25 Years Ago in Bonac Sports 08.07.14

Local sports history

July 13, 1989

East Hampton-Bayberry rather easily handled Amagansett in the final game of the East End men’s night soccer league playoffs Friday, 4-1.

In the matchup, a replay of last year’s spring season finale, East Hampton’s forwards — John McCrudden, Sherwin O’Neil, and Charlie Bateman — backed up by the center halfback, Ken Pascual, put a lot of pressure on the Amagansett goal.

. . . Amagansett’s numerous and ardent fans streamed onto the field soon after Carlos Solis went down following a collision with one of East Hampton’s defenders, Arturo Calderon. No sooner had Tom O’Brien, the referee, restored order than Sas Peters, whose group of Ultimate players has Herrick Park reserved each Friday night during the summer, registered a complaint with O’Brien and the soccer players, a complaint that fell on deaf ears.

Solis had been moved up to the forward line from his customary fullback position after Jorge Contreras, the key to Amagansett’s offense, pulled a hamstring muscle during the pre-game warm-ups.

Solis was credited with a goal early in the second half, but the call was controversial; East Hampton-Bayberry players maintained the ball had penetrated that part of the net behind the right goalpost, and thus should have been disallowed, but O’Brien let it stand.

An incident just before time ran out resulted in an early ending. With East Hampton-Bayberry again on the attack, Pascual, who had been trying to score, collided with Amagansett’s goalie, Olman Calvo, in the goal. East Hampton-Bayberry players said Pascual was pushed into Calvo by an Amagansett defender. Amagansett players maintained that Pascual was not pushed. The upshot was that Amagansett’s fans again rushed onto the field, charging Pascual, who, with the aid of Mike Walker, an East Hampton fullback, managed to evade the onslaught. Heated words were exchanged, but no one was hurt, and once tempers cooled somewhat, O’Brien called a halt.

“It happens every year,” said McCrudden, shaking his head. Then, turning to East Hampton’s goalie, Ricardo Mendez, and pouring some beer into the championship cup, he said, “Way to go, Ricardo. They didn’t score a goal on you.”

Paul Annacone, the world’s 34th-ranked player and the top seed in this week’s Hall of Fame grasscourt tournament in Newport, R.I., practiced daily last week with Milan Hollecek, the Buckskill Tennis Club’s professional. One of Hollocek’s training aids is a “table,” which he has used since his days on the professional tennis circuit, that is placed just back of the service line. A good, deep serve that hits it usually rebounds, in drop volley fashion, over the net, requiring the server to rush the net in order to volley back the return.

Hollecek had Annacone dashing from sideline to sideline and from the baseline to the net and back during the two-hour sessions.

July 20, 1989

Howard Wood, who, with his Spanish wife, Maria, has been visiting his parents in East Hampton for the past several weeks, is, at 30, on the verge of a fifth season of professional basketball in Spain, having overcome a career-threatening Achilles tendon tear that sidelined the 6-foot-7-inch low-post player for seven months in 1988.

One of Spain’s better-known players, Wood, the center for Metro Santa Caloma of Barcelona in the season just past, wound up among the first division’s top 10 “in scoring, rebounding, shooting percentages . . . in everything,” he said with a smile during a conversation the other day, “except assists. I never gave the ball up, and I still don’t.”

The genial Wood could even find humor in his injury, which he sustained while playing for Caixa Orense, a northwestern team, on Jan. 28, 1988. “They took me off the court in a desk chair like you’re sitting in, and I couldn’t fit full-length in the ambulance. The door fell down on the head of one of the team’s directors. When my wife went to pick up her ticket, the woman said to her, ‘I don’t know why you want a ticket — your husband is in an ambulance.’ That’s how Maria found out about it.”

A few days later, the operation to reconnect the tendon was performed by a soccer surgeon. Wood had wanted a videotape of it, but he got more than that — national and regional television cameramen were there.

“The cameraman from national TV fainted, but the other guy got it all. They started me off on my back with a massage, and then they rolled me over onto my stomach. You know they give you those hospital robes to wear. Well, mine fell off my rear end. Four months later, friends of mine said they thought they’d recognized me on regional TV. The operation was shown during lunchtime, while people were eating octopus and squid. . . . No, no, I didn’t get any royalties.”