Thursday, September 24, 2020

Sports

Deep River Horseshoe League Standings Wide Open at Season’s Midpoint

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Deep River Horseshoe League President Frank Jolly, an Old Saybrook resident, and the White Sox are in the playoff conversation with a 15-15 record. Jolly has helped coordinate the necessary social-distancing and mask-wearing guidelines to keep throwers safe this season. Photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News

Deep River Horseshoe League President Frank Jolly, an Old Saybrook resident, and the White Sox are in the playoff conversation with a 15-15 record. Jolly has helped coordinate the necessary social-distancing and mask-wearing guidelines to keep throwers safe this season. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)

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White Sox B player Sheryl Serviss, who lives in Deep River, has made a marked improvement this year throwing for the White Sox (15-15). Last week, she notched a series score of 106, which was third-best in her division. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

White Sox B player Sheryl Serviss, who lives in Deep River, has made a marked improvement this year throwing for the White Sox (15-15). Last week, she notched a series score of 106, which was third-best in her division. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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The Mets’ Jeremy Davis, who lives in Chester, led all C throwers last week with a score of 94 to help propel his team back up the standings. The Mets defeated the Rangers by a 5-1 score. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

The Mets’ Jeremy Davis, who lives in Chester, led all C throwers last week with a score of 94 to help propel his team back up the standings. The Mets defeated the Rangers by a 5-1 score. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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The Tigers’ Robert “Skip” Robinson, a Guilford resident, had the third-highest tally among Division A players in the Deep River Horseshoe League with a 125 last week. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

The Tigers’ Robert “Skip” Robinson, a Guilford resident, had the third-highest tally among Division A players in the Deep River Horseshoe League with a 125 last week. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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White Sox C player Karen Perna and Rangers B player Andy Perna–both of whom live in Chester–turned in top-3 scores for their respective divisions last week. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

White Sox C player Karen Perna and Rangers B player Andy Perna–both of whom live in Chester–turned in top-3 scores for their respective divisions last week. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

The Deep River Horseshoe League (DRHL) just finished up the first half of the regular season after Week-5 action took place on July 16. The Pirates are still holding strong at the top of the standings, while the Royals supplanted the Rangers for the No. 2 spot. The Mets claimed a big 5-1 victory against the Rangers, who dropped to fourth place. The Cubs are still sitting in third place while the Tigers maintained fifth. It's all to play for in the second half.

President Frank Jolly, who lives in Old Saybrook, has been pleased with progress the DRHL has made so far this year with the guidelines that were determined at the season's outset. With the playoffs not all that far away, Jolly is looking forward to seeing the league crown a champion.

"We're doing good. We have five more weeks to go, then we'll have the playoffs. We'll do it the way we normally do with games on Monday, Thursday, and then on Saturday," said Jolly, an A player for the White Sox. "I think we've been doing well...Everyone has been enjoying the season. It's nice that we can all get together and the weather has been cooperating."

The Mets had a great week thanks in part to Jeremy Davis, a Chester resident who led all C players with a series of 94. After a slow start to the season, the Mets defeated the second place Rangers and are beginning to climb the ranks of the DRHL. Davis believes the true test will come next week when the Mets go up against the second-place Royals with the league's current top-pitcher A player Mark Goodale, who lives in Clinton. Also playing for the Mets are A player Cody Layton, a Deep River resident, and B thrower Dennis Goodrich, who lives in Essex.

"The season has been up and down for us. We've had some great games, but we've also had some stinkers. We bounced back this week against the Rangers. They were in second place. They had won 12-straight games, and we took five from them," Davis said. "The team played strong that night. Cody got great points and so did Dennis. I feel like we're back in the mix and we can make a good run at the playoffs. We have a big matchup against Mark Goodale's team. If we can split with them, I think we'll be in good shape for the rest of the way."

The Tigers have been hovering around the top-five in the standings, and they received a solid series from Robert "Skip" Robinson, a Guilford resident, who threw a 125, which was third best among the As. Robinson believes that the DRHL landscape can change rapidly, especially in a shortened season. One tough week—like the one the Tigers had against the first-place Pirates—which features Kris Toohey, who lives in Westbrook, Gerald Hines, who's from Higganum, and Karen Perna, a Chester resident—can have a huge effect. Robinson's Tigers teammates are B thrower Damin Roberts, a resident of Cromwell, and C player Bob Beckwith (Guilford).

"For the first half of the season we started off really well. We had a slump the week before when we lost six games. We were playing the Pirates with Kris Toohey, who's a tough competitor and a good pitcher," said Robinson. "This week, our C-man, Bob Beckwith was out, so we had to use a sub, and he really came through for us. We went 3-3 this week, and my last game was my best of the season. Right now, everyone's looking over their shoulder. Any one of the teams can quickly take six games and you can fall behind in no time."

The White Sox are at .500 on the season currently, and are in striking distance of many teams above them. Sheryl Serviss (Deep River) has proven one of her team's most consistent players, and last week she threw a 106, which was third highest among all B-players. Serviss has seen marked improvement over in the past few seasons, and has invested in some Mustang horseshoes, which have become the preferred shoes for the White Sox to use in matches.

"This is the first year I've had my own shoes. I've been down at the pits three to five times a week, and I've improved remarkably. I've always been a keen sports person. Growing up, I was very athletic," said Serviss. "I've had a really good season so far and I'm hoping that's going to continue. I was locked in my house for so long, so I was doing a lot of online learning. I watched a lot of the horseshoes pros. I'm focused on my technique. I moved up to a B shooter last year, and I hope by the end of this season, I'll be an A shooter."

Topping the A players this week again was Goodale with a score of 157. The Cardinals' Tony Cutone (Essex) scored 133 for second over Robinson's 125. The Yankees' Ted Dubay, who lives in Colchester, led all B players with a score of 122, while Andy Perna (Chester) scored a 107 to edge out Serviss's 106. Davis's tally of 94 beat out Scott Allen Jr.'s (Deep River) mark of 86, which was second among C players. Karen Perna turned in an 82.

After Week 5 the DRHL standings have the Pirates (22-8) in first place, followed by the Royals (21-9) at just a game back. The Cubs (19-11) are in third place, with the Rangers (18.5-11.5) just a half-game back in fourth place. The Tigers (17-13) hold steady at fifth place.

The rest of the standings are as follows Mets (16-14), Giants (16-14), White Sox (15-15), Red Sox (14.5-15.5), Cardinals (13.5-16.5), Yankees (12.5-17.5), Reds (12-18), Dodgers (12-18), Angels (11-19), Orioles (11-19), Braves (9-21).

Even though the competition is fierce throughout the league, the camaraderie of the DRHL will always come first according to Setviss.

"The thing that I really like is that every year the team is different. You get to know everybody eventually. I love the league because I feel like it's another family. We've lost a few members in the last few years, some very young, and we're there for each other," Serviss said. "If we have any needs, we let each other know. I just like it for that aspect. I know that if I needed my car fixed, I could find somebody. No matter what I need, I can reach out and someone would be there. It doesn't matter what team you're on or where you are in the standings, people step up. It's nice to be a part of that."





Chris Negrini is the Assistant Sports Editor for Zip06. Email Chris at c.negrini@shorepublishing.com.

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