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Former Buck says staying with Island hosts ‘the experience of a lifetime’

When you house a Bucks player, it’s likely to be the beginning of a lifelong relationship. Hoot and Joanne Sherman described the experience they had and the feelings they developed with Ryan Smoot during the summer of 2017, which are alive to this day.

“I loved both of them,” Mr. Smoot said about getting to know the Shermans. He has revisited the Island twice since the summer of 2017 and is regularly in touch with his former hosts.

He also got to know other Islanders, mentioning his ongoing friendship with Kelsey McGayhey.

“I loved my summer on the Island,” he said. “So did the vast majority of the team.”

His roommate at the Shermans that summer was Nick Sogard. “They took great care of us,” Mr. Smoot said about his host family.

He especially liked that the Shermans — as is often the case — liked baseball, and came to many games to root him on.

Mr. Smoot comes from a family of sports coaches and champion athletes and had played a previous year for a collegiate team in Kansas, so he was used to the experience of being hosted by a local family. He had also grown up in a small town in Virginia, but being on an Island was a new experience that he said took some adjustment.

With many games starting at 5 p.m., by the time the games ended and he and his teammates wanted food, they frequently had to ride North Ferry to Greenport to purchase items from the Mr. Roberts store, he said. The IGA on the Island was closed, he said.

But it didn’t take long before those trips to and from Greenport became “sort of an event” for team members, affording them an opportunity to get to know more Islanders.

Today, at 25, he’s an assistant coach at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., and this summer, he expects to be coaching a collegiate team in that area, so he’ll be busy helping line up host families for his visiting players.

The Bucks are closing in on their housing goal, but still need two more beds for June, and 13 for July, according to team General Manager Brian Cass.

If you have the space and time and want the experience of a lifetime, call Mr. Cass at 631-445-0084, or email [email protected]; Frank Vecchio at 516-317-8687, or email [email protected]; or David Austin at 415-613-1991, or email [email protected].