Celebratory Soccer Week

More than 30 showed up for alumni game
One of those who participated in East Hampton High’s first alumni boys soccer game Friday was Brandon West, whose Messiah College team won the national Division III championship last fall. Jack Graves

   It was a celebratory week here soccer-wise, highlighted by the Under-16 Hurricanes’ Long Island Cup championship win Saturday, a first, and their 2-0 shutout of Auburndale-Bayside Sunday that crowned an undefeated Long Island Junior Soccer League Division 1 season.
    The Hurricanes, coached by Don McGovern, who helps Rich King with East Hampton High’s powerful program — the Bonackers have made it to the county finals in three of the past four years and are two-time defending county champions — thus finished the travel team spring season with a 13-0-1 record.
    The tie was with the aforementioned Auburndale-Bayside. In Sunday’s game that assured the Hurricanes the D-1 championship, Nick West, a star Bonac midfielder-forward, and Jack Fitzpatrick, the team’s lone representative from Sag Harbor, scored the goals.
    In Saturday’s 3-1 win in the Long Island Cup tourney’s final, West scored twice and Camilo Godoy once.
    “It’s a great group of kids,” said McGovern, who, before he became King’s assistant, coached Pierson’s varsity for a number of years. “They only conceded 4 goals all season and scored around 34. . . . The season’s over now, but they’ll continue to practice on their own to get ready for the fall.”
    Further evidence of East Hampton’s success in soccer was provided at Friday’s inaugural alumni game, which drew more than 30 players, who did battle on the high school’s turf field.
    The large turnout was a pleasant surprise for King and McGovern and their predecessor, Jim Stewart, who got a big laugh when he said anyone who’d forgotten to turn in his high school soccer jersey “can do so now.”
    The graduation dates of the alums ranged from 1997 (Alex Posada, who, along with the late John Villaplana, led East Hampton’s first notable team) to the present.
    Names on the sign-up sheet, besides Posada’s, included Brandon West (a national-champion goalie at Messiah College), Eddie Lopez (a former national-champion junior college player at Briarcliffe), Angel Garces, Danny Munoz, Alex Serna, Juan Olvera, Jefferson Ramirez, Carlos Chacon, Mattheu Ramirez, J.C. Barrientos, Esteban Aguilar, Ben McCarron, Brian Rojas, Erik Lopez, Erick Valdes, Efrain Valderrama, Tyler deVries-Wallace, Esteban Vargas, Andy Gonzalez, Rafael Zeledon, John Romero, Seth Barrows, Andy Rigby (a teammate of Posada’s in 1997), Daniel Londono, Duvan Castro, Rodolfo Marin, Alejandro Bolanos, Milton Farez, Denis Espana, Jerjes Alban, Camilo Ariza, Stiven Orrego, and Diego Palomo.
    “Coach Stewart and I have talked about this for a couple of years — we want the alumni to get more involved in the program,” said King, “and now that we know there’s such a strong interest, we’ll become more organized in the coming years and make it more of a community event, with predetermined teams, and food, and a big crowd of spectators. We’ll rely on you to spread the word.”
    “We’re also doing this as a fund-raiser,” the head coach continued. “There are a lot of budget issues at the moment — we have to buy our own balls and socks, for instance — and so we’re asking that each of you donate $25 to the program. . . . We’re looking to go upstate. Our goal is to win a state championship. We’ve got some exciting nonleague games lined up this year, one at St. Anthony’s, the third-ranked team in the United States, on Sept. 21.”
    King and McGovern’s soccer camp for youngsters ages 5 through 13 was to have begun Monday afternoon and to have ended today. McGovern said before the alumni game began that they were expecting “anywhere from 60 to 90 kids.”