Islanders open season against Lakers

Story and volleyball photos by Frank Solle, basketball photos by Melissa Peters

The start of the winter sporting season was delayed a couple weeks by bad weather, but once the Mackinac Island Lakers finally arrived their welcome was a mixed one.

The Islanders volleyball team greeted their Northern Lights League rivals with a 20-25, 25-14, 15-8, come-from-behind victory in a match shortened to three games due to time constraints.

The Islanders basketball team tried their best to match that effort, but came up just short in a thrilling 63-61 loss.

Rally at the net

Behind the powerful serves of Christine McDonough and Emma Adams, the Islanders jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first game against the Lakers, but the visitors stormed back to grab a 10-7 lead. The Islanders fought back to tie the game at 19-all, but the Lakers ran off the next four points and eased into the five-point win.

The second game opened in a similar fashion as the Islanders opened a 6-2 lead, this time with Christine McDonough and Bailey McDonough provided the service punch.

As the Islander lead slowly grew, Christine McDonough added an ace, one of her seven on the day, and Adams powered over one of her seven kills and the Islanders were up 16-9.

A strong service effort by Caitlin Boyle sent the Islanders to a 22-12 lead as they cruised to the win to knot the match at a game apiece, setting up the deciding 15-point third game.

This time the teams played close through the opening points. The turning point came on a long rally that was kept alive on a diving dig by Andrea Moore and the point eventually went to the Islanders for a 6-6 tie.

The Islanders then opened the game up with a three-point run keyed by Adams at the service line and Christine McDonough at the net. A block for a point by McDonough gave the Islanders a 10-7 lead.

After the teams traded points, Moore came to the service line and sent over four straight winners for the match win.
“I'm very happy and very proud of the girls,” said Islander coach Connie Boyle. “We got disorganized for a while, but in the second and third game we started playing together and having some fun.” Leading the fun were Christine McDonough with seven aces, eight kills and two blocks. “Christine played awesome,” Boyle said. “This is going to be her year.”

Two freshmen were big contributors to the win as Caitlin Boyle four aces and six assists while Maeve Green added three assists. “I was really impressed with them,” Boyle said of her young players. “For freshmen they did an awesome job setting and saving the ball.”

Adams finished with seven kills and two blocks. Moore and Krystle Timsak were both 100 percent from the service line.

Comeback comes up short

The Islanders opening basketball game had a little bit of just about everything. A slow start. A big rally. Too many turnovers. Clutch three-point baskets. A long cold stretch. One last rally. And more clutch baskets. The only thing missing was a win.

While it took the Islanders nearly half the first quarter to find the bucket, once they did they stayed with the Lakers until a late six-point run put the visitors up 16-9 at the end of the period.

“We were all nervous and just throwing the ball up,” said Islander coach Mike Myers of the team's shaky first-quarter performance.

But once they found their game, the Islanders found their game. After Mackinac extended the lead to 20-9 with the first two baskets of the second quarter, the Islanders reeled off an impressive 20-4 run in taking a 29-24 lead. The Islanders controlled the boards, ran the floor, made smart passes and, most importantly, made their shots.

Dan Runberg drove the lane and scored twice inside. Eric Albin dropped in a big trey. John Albin scored three times inside, while Jared Wojan hit a basket and a free throw plus dished out a pair of assists to Brenden Martin.

A late Laker triple by three-point specialist Michael Gamble closed the first half with the Islanders leading 31-29.
The game remained tight through the third quarter. The Islanders scored the first two baskets, opening a six-point lead, but the Lakers stayed close. Wojan scored on a baseline drive with just under two minutes left in the quarter to give the Islanders a 45-37 edge, their largest of the game.

But the Lakers netted the next six before John Albin scored on a putback to close the quarter with the Islanders clinging to a 47-43 margin. After the Lakers tied the game at 47 with two quick scores, James Gillespie put the Islanders back on top with a baseline jumper at the 6:57 mark. And things still looked good.

But Gillespie's points proved to be the last for the Islanders for nearly three and half minutes while the Lakers went on an 11-0 tear.

“We just weren't making it happen,” Myers said of the fatal stretch. “They were driving into the hole and we couldn't close it up.”

