When asked following East Hampton High’s first-ever appearance in a state boys soccer final if this weren’t the best high school team he’d ever seen, Rich King, Bonac’s coach, who’s seen a lot of good teams and who’s played on good ones at Sachem, said it was certainly one of the better teams he’d ever seen.
He added, however, that the mix of talent, determination, willingness to sacrifice, and cohesion of this year’s players, many of whom have grown up together in the sport, was indeed unique.
The Blue team, which had finished in third place in the fall roller hockey season at Sportime’s arena in Amagansett, came on to win the playoff trophy there on Nov. 11, defeating the top-seeded Green team 4-3.
Both goalies, Dodge of the Blues, who uses the single name, and the 16-year-old East Hampton High School junior Khloe Goncalves, of the Greens, were kept quite busy during the showdown, each finishing with 36 saves.
It had been a year since Frank Ackley of Springs had played a singles match, so, with the United States Tennis Association’s men’s 65 clay court championships coming up in New Orleans in early November, he took himself to the Ross School, where, he said, “they let me play singles and doubles with the academy kids . . . and they didn’t take it easy on me either.”
Middletown High School, where the state boys soccer Final Four games were played recently, is the Taj Mahal of high schools, the size, I thought, of at least two airports.
An eight-lane track wraps around a large turf field overlooked by a Jumbotron — yes, a Jumbotron — and at the other end is a large grandstand over which a commodious press box stretches. I tend to stay away from press boxes, though, preferring a ground-level view, as close to the action as possible.
The East Hampton High School boys soccer team took the penultimate step to a first-ever state final appearance in the sport at Middletown High School Saturday morning, gliding by Jamesville-DeWitt, a Syracuse-area team, 3-0.
The game was played in brisk, sunny weather on a magnificent track-encircled turf field — apparently the result of a generous New York State grant — with a Jumbotron and large stands in which about 200 fans, half of whom had embarked at 4 that morning in two spectator buses, cheered the team on.
After interviewing Cory Lillie and Kyle Solomon about the soon-to-be East End Sharks, a nascent high school ice hockey team that ought to be fun to write about this winter and in winters to come, I went onto the last court open to play that remained, the hard court, to practice my serve, which had been tweaked the day before at an adult clinic at the East Hampton Indoor Club.
Erik Engstrom, according to his coach, Kevin Barry, “ran his best race of the season” at the Federation cross-country championships in Wappingers Falls Saturday.
Engstrom, who’s a junior and the hardest-working runner Barry’s ever coached, ran the 5K Bowdoin Park course in 16 minutes and 43.2 seconds, a personal record, which was good enough for a 47th place finish among the 252 entrants from schools all over New York State.
Election night for us was the night of the living dread, and on the morrow (even our night sweats have achieved a certain simultaneity) we awoke to baleful reality in a bed next to which a George McGovern poster hangs.
Frankly, and naively, I had thought ideas were pivotal when it came to electoral politics, but, as we’ve seen, it mainly comes down to money and the sound bites money — no matter the party — buys.