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The East Hampton Star. (East Hampton, N.Y.) 1885-current, October 20, 1977, Image 10

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TEN THE EAST HAMPTON STAR, EAST HAMPTON, N.Y., OCTOBER 20, 1977 Steve Bromley Jr. Enter the Gladiators History Repeats Itself History made an effort to repeat itself last Saturday at Herrick Field. Just as in last year’s East Hampton- John Glenn High School football game, the Knights came out minutes before the opening kickoff to point menacing fingers at the Bonackers before begin­ ning their warmups. Just as in last year's 0-0 tie in the rain at Elmont, the game ended in a deadlock, this time, 6 - 6 . Unlike last season’s contest, how­ ever, the sky cleared and withheld its rain, even providing a shock of sunlight for the second half after the first two quarters had been framed in gray gloom. And, unlike the aftermath of the previous confrontation, both Bonac and Glenn now share the League A-l lead with identical 2-0-1 records. Both teams have four more games in which to decide who wears the crown, and each must play Riverhead, a team, more than any other on either’s schedule, that could play the spoiler role. Tension The entire game was played under tension’s pointed pistol. Glenn had little success during its first two possessions, and Bonac spun its wheels the first time it tried to move the ball. The second time East Hampton had control, however, it made a slice of football history. The vaunted Glenn machine came into the contest after scoring 62 points in its first three games; its opponents showed nothing but goose eggs, per­ haps a motivating factor for Glenn's grandstand display of threatening fin­ gers. Moses Johnson, punting on the Knights’ fourth down and 14 yards to go in the first quarter, angled his effort off the side of his foot for just 14 yards, setting up Bonac on its own 27-yard line. Tony Gilliam and Ken Freese met with frustration trying to run right, then left, so Bonac decided to pass. Freese went over the middle to Percy Howard, who weaved his way toward the left sideline before a Glenn de­ fender stopped him, 39 yards from the line of scrimmage. Four More Gilliam moved the ball four yafds closer, to the Knights' 33-yard line, and Freese came back with another passing play, smartly ignoring end Matt Ben­ nett, who was closely covered after two previous successful contests. Tom Fan- tini was the target, and the 17-yard aerial moved East Hampton to the Glenn 16. G’lliam, twisting, turning, offering a tv jh only to take it away, broke several tackles to burst into the end zone for a 6-0 Bonac lead and the first blemish on John Glenn’s defensive record this season. It seemed certain that the Bonackers would add another point to Glenn’s tarnishment on the point-after-touchdown attempt. The snap was right on target into Freese’s hands, but Bruce McErlean’s boot was off to the left. Bonac Coach Dick Cooney was off on the phones, preparing the next defensive series. “When we go for one with a kick, I’m confident that we’ll make it. It was a shock to hear the groans,” he said. Tension’s pistol was now cocked; Glenn had to come back to score six points, and if those points were not gained on a pair of field goals, Bonac had to do something about the extra-point at­ tempt. Surprise Pass Glenn controlled the ball after re­ ceiving the kickoff for nine plays and two first downs, moving from its own 38 to Bonac's 28. On the tenth play, halfback Doug Bergen took a pitch from quarterback Phil Ammirato and threw a surprise pass that Tony Gilliam intercepted with a leaping effort after the ball bounced off several players. He returned it 20 yards, from his own 14 to the East Hampton 34. But, after an incompleted pass, How­ ard fufnbled the ball back to Glenn after picking up 13 yards. The Knights attempted to move the ball in the air, but the play of Sid Field, at linebacker, and a pressure rush by Roland Sumi, forced a punt on fourth and nine and a half yards. As the first quarter ticked away into the second, Bonac was unable to move twice and Glenn punted from Bonac’s 37 down to the seven, and three plays later, East Hampton had to punt from its own end zone. Mark Berti’s kick traveled just 22 yards, to the Bonac 29, and a penalty that drew howls from the East Hamp­ ton side gave the Knights a first and ten from Bonac’s 14-yard line. Fred Leone appeared to signal a fair catch, or perhaps he was about to cross himself, and once the ball settled into Points Count What will happen if the League A-l football dreams of both East Hampton and John Glenn come true? According to Joseph Barlin, executive secretary of Section 11 of the New York State Public High School Athletic Aisociation, if both teams finish 6-0-1 in League com­ petition, the team that scores more points will be declared the titlist. “Usually,” he explained, “we look at the game between the two teams to determine the champion, but since they played to a 6-6 tie, we have to look at points scored. Now, we don’t want to encourage any team to roll up 75-0 scores, so we have a limit on the number of points a team gets credit for, and that’s 25 points per contest. If one of the teams starts winning by 50-0, they'll only get credit for 25 points. If that produces another flat-footed tie, then we’ll have to flip a coin. I hope that doesn’t happen.” To date, Bonac has scored T38 League A-l points