But the Islanders fought back as John Albin scored inside, Gillespie hit again from the baseline and Eric Albin and Wojan each drained triples.

Wojan's three-pointer came with 50 seconds to play and pulled the Islanders within 60-59. But it wasn't quite enough. The Lakers went 5-10 from the line down the stretch, just good enough to hold the Islanders at bay.

“We had a chance at the end,” Myers said. “Overall it was a good game.”

Wojan finished with 18 points for the Islanders with John Albin adding 15 and Gillespie 10.

The Islanders host Ojibwe Academy this Friday (6:00 pm) and Saturday (9:00 am).

Christmas Shopping or Bah Humbug

Unless you know me very well, you have no concept of how excited I was to be traveling to the mainland to do our Christmas shopping. The smells of car exhaust, black slush, honking horns, … on the holiday fun-o-meter it ranks right up there with slamming ones finger in the car door or stubbing your little toe on the leg of a table during a nightly dash to the bathroom.

I caught the boat Friday morning after being dropped off by my husband who somehow always manages to get out of the shopping aspect of Christmas. NEXT year I'm checking his pocket to see if that's a two-headed coin that we flip since I seem to always be on the losing end of this deal.

The boat was filled with folks either heading off to shop – Tarry McDonough asked, “How can you be a woman and hate to shop?” I don't have an answer for that except maybe in being height-deprived God couldn't fit in that particular chromosome within 4'10”. Its ok, she can do my share next time I need to go into any kind of store.

Once in Charlevoix I immediately headed to the Weathervane and checked in. I got lucky here since all the standard rooms were filled so I got a patio room – much, much larger with a couple of easy chairs and a table. Since I'd made my reservation in advance, I got it at the price of the smaller room. Add in the Beaver Island discount and I was doing pretty good and hadn't even hit a store yet.

Besides my own things to hunt for, I had lists from my boss, Barb Cruickshank, and my mother. I figured I'd hit the Dollar Store first. All parking spots near the store were taken so I had to park about a block away and then wade through slush that was black as tar thanks to the salt, oil from cars and who knows what. Ignore the fact that my boots were sitting back in the motel room. Numb toes just add to my enjoyment of the season. It may be a Dollar Store but you can end up spending a whole lot getting those little things to fill stockings especially if you happen to have one that my mom, Lil Gregg, knitted for you. The first year it's a normal size but as time passes it tends to “grow” so that by the time you're an adult it's the size of panty hose for 500 pound person. Adding oranges or apples just make it s-t-r-e-c-h even more.

A stop at Glen's Market for snacks and Pepsi (one must have the necessities to survive) and then back to the motel to order pizza. The only hitch was that once I was back in my room my sister telephoned and invited me “out” for dinner along with Maryann Weaver (former owner of the Bluebird B&B) so it was off to a restaurant while visions of pepperoni deluxe was dancing through my head. We had a booth… picture three short women sitting there and not one can reach the floor with their feet. We looked like a trio of Edith Ann's while we ate. Then there's the leaving the booth … if you can't reach the floor, scooting out a booth becomes an Olympic event.

Ahhhh, Saturday morning I could sleep in which for me means waking up about 4:30 a.m. except some idiot in another room hit the panic button for their car and the entire motel was awakened at 3:15 a.m. to the musical sound of a very loud horn. The owner of said horn took at least ten minutes to figure out how to shut the thing off and by then I was wide awake. So much for sleeping in. Thank goodness for in-room coffee, cable TV, and my knitting needles until the stores opened.

It was off to K-Mart on Saturday. Mistake number one was going on a weekend with a major holiday on the horizon. There is no “peak” time to avoid crowds. First there's the hunt for a parking spot. No handicapped sticker so the nearest spot was about 13.6 miles away across a sea of black slush with whitecaps caused by an artic wind of 543 mph and loose shopping carts being blown about that could permanently maim one if it wasn't dodged. You might step out of your car with a smile but by the time you reach the door it's a totally different expression.

