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Apr 16, 2018 12:55 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

UPDATE: East Hampton Boys Tennis Wins Protest, Second Doubles Match To Resume Monday

Josh Kaplan won a key match for Westhampton Beach on Friday, defeating Ravi MacGurn, 6-4, 6-4.  DREW BUDD DREW BUDD
Apr 17, 2018 1:20 PM

Update: 11:37 a.m.

The second doubles match between East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton and Westhampton Beach will be resumed on Monday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m., East Hampton head coach Kevin McConville said. The Bonackers will have a 6-5 lead and the Hurricanes will be serving.

Update: 9:45 a.m.

East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton boys tennis coach Kevin McConville said on Tuesday morning that Section XI, the governing body of Suffolk County high school athletics, has overturned the original ruling that his team must forfeit the second doubles match against Westhampton Beach due to not having the correct uniform. An exact reason of the overturned decision was not immediately clear, but McConville said the second doubles match will be resumed from where it ended on Friday, with East Hampton leading Westhampton Beach, 6-5, in the first set and the Hurricanes serving. A date and time for the match is forthcoming.

A win at second doubles for the Bonackers would turn what was a 4-3 win for Westhampton Beach and its clear path to the League VII title into its own 4-3 win and would most likely force a share of the league title with the Hurricanes.

ORIGINAL STORY

The East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton and Westhampton Beach boys tennis teams have created a competitive rivalry over the past few years. The Bonackers have won the League VII title the past three years, winning the title outright in 2015 and 2016, before sharing it with Hurricanes last year after both teams finished 9-1 in league play.

On Friday, though, in a match with league title implications, a new twist was added to the rivalry.

With the Bonackers’ top doubles pair of Pierson’s Brad Drubych and Bridgehampton’s Jamie Fairchild out sick, East Hampton head coach Kevin McConville knew that a victory at second or third doubles would be a deciding factor in the overall match, so he called up a pair of junior varsity players to fill in and shuffled down his next best doubles pairs.

It was the second doubles match where issues started to arise. The Hurricanes pair of Brennan Tomlinson and Santo Benenati called Pierson’s Alex Weseley for foot-faulting twice—which occurs when a serving player’s feet go onto the court of play during a serve. The result, after two faults, is a failed serve and a point is awarded to the opposing team. McConville, who was watching the match because of its importance, didn’t contest the Hurricanes players’ ruling, but he did let them know that it is against the rules for players to make that call—a referee or a coach can only do so on such an occurrence. After McConville made sure the Westhampton Beach players understood they could not make that call, play resumed.

With Weseley and East Hampton’s Hunter Medler leading the first set, 6-5, there was a break in play and one of the East Hampton players decided to take his sweatshirt off, revealing that he was not wearing a uniform. As per Section XI rules, players must wear their uniform during all matches. Westhampton Beach head coach John Czartosieski said that he noticed that multiple East Hampton players were not wearing their uniforms and he gave them a chance, he said, to get their uniforms and resume play. Minutes went by and it became clear that a pair of East Hampton players did not have their uniforms, so Czartosieski said he had no choice but to claim East Hampton must forfeit second doubles.

Westhampton Beach wound up winning the match, 4-3, the same score it won by in East Hampton in the season opener on March 19. The Canes (6-0 League VII, 6-2 overall) have a number of matches left on the season, but with a season sweep of the Bonackers (3-2 League VII, 3-4 overall), they now have a clear path to their second straight league title, this time with it being outright.

A heated exchange between McConville and Czartosieski ensued after the forfeit was called, but ultimately the Bonackers were forced to take the forfeit. McConville initially said he was going to protest the match, and after going over the rules with his athletic director, Joe Vasile-Cozzo, they are both still trying to get clarification on the specific rule. On the specifics of dress code, the rule states, “all team members must be uniformly dressed in a team shirt, and solid colored shorts or skirts. They may be either white or school colors. Jams, cutoffs, jeans, and large designs are not permitted. Any failure to comply will result in competitor(s) being excluded from participation.”

While McConville admitted on Monday he is not sure if any protest would be successful since his players clearly didn’t have their jerseys, he said Vasile-Cozzo wants to know if the players could have continued playing with their sweatshirts on since they began play with them. They haven’t heard back from the Section XI tennis chairperson, Mark Mensch, as of early Monday afternoon.

McConville said that things didn’t get off on the right foot once his team stepped off the bus at Westhampton Beach. He said he asked Czartosieski if his team could get some time to warm up and practice, which some coaches do allow prior to matches, but Czartosieski, he said, wouldn’t allow his team to practice, allowing only a jog and some stretching.