to 68 for Glenn, however, two of Glenn’s games spilled over the 25-point maximum. Its first victory was 28-0, followed by a 34-0 win, giving Glenn only a total of 56 points to Bonac’s 38, an 18-point margin with four games to play. In last Saturday’s game, the Knights picked up 198 yards on the ground in 55 attempts and managed to lose a yard completing one of 14 passes. Glenn had 77 plays from scrimmage to 60 for Bonac, which gained 109 yards in 35 rushes and 89 yards on six for 17 in the passing department. The previous week, Glenn amassed over 200 yards in the air against Port Jefferson. Dave MacGarva and Drew Ben nett recovered key fumbles for Bonac... Tom Fantini continues to come up with big third-down plays at his cornerback spot, knocking down passes and not allowing runners to get that important step to the outside. . . lost fumbles seem to be a chronic problem for Bonac... Fantini and Percy Howard fumbled the ball over to Glenn and Jim Fisher and Bruce Damark fumbled without turning the ball over. . . the Glenn player who was taken by ambulance to Southampton Hospital sustained a severe sprain . . . a soggy field made sharp cuts a risky proposition, especially for speedy Tony Gilliam . . . the new Daily News Suffolk football poll now lists Glenn, which had the top spot, at number eight, three spots lower than Southampton. S.B. Jr. Nailed Behind the Line his arms, he seemed to execute a jig, all of which led to some confusion and an East Hampton tackle, as well as a penalty against the home-team. The Films “I haven’t seen the films yet,” Coach Cooney offered on Monday, “so all I can do is talk about what I thought I saw, and it seemed to me that Leone never raised his hand above his head, and he bobbled the ball, too. He got hit with a pulled-up tackle . . . I don’t know, I’ll have to see the films, but I do know that we seemed to have a psychological letdown after that.” Glenn put aside its passing game, opting instead for five straight running plays at the right side of Bonac’s defense. The last effort, all were by fullback Roddy Sullivan, produced a three-yard touchdown, and Glenn was faced with a decision: try for a one-point lead, or two? The spotter for the Knights, high above the game near the press box, radioed down to Glenn's Coach Tony Cerullo that “the tight end should be wide open on a play-action pass to the right side . . . want to try it?” Cerullo did, but Howard was right there to knock the ball down to preserve the tie and give Cerullo a bout with the second-guess blues. Second Half In the second half, Bonac advanced into Glenn territory, but could not move beyond the 40-yard line area. Glenn threatened often, moving to the Bonac 30 on a 62-yard drive before Fantini, Brian McKee, and Rick Slater stopped Sullivan on a fourth and one situation. Dave MacGarva stopped another foray at the Bonac eight-yard line with an interception, and Sumi’s sack, for a six-yard loss, stopped Glenn at the East Hampton 37, forcing a punt. Glenn threatened for the last time with 51 seconds left in the game, but on a second and five play from Bonac’s 20, Sumi, Rhett Butler, and MacGarva collaborated on a bone-crushing tackle that rattled a fumble from Bergen’s clutches. The East Hampton rooters rose as one when the Bonac fingers indicated to the sidelines that it was a recovery for the home-team. The clock ran out as Glenn inter­ cepted Freese’s third pass in a row, Drew Bennett making the stop to prevent the Knights from scoring and Coach Cooney from turning prema­ turely gray. Junior Varsity The Bonac junior varsity lost its fourth straight game, 34-0 to Glenn, again unable to score, to “the best jayvee team I’ve seen in four years,” according to Coach Mike Burns. He added that he felt it was the best game his charges have played this year. Pete Gilliam, Pete Yardley, Roger Foster, and Nelson Samot played outstanding games. East Hampton’s freshman team won its second victory of the year (it has yet to lose), defeating visiting Bellport, 31-13, after budding up a 19-0 third- quarter lead last Friday. Kevin Bunce had two scoring runs of 60 yards and four; Tom McDonald and Mike Gilliam also crossed after 60-yard gallops, and Craig Scott had one of 50 yards. Scott passed to Bud Wright for the only successful Bonac extra-point. Steve Bromley Jr. DiGate Finalist In “Punt, P ass” John DiGate of East Hampton took first-place honors for 12 -year-olds in the Long Island zone Ford Motor Company “Punt, Pass, and Kick” competition Saturday in Deer Park. On Saturday, he will travel to Rye for district competition, and if success- Four On One Up, Up and Away Cal Norris Photos It Happened... John Goodman, East Hampton High School tennis coach, knew exactly what would happen. And he was right. Laurie Gurney, Bonac's number two singles player, had advanced to the semifinals of the Conference Four tennis tournament Tuesday at West- hampton. Her opponent was Pam Oliver of Southampton, the event’s second seed and owner of a two-year - undefeated skein. Despite a week of more rain than sun, Goodman spend as much time as possible with Gurney, talking to her about strategy and concentration. “We’ve really worked together, es­ pecially for that match, because Laur­ ie’s never beaten Pam,” Goodman explained, adding that the pair dis­ cussed “hitting deep approach shots on every possible short ball before going all the way up to the net, and not just to the service