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Winter Sports Get Underway

Thu, 11/30/2023 - 11:06
Alex Toussaint, 31, a former East Hampton High School student-athlete who now is a well-known Peloton spin instructor and motivational speaker, donated a Peloton bike, basketball uniforms, and a book he's written, "Activate Your Greatness," to the high school on Nov. 21. Toussaint is at center, holding the ball next to Bill McKee, one of his former coaches.
Sara Smith

The winter sports season insofar as East Hampton High School teams are concerned was to have begun Tuesday with a swimming meet at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter with Half Hollow Hills-Kings Park.

Craig Brierley, East Hampton's coach, said at last Thursday's Turkey Trots in Montauk that he's got a small team of 16 that's in a tough league, and that its captains, Emmet McCormac, Owen Robins, and Jack O'Sullivan, are the squad's sole seniors.     

The girls basketball team was to have played a nonleague game here with Stony Brook yesterday, and the Frank (Sprig) Gardner wrestling tournament, which is to be contested by eight teams, is slated for Saturday with a start time of 9:15. The winter track teams are to compete in season-opening crossover meets at Suffolk Community College-Brentwood this weekend, the boys on Saturday, the girls on Sunday.   

Ethan Mitchell, the wrestling team's coach, has a tiger by the tail, as it were: 76 hopefuls came out, presumably a record number for the sport here, similar, he said, to what "the two Sachem schools, Patchogue-Medford, and Longwood are accustomed to." Sixty-two of his charges were "certified," he added.     

All 13 weights are covered, with good things expected, he said, from, among others, Bronco Campsey (101 pounds), Juan Roque (124, last year's M.V.P.), Anthony Petersohn (124), Josue Elias (131), Luke Castillo (145), David Armijos (160), Adam Beckwith (170), Jhojairo Contreras (190), Aman Chugh (190), and Francesco Palombino (215).     

The Bonackers were the Gardner tournament runner-up to Ward Melville last year, though the coming tourney has stronger teams than last year's, Mitchell said. Besides East Hampton, the entries are Ward Melville, Sachem East, Sachem North, Bayport-Blue Point, Mount Sinai, Center Moriches, and Hampton Bays.     

The Return of Coach McKee

Bill McKee, who, at the request of East Hampton's athletic director, Kathy Masterson, came out of coaching retirement to oversee Bonac's boys basketball team after the former coach, Dan White, returned to coach at Pierson (Sag Harbor) High School, has eight seniors on the squad, though only two — Liam Fowkes and Mike Locascio — have had significant playing time.     

"I've got eight seniors, two juniors, and three sophomores," McKee said by phone Sunday. "The kids are working hard, they just need experience. I have a feeling that some of the seniors want to prove something. Even though most of them don't have a lot of experience, they're capable. We could be a good shooting team, I think we can surprise some people. I see us improving steadily as the season progresses."     

Besides Fowkes and Locascio, who are guards, the other seniors are Cash Muse, a 6-foot-4-inch inside man, Juan Palacios, "another big body," Zach Dodge, Marbin Matteo, Anthony Vargas, and Brian Garces. The juniors are Josh Williams and David Gutama; the sophomores, Toby Foster, Mason Jefferson, and Colin Kelly. Jefferson and Kelly are up from last year's junior varsity. Foster was on the varsity last season.     

"Essentially," said McKee, "Cash will be surrounded by guards."     

The team is to play its first games in the Kendall Madison Tip-Off Tournament here on Dec. 8 and 9. Bridgehampton and Mattituck will lead it off on the 8th at 5 p.m., followed by East Hampton and the Ross School at 7. No matter how the Bonackers do in the opening round, they'll play at noon on Saturday, either in the championship or consolation game. It's been arranged thus because of the Hall of Fame ceremonies that morning. Registration for the Hall of Fame breakfast that day can be made through the high school's website.   

McKee, as he used to, is to oversee Biddy Basketball too, on Saturday mornings at the John M. Marshall Elementary School beginning this week. Third and fourth graders are to play from 8:30 to 10, fifth and sixth graders from 10 to 11:30, and seventh and eighth graders from 11:30 to 1 p.m.     

Barry Takes Over Boys Track

Another coaching returnee, Kevin Barry, has taken over the boys winter track team from Ben Turnbull. He's got a squad that numbers 18, he said over the weekend. "Not a lot of seniors, but a lot of athletic kids. They have a good attitude."     

"I haven't coached track at East Hampton in a long while," he added. "It will be a learning experience. I'm looking forward to it."     

The cross-country season ended for Barry on Saturday as he and Bill Herzog took six boys up to the Nike Cross-Country New York Regionals at Wappingers Falls, near Poughkeepsie. The Old Montauk Athletic Club underwrote Saturday's trip. East Hampton's squad, which comprised Brayan Rivera, Wyatt Smith, Liam Knight, Benson Edman, Hudson Goulart, and Edmar Gonzalez-Nateras, a Pierson student, "ran in the open race, not in the championship one."     

Dylan Cashin, who, with Ryleigh O'Donnell, captained East Hampton's girls team this fall, ran in the open race for girls at Wappingers Falls.

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