Ahhh, warmth inside the store you think. Yes, it is a trifle warmer inside but now add in the incessant canned music of the Chipmunks singing and dozens of 2 to 5 year olds with extremely runny noses screaming at the top of their lungs, “I want that!” it's enough to convince you that perhaps birth control isn't such a bad choice. Either that or euthanasia and I can't help wondering if anyone has ever hung themselves with bootlaces in the shoe department after throwing up their hands and deciding that the pressure wasn't worth it. I managed to buy just a couple things and made my escape.

Ruthie and I planned to drive together to Petoskey on Sunday. I think her idea there was to keep me calm since I detest driving in holiday traffic. Scrooge has nothing on me and I'm not at all worried about being haunted by Marley. At least I wasn't awakened by the horn alarm. After scraping the snow off my car I thought I'd turn it on and have it all warmed up while I grabbed a quick cup of coffee. Uh huh… when the door shut I realized I'd locked myself out of my room, the button thingy to unlock the running car was also in the room as was my coat. I jogged to the lobby and got a new key, dashed back to the room only to discover that it didn't work. After a second key I was able to get the button, coat and decided to heck with the coffee I'd just go get Ruthie and we'd be on our way. I got lost. Her directions left certain details to the imagination. After making new tracks in unplowed driveways I finally found her.

Christmas brings out every type of wingnut, screaming adults and their kids, lines of 907625 people and store sound systems that are enough to save you from ever having to use a Q-tip again in this lifetime. If you still have shopping to do, watch the crowds from just outside the door before entering the fray. You'll notice that they are divided into two herds – going to and from the entrance. They all walk the same way and generally at the same speed however every once in a while some knucklehead mid-line decides to stop and cart after cart hits the hind-quarters of the person in front. Being goosed by a cold metal shopping cart will quickly give you that holiday feeling.

After following our herd around the stores at least four times I'd managed to grab whatever was at the end of the aisles and decided I was done, finished, through, drained, used-up, liquidated, and mostly bankrupt. I spotted an empty check-out and made a mad dash for it. I think it made the local headlines… Short, chubby woman breaks record to check out in 7 seconds even though she couldn't see over the top of the cart thanks to gifts. Unfortunately, during those 7 seconds 34 people got ahead of me.

At least I was done. Home was looking mighty good. I just had to load all the “stuff” into suitcases, load it into the car, get the car to the boat and get myself on the boat. Nothing to it. I think the harassed and glazed look in my eyes brought forth a bit of sympathy from the lad at the boat dock. He generously unloaded my car for me and I got my first relaxed breath since leaving and took a minute to snap the Santa on the Ferry mural painted on the BIBCO windows.

The trip home was fairly uneventful. There weren't many of us on the boat. Only four island families were represented and all had been doing Christmas shopping. In fact, the trip was so quiet that Brian Antkoviak, that hard working crew member, was able to finish coloring his whole picture before we docked.

All in all, spreading the shopping out over several days wasn't nearly as bad as previous years having to “get ‘er done” in 24 hours BUT I'm still missing that chromosome and hope that next year I get the other side of the coin.

Daniel Emerald Gallagher 1918 - 2005

Daniel Emerald Gallagher, 87, of Cocoa Beach, Florida passed away on Friday, November 4th at home, following a long illness.

He was born on June 14, 1918 on Beaver Island, to Elizabeth (Green) and Andrew Gallagher. While a teenager, he began his career as a commercial fisherman with his father on Lake Michigan, and later sailed the Great Lakes on ore carriers. He joined the Merchant Marine as an able-bodied seaman, but subsequently earned licenses as third mate, second mate and first mate. In 1947, at age 29, he earned his master's license, at that time becoming the youngest master mariner in the history of the Merchant Marine. He was a veteran of World War II, having served aboard the liberty ships in the European and Pacific theaters. His first command was aboard the liberty ship U.S.S. Daniel Willard.

Following the war, he continued to command vessels for the Merchant Marine and also spent 13 years ashore as a cargo surveyor for Bethlehem Steel in the port of Philadelphia. He then returned to sailing and during the Vietnam War, commanded ships which carried supplies to U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. In 1965, he moved with his family to Cocoa Beach, Florida to assume command of the U.S. air Force missile tracking ship General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, which tracked missile launches for the Gemini space program and also gathered top-secret intelligence off the coast of the former Soviet Union. Following the transfer of the Vandenberg to the United States Navy, he was offered but declined a naval commission. He later served as master of several commercial cargo ships owned and operated by Puerto Rico Marine Management, Inc., ultimately retiring in 1986, at age 69.