line, and keeping the pressure on, not letting up when she was ahead.” Confident Goodman was confident, “and I knew she’d win without me being there to watch,” he predicted. Sure enough, once Goodman’s responsibilities at the Amagansett School ended Tuesday, he jumped into his car for Westhampton. “I pulled into the parking lot, and Laurie came bouncing up to the car, jumping and smiling . . . she won, 6-3, 6-4, first time ever over Pam, and I missed it,” he said. Gurney's success was not all Good­ man and his team had to celebrate. Karen Kalbacher and Wendy Scheerer, Bonac’s top doubles team and the third-seeded duo in the Conference competition, took the tournament after upsets decimated the draw. The pair reached the semifinals (the first two rounds of the tournament were played at Shoreham - Wading River) with two 10-2 victories before facing the second doubles team from Westhampton, winners over the sec­ ond seeds from Miller Place. Tara Noonan and Maria Mondini won the first set, 6-0, before the Bonackers ful, he will qualify for a Shea Stadium appearance later in the football season. He represents Plitt Ford, East Hamp­ ton. came back to take the last two sets, 7-6, 7-6, in two tiebreakers, 5-3 and 5-1. “Be Calm” “Karen had some problems early in the match,” Goodman explained, “but Wendy was just super, giving her support and holding things together until Karen came around. About the only thing I could say to them was ‘be calm,’ and I was jumping out of my shoes.” Kalbacher reassembled her game to hold her serve in the latter stages of the match and put the final point away with a confident, crunching overhead. The two had few problems in the final, stopping Southampton’s Brenda Griffen and Jamie Parash, 6-1, 6-3. After losing the first game of the match, Scheerer and Kalbacher reeled off eight in a row with deep serves and aggressive poaching at the net. The Southampton pair had beaten the Shoreham team that had upset the first seeds from Westhampton, 11-10, in an early-round match that needed a tiebreaker. Sandy Fleischman, East Hampton’s undefeated first singles player, lived up to her top-seeded position with two 10-1 wins, a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of South­ ampton’s Dori Klissas in the semifinals, and a 6 - 1 , 6-0 win over her teammate Gurney in the final. Despite the wide margin of victory, it was a close match with long rallies, Coach Goodman reported. In the consolation competi­ tion for third place, Klissas topped Oliver, 10-5. Trips Fleischman, Gurney, and Kalbacher and Scheerer are traveling to Smith- town West High School today for the County tournament, and the top three singles players and two doubles teams from that event will qualify for the State tournament in Syracuse a week from tomorrow. Fleischman and the Bonac doubles team were given seeded positions in the draw; winners of the various Conference competitions were assigned seeded placements without numbered designations. The final two rounds are scheduled for Saturday at 3 and 7 p.m. at the Stony Brook Academy Racquet Club in Setauket. Shelley Scott of East Hampton was a Continued on Page 11 Newsday’s Steve Marcus appears to have fallen flat on his face again. I wonder whether his employer will pick him up, dust him off, and tell him everything’s all right. Everything’s not all right, but if the Newsday powers- that-be don’t address his transgres­ sions, then they are giving tacit approval to distorted facts and ques­ tionable journalistic methods. In last week’s column, I described his factual inaccuracies that marred his Oct. 9 story of the East Hampton- Bayport football game. Tuesday, he struck again. Frankly, I’m getting a bit bored with his problems — as are others — but as long as he insists on misrepresenting the truth, he demands attention. Tuesday’s story dealt with the spearing incident, rather alleged spear­ ing incident, that occurred in the above mentioned football game. Marcus stat­ ed, again, that Bayport quarterback Kevin Usher “missed most of the first half’ after the alleged incident. Wrong. He appeared in every Bayport offensive play from scrimmage up to the nine-minute mark of the first quarter, when, on a second down and nine situation, he was removed after a face-tackling (or butt-blocking) call against East Hampton involving him. Two plays later, his replacement completed the drive for a score; Usher did not appear during the extra-point kick attempt. 20 Out Of 35 The very next time Bayport had the ball, with just under four minutes to play in the first quarter, Usher re­ appeared. When the second quarter began, his replacement was in for two plays before Usher reappeared again; he stayed for three plays, leaving at 10:22 of the second quarter. Of Bay- port’s 35 plays from scrimmage in the first half, Usher was in on 20. Is that most of the first half? Yes. He played most of the first half, contrary to Mr. Marcus. Bayport Coach Kerry Lawler verified this sequence of events on Tuesday. His second misrepresentation occurs when he describes Newsday’s attempts “to investigate the spearing incident last week . . . [Newsday] sought to bring both schools and County football officials together to view the game film. There was initial agreement by all the parties . . .” That’s a 15-yard penalty right there for illegal use of truth. All parties did not initially agree. Dick Cooney, Bonac football coach, certainly didn’t. “Marcus