Having enjoyed a fine fall sportswise, with the boys soccer and boys and girls volleyball teams playing for county championships — and with soccer winning it all, for the second year in a row — Joe Vas, the East Hampton school district’s athletic director, expects a rather cheery, if cold, winter.
Numberswise, boys swimming, now coached by Craig Brierley — Jeff Thompson stepped down last spring after becoming a father — stands out, inasmuch as there are at the moment 33 on the roster — 4 seniors, 12 juniors, 9 sophomores, 5 freshmen, and 3 eighth graders.
Two extremely versatile juniors, Thomas Brierley and Trevor Mott, undoubtedly will lead the way, though in a post-season interview last March Thompson also singled out the contributions made by Rob Rewinski, Kyle Sturmann, Robert Anderson III, Tyler Menold, Shane McCann, Andrew Winthrop, Chris Kalbacher, Thomas Paradiso, and Baxter Parcher, all of whom are returnees.
The numbers are also good at the junior varsity level of girls basketball. Robyn Mott has 20 on the jayvee squad, a sign that that program, headed by Howard Wood and Louis O’Neal, is becoming stronger.
Wood and O’Neal’s task, as it has been in the past few years, will be to spread the scoring out so that Kaelyn Ward, the team’s star, and a senior now, won’t have to try to do it all.
Boys basketball, with four players returning who saw significant action last year, namely Thomas King, Danny McKee, Thomas Nelson, and Juan Cuevas, ought to be fun to watch. “We finished at 6-6 in the league and qualified for the playoffs last year,” said the head coach, Bill McKee. “We average around 6-1 or 6-2. We don’t have anyone who’s 6-6, but all our guys can rebound.”
As for the league, “It ought to be competitive — the other teams all have most of their kids coming back. We’re young, but I look for us to be competitive.”
Other returnees include Andre Cherrington, a tough senior inside player who sustained a deep thigh bruise in the football team’s final game, sidelining him for the moment; Rolando Garces, a senior guard, and Joey Sandoval, a junior guard.
Up from the jayvee are Brandon Hughes, David Moss, Jack Ryan, and Nikko Bachelor, all junior forwards. Charles Barranco, a junior center, is, said McKee, a first-timer.
The team was to have scrimmaged Tuesday at Center Moriches, and will be home tomorrow, at 6 p.m., to Eastport-South Manor, a nonleague opponent.
“Last year, we relied a lot on Thomas King, and he came through, but we’re expecting other kids to make contributions this year too. We’ll play the same up-tempo style, scoring in transition when we can. We should be all right.”
The McKees pretty much have basketball covered here: Joey McKee is returning as the boys jayvee coach, and Kelly McKee, who formerly coached at the Ross School, is coaching the sport with Steve Redlus at the East Hampton Middle School.
The bowling team, a coed group coached by Pat Hand, was the first Bonac team to get a taste of league competition, on Tuesday at Westhampton.
There are seven boys on the roster and six girls — a ‘first’ here. Hand said she expected Jacob Grossman, the sophomore son of Ian and Dot Grossman, each of whom recently bowled perfect games at the East Hampton Bowl, which he manages, to lead the team. “He’s got a 190 average,” she said, “but he hasn’t bowled in any matches yet.”
Hand said she also expects Jackson Clark, a junior, and Gaby Green, a senior, to be solid scorers. “Eastport-South Manor will be the strongest team in our league, though other than that we should be in the mix,” the coach said.
The only winter sport to see a drop-off in numbers — a slight one — has been wrestling. “Steve Tseperkas and Lou Russo have 18 on the squad, but the kids they have are working hard,” said Vas.
That team’s first outing will be at the Frank (Sprig) Gardner invitational tournament here on Dec. 8.
Before parting, the athletic director said that the Hall of Fame committee is accepting nominations for the 2013 Class. Applications, he said, can either be obtained at the high school or online through the school’s Web site, ehufsd.org, “by going to links and hitting ‘athletics.’ It’s all there.”
Moreover, he said that the East Hampton Coaches Association had recently donated $10,000 to go toward the purchase of 10 trophy and memorabilia display cases that are to run the length of a 50-foot wall opposite his office between the gymnasium doors.
“We hope to have them up by Christmas,” he said.