“I didn’t know that a few of the players didn’t have their jerseys. Had I known I would have an extra one like I do now. I had to learn the hard way,” McConville said. “But after going over a couple of different rule books, [Czartosieski] was 100 percent in the right to call a forfeit. It’s too bad it was for the league title.”

Czartosieski said that he had almost the same situation unfold during one of his first years of coaching at Southold. It’s a tough lesson that unfortunately occurred, he said.

“We are the unofficial officials—the coaches—we have to make sure the kids follow the rules,” Czartosieski said. “I would have never agreed to ignore the rule. What kind of message does that now send the kids? This is a varsity, Section XI sport, everyone is expected to wear a school-issued uniform. It can’t be something the team collectively bought together—like my players, boys and girls, always get shirts made themselves—you can’t wear that as a uniform. You have to wear what I gave you for the match.”

“Can a soccer or basketball player wear another uniform? What do you think the refs would do in that case?” he asked.

Danny Tocco and Josh Kaplan won first and second singles, respectively, for Westhampton Beach. Tocco defeated Bridgehampton’s Johnny DeGroot, 6-1, 7-5, while Kaplan defeated Ravi MacGurn, 6-4, 6-4. East Hampton won third and fourth singles. Luke Louchheim continued his torrid start to his varsity tennis career, defeating Andre Insalaco, 6-3, 6-4. Louchheim, an eighth-grader, has not lost a league match yet in his career. East Hampton’s Jaedon Glasstein defeated Jake Ongania, 6-0, 6-4.

East Hampton’s Miles Clark and Matthew McGovern defeated Canes Adam Sheren and Dan Caputo, 6-3, 6-1, at first doubles, making that second doubles forfeit even more important. Pierce Rosen-Keith and Julian Buchen, who normally are exhibition players but were pushed into the starting lineup with Sean Toner and Kasper Buchen out, won at third doubles for Westhampton Beach, defeating Julian Pesce and John Jimenez, 6-4, 6-0.

McConville said his team hasn’t been at full strength for one reason or another, other than its non-league match against Half Hollow Hills East earlier this season, which it lost 5-2. It was one of the more competitive matches Hills East has had this season, McConville said, with four of the seven matches being decided by tiebreakers. McConville is hoping that his team will be fully healthy for the Section XI Team Tournament.

East Hampton was scheduled to host Shoreham/Wading River on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and will play at Ross on Friday at 4 p.m. After playing at Rocky Point on Wednesday, Westhampton Beach will have a full week off before hosting Shoreham on April 25 at 4 p.m.

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Well I'm glad the county reversed the WH coach's decision to disqualify that doubles team. Don't know much about sport, but that just seemed like a pretty shifty way to take a league title. I know "rules are rules" but that move seemed a little aggressive. It's tennis. Should be pretty obvious who your opponent is, no?
By GlassHouses (55), anywhere on Apr 17, 18 11:04 AM
There wasn't this level of acrimony in the 1990s in local high school sports. Kids just played and had fun competing against each other without the interference of the "adults". Sad sign of the times.
By watermill_mike (25), Sag Harbor on Apr 17, 18 1:29 PM
Glad this was reversed. What a petty way to argue to win a league title for WH. Let the boys play and earn it. and then shake hands.
By jackiemay (23), east hampton on Apr 17, 18 3:33 PM
Rules are rules. If they are not enforced, they are simply suggestions, not rules. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but aren’t the teams suppose to “follow the rules”. If not, what’s the point of having any of them. EH’s coach had no problem insisting the footfault-calling rule be followed, but the shirt-wearing rule not so much - - rules aren’t meant to be selectively chosen, they are meant to be followed. There is no grey here - - and it’s not petty ...more
By maxhampton (1), East Quogue on Apr 18, 18 8:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
Sports are a model for learning....and this is a learning experience. Sometimes its not gonna go your way and sometimes it is.....
By sag runner (23), Easthampton on Apr 19, 18 7:37 AM
As of the first press article the East Hampton coach said Coach Czartoziesky was 100% correct. Of course he was, What changed overnight? So ridiculous,
if the Coach requires his own players to be properly prepared to play, then of course he would expect it of the other team. What message does this reversal of rules send? The rule of proper uniform to participate is not arbitrary it’s black and white. Sorry, life is tough sometimes,however in real life you have to play by the rules. But ...more
By AMT (2), Remsenburg on Apr 26, 18 8:39 PM
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