called me Sunday night about the alleged spear and told me that Newsday was holding an investi­ gation at Bellport High School Thurs­ day the 13th at 3:30 p.m. in the principal’s office. He said Bayport had requested it, that Coach Lawler had asked for it,” Cooney explained, adding that he placed a call to Bayport and was told by athletic director Bob Sullivan and Lawler that “it was absolutely erroneous, Newsday had no authority, and neither had asked for a Newsday investigation.” Confirmation Earlier this week, both Lawler and Sullivan verified Cooney’s version. Cooney said he never committed himself to the kangaroo-court idea, and that the Sunday night call was the last time the two spoke to each other; Marcus did ask Cooney if he was trying to cover something up, and when con­ fronted with a similar reluctance from Bayport, asked the same question. Athletic director Paul Susskind of Bellport said on Tuesday that he was never contacted about any investi­ gation at his school, and neither was the Bellport High School principal. “Why should we get involved in anything like that?” he asked. Marcus said, later in the story, that Cooney “refused to talk to Newsday.\ Not so. Cooney and Marcus talked just once over the phone, the Sunday after the game. In his Tuesday account of the withdrawal of the spearing allegation, Marcus does not indicate specifically that Cooney was at the Monday evening meeting at Bayport. I wonder why? An Organization So what is going on here? Coach Law­ ler says: “I feel now that Newsday was looking for an issue and stepped in before it was necessary. As schools and officials, we have the organization to handle problems like this, and it turned out that what both Dick and I thought might have been a spear was not; we both didn’t have full knowledge of what a spear was. Kevin was not speared during the play in question, and I didn’t see any other instances of what might be called a spear. Newsday blew it out of proportion, and that kind of bad press hurts football, I don’t like to see that happen to the game.” He added that the Monday evening meeting was called, including members of the Suffolk Football Officials Asso­ ciation, to “give the refs a case to view . . . I was curious . . . I mean, I rated the officials highly, they did a good job calling the game. Spearing is frightening, the leading cause of in­ juries and death in football. I under­ stand it better now than I did before.” Dead Issue Both Cooney and Sullivan said that too much had been made of this already; each agreed that it was a dead issue, and I would agree, except for the role of Mr. Marcus. It seems to me that Mr. Marcus is as capable of leaving out important facts as well as distorting them. In his fifth paragraph of his Tuesday story, he mentions Kevin Usher’s father, George, but no mention is made of this: George Usher is a sportswriter for Newsday. Full disclosure would seem to be important here as this flap increases in incestuous complexity. At the bottom of all this may stand Kevin Usher, a gifted athlete. The question must be asked; is he having fun and would he be happier with less attention lavished upon him? Another bottom line question exists, also: Mr. Marcus has distorted facts and bullied several people while trying to score a scoop (did visions of a Suffolk sports Watergate dance in his head?)... and I want to know what Newsday is going to do about it. Questions On Wednesday, I spoke to Mr. Marcus about my objections to his factual presentations and his approach to the spearing incident. He said, in response to my first question, that he would make no statement and sug­ gested I ask questions, which I did. He admitted he had erred on his calculation of Kevin Usher’s total time played in the first half, “but I’m not going to talk about being off by a couple of minutes... safety is the issue here, and if a kid got hurt, we have a responsibility as a watchdog,” he said, although he did allow that “the paper had no right to run an investigation.” About the withholding of the Kevin Usher - George Usher relationship: “People over me made the decision as to how germane it was . . . the feeling was that people would say I’m doing this because it's George’s son, and there’s no way I can prove that’s wrong.” “Lip Service” We then had a convoluted discussion, jumping from topic to topic with much doubling back. He said that he felt he could not identify a spear, at least before the Monday meeting clarified just how the rules defined the illegal tactic, but that Coach Lawler, as well as Coach Cooney, had first said they thought one had occurred. He said he felt that Monday’s resolution was “paying lip service . . . how could they [Lawler and Cooney] be that wrong about what they both claimed they saw?” We covered many other aspects of our differences, and he wondered whether I was being totally objective (a basic impossibility, but every effort must be made to be as objective as possible) and asked if my interests didn’t “lie with East Hampton.” I said no, they didn’t, and we agreed that further conversations (“this isn’t over yet,” he advised) would follow. He sounded like a well-intentioned reporter, most of the time, and I actually enjoyed talking to him; he earned my respect over the phone, although he does not have it when he writes as he has about the alleged spear. Between The Lines

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