The Last Friday Night Lights

…sure, there’s still one more game left—and it’s a biggie; it’s the Island Cup, when the Vineyard plays Nantucket—but tonight was the last home game of the season. Senior recognition, announcing of Homecoming king and queen nominees, all that good stuff.

I am not a fan of shooting night games; my gear isn’t equipped for the light conditions. I tried using a tripod for stability. I tried using my flash, of all things. I drew the line at pushing the ISO past 2500, though. Oh well. Some day I’ll have that 70-200 f/2.8!

In more exciting news, the Vineyard stomped all over Medford in this game, winning 21-0. They haven’t blanked their opponents all season, so that’s a good way to get ready to take on 8-1 Nantucket.

Some Fall Sports

I’m about ten posts behind on blogging, and am hoping to catch up this weekend (now that I have Internet in my apartment!), but in the meantime, here are a couple of photos from the past couple days of high school sports:

Each of them thought the other had won after they crossed the finish line.

This one isn’t anything special, but I liked it anyway. I love when players run right towards the camera:


Hell Week 2.0

I shot Hell Week—preseason for the fall athletes—last year (in happy news, I like the photos from this year much better), and remember it being both one of the best and worst assignments I’ve ever had. It’s among the worst for obvious reasons: the teams are on the field by 6 in the morning (I’m not a morning person), and I went every single day because not all of the teams practice on any given morning. But it’s also one of the best because the light at that time of day is simply amazing.

(Not that this one ran in the paper, but I like it anyway)

The boys practice in the late afternoon, which also makes for nice light:

Win/Lose Diptych

Or, studies in body language:

Jonathan Grigull collapses on the tennis court of Niantic Park in Oak Bluffs after his team won in triple overtime during the quarterfinals of the Vineyard Streetball Classic, held July 3, 2011.

Nainoa Cooperrider falls to the ground after being tagged out at first for the final out of the Little League Championship Game on June 25, 2011 at Veira Park in Oak Bluffs.

Bruins, the Bruins what?

The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup last night! I’m very much a hockey bandwagon fan—I made it my New Year’s resolution a year ago to learn more about the sport—but even a newbie like me could appreciate this playoff series.

I got sent out to Oak Bluffs last night to do a scene story on people watching the game. I’m still trying to figure out how to balance writing a story with taking photos for the same story, although scene pieces are so much fun to write that I don’t mind the extra stress.

I took a bunch of reaction shots, one of which will probably be the one that ends up in the paper, but I like this photo, which was taken just before the game ended and Boston officially Won The Cup.

Boston Bruins fans Matt and Robyn Weston of Mashpee, Mass., watch the last seconds of Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals while at Seasons Eatery and Pub in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on June 15, 2011. The Westons were visiting Martha’s Vineyard on their honeymoon, and came out to watch the game with over 150 other patron at Seasons.

On Wednesday night, as the puck dropped for the third period of Game Seven in the Stanley Cup Finals, the streets of Oak Bluffs were, for the most part, quiet.

The real roar was inside Seasons on Circuit avenue, where the game was showing on no fewer than nine televisions and the nearing-capacity crowd had started cheering before the period had even begun, when the NBC broadcast flashed up second-period stats.

As the period drew on, the crowd pressed closer to the TVs, making it difficult to figure out exactly where the roar of the televised Vancouver fans left off and that of the in-person Vineyard fans began. The sound wasn’t consistent in nature—it rose in volume when Boston got a power play, and it made intelligible words (“MVP! MVP!”) when Bruins goalie Tim Thomas made yet another brilliant save—but it was always there.

By the time there were forty-four seconds left in the game, the roar was at delirium levels. There was no suspense left for the fans, or, for that matter, the teams; they knew exactly what was going to happen next. Boston had locked up the win three minutes ago with their fourth unanswered goal.

Time ran out, and the sound wave became a tsunami. A bottle of Corona was sprayed a lá champagne. In the back of the restaurant, a homemade Stanley Cup, crafted by Oak Bluffs resident Jack Holmes out of sauna tubes, tinfoil and “my salad bowl” was tossed around.

“Hockey’s just the most exciting sport, to me, “ said viewer Scott Carroll after the game, standing outside Seasons as the remnants of the volume explosion seeped out onto Circuit Avenue. Mr. Carroll had watched the first two periods from the comfort of his home, but came down to Seasons for the third because he “wanted to be in the crowd.”

“It’s just the atmosphere,” he continued.

Mr. Carroll wasn’t alone in wanting to soak up the feel of the evening. The Lombardo family—mom Carla and children Stefania, Giancarlo and Nadia—were visiting the Island for a weekend Chappy wedding, but came out to Seasons to watch history be made (the family made a quick run back home between periods to change into pajamas).

“We’re lifelong Bruins fans,” said Mrs. Lombardo. “To be here with my cubs [she paused midsentence to point out to this reporter her use of the word] is so important to us—you have no idea.”

Giancarlo, described his reaction to the win as “shocked.”

Mr. Carroll was less surprised.

“They worked so hard,” he said, “and the playoffs….”

He trailed off between sentences, searching for the right words, and the sound took over once again.