    “We lost the first 25-11, which was disappointing — they had two jump servers we couldn’t handle initially — but we bounced back after that, losing the second 27-25 and the third 25-23,” the coach said.
    Thomas King, an outside hitter, had 16 kills for East Hampton. “Thomas carried us at times,” said Weaver. “He was dominant.”
    The boys volleyball team made the playoffs last year, losing to Shoreham in the semifinal round. “We should make them again this year,” Weaver said.


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