Sports: Belmont Girls’ Soccer Jets Off to East Boston for Playoff Opener

Photo: Belmont High School Girls’ Soccer team.

The Belmont High Girls’ Soccer team will be heading to Eastie on Thursday, Nov. 5 to begin postseason play as the 10th-ranked Marauders visit the 7th-seeded Jets of East Boston High School in the first round of the MIAA Div. 2 North Sectionals.

Head coach Paul Graham’s team (11-6-0) will take on the Jets (11-3-2) which is coming off being upset by Latin Academy, 4-2, in the City League title game, the first time since 2010 East Boston has not been the champs.

The game will take place in the newly renovated East Boston Memorial Park adjacent to Logan Airport on Thursday. It is unknown at what time the game will be held.

If victorious, Belmont will meet the winner of the second-seed Marblehead High (15-2-1) and Melrose (7-9-2). A Melrose upset would result in a home game for Belmont on Monday, Nov. 9. A Marblehead win will result in a long, difficult drive to the home of the Magicians.

Stewart Sworn in As Newest Belmont Police Officer

Photo: Belmont Police Officer Michael Stewart being sworn in by Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman on Nov. 2. Police Chief Richard McLaughlin (right) witnessed the ceremony. 

Belmont’s newest police officer Michael Stewart was sworn in by Town Clerk Ellen Cushman on at Town Hall on Monday, Nov. 2. Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin was in attendance. 

On Friday, Oct. 30, McLaughlin and Belmont Town Administrator David Kale attended Stweart’s graduation ceremony from the Lowell Police Academy and Municipal Police Academy.

Stewart passed the 27-week intensive academy program where he served as the Academy’s Class President.

Sports: Belmont Field Hockey Seeded 4th in North Sectional with Two Possible Home Games

Photo: Belmont High Field Hockey. 

All the hard work and persistence paid off for the Belmont High School Field Hockey team as the 14-2 Marauders are seeded 4th in the Division 1 North sectional tournament, giving Belmont possibly two home games until the semifinals.

The Middlesex League Liberty Division champions will host 13th-ranked Central Catholic of Lawrence (10-6-2) from the tough Merrimack Valley Large League on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m. at Harris Field. 

If victorious, Belmont will take on the winner of the 5th-seed Masconomet Regional of Boxford, which won the Cape Ann League, at 15-2-1 and 12th-seed Haverhill High (10-6-1). 

The quarterfinal match will likely take place on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Harris Field. A time has not been set just yet for the game.

If the Marauders win its home games, it will likely mean a clash with undefeated and untied Acton- Boxborough, (19-0-0), the second-ranked team statewide behind only Watertown and number one seed in the sectionals. Last week, the Colonials were ranked 9th nationally by MAX Field Hockey