Among his many accomplishments, he was nominated for the Carnegie Medal in 1950, while living in Baltimore, Maryland when he saved the life of a baby who was choking. He was well-known everywhere he lived for his willingness to help friends, neighbors, and even strangers in need, and he went out of his way to do so on numerous occasions. He was a long-time member of Church of Our Savior, a lifelong Catholic and a lifelong Democrat. He was a devoted and much-loved husband, father and grandfather, and he will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by his brother, John A. Gallagher of Michigan; two sisters, Mary McDonald and Marguerite Smith of Michigan; and two children, Michael and Mary Gallagher.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Shirley (McDonald) Gallagher, his sister, Elizabeth Wilmot; two daughters, Kathleen C. Gallagher and Maureen A. Gallagher; three sons, Daniel E. Gallagher, Jr., John P. Gallagher and Kevin J. Gallagher; daughters-in-law Susan Gallagher, Diane Gallagher and Kathy Gallagher; sons-in-law Ken Mutell and Grant Fleming; granddaughters Christina Gallagher and Annie Richards; grandsons Matthew Richards, Shaun Gallagher, and John P. Gallagher, Jr.; numerous nieces and nephews.

David Leslie Wyman 1935 - 2005

David Leslie Wyman, 70, of Grand Rapids, MI, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, December 8th, 2005 shortly after complications from heart surgery.

Dave was born to Joseph and Anna Palmer Wyman on September 19th, 1935 in Detroit and grew up in Farmington, MI. He lettered in Baseball and Football at Farmington High School where he graduated in 1953. He attended Hillsdale College on a football scholarship and went on to work for various local banks including NBD, Community National Bank of Pontiac, Vice President of the National Banks of Southfield and Ypsilanti. Mr. Wyman left Southeastern Michigan in 1976, moving to the Grand Rapids area to return to college, eventually accepting a position as an Officer of the Sebrite division of Foremost Corporation. Dave founded Michigan Leasing and Financial Services, Inc. in 1981 and served as Chairman until 1999, retiring to pursue his love for his grandchildren, antiques and history, relaxing on Beaver Island, and when possible, hunting. Dave was a member of the Creston Rod and Reel sportsman club, the Christian Hunter Guild, the 6 X 9 Ranch, and Keystone Community Church of Ada, MI.

He is survived by his wife of two years, Sun Op; his brother, John of Waterford, MI; his son, Chris of Howell, MI; son, Patrick and daughter-in-law, Lynn of Brighton, MI; son, Michael and daughter-in-law, Renee of Rockford, MI; son, Paul and daughter-in-law, Tammy of Greenville; son, Matt of Lowell, MI; step son, Mike Reidt and daughter-in-law, Shelly of Greenville, MI; and step son, Ed Reidt and daughter-in-law, Kelley of Austin, TX. His survivors also include 15 grandchildren and his previous wives, Nancy Lutz Saunders and Judy Lowry Wyman.

A memorial celebration was held Monday, December 12, at Keystone Community Church, 655 Spaulding Ave., Ada, MI 49546. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the memory of David Wyman to Keystone Community Church at the address listed above.

Give 2006 a Healthy Start

*All screenings free

Beaver Island Rural Health Center and Beaver Island EMS are celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of the Health Center with a “Get Healthy” event.

On January 28, 2006 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm we welcome the Community to participate in “Get Healthy” activities including:

•  Cholesterol screening for the first 50 people

•  Blood sugar screening

•  Anemia Screening

•  Blood pressure

•  Blood oxygen saturation tests

•  Body mass and body fat measurements

•  Hearing screening

•  Information of numerous health issues

Come meet the BIRHC staff and the members of the BIEMS, enjoy some refreshments and perhaps win a door prize. Take a step towards a healthier future. Bring the whole family, there's something for everyone.

Page Two of the News on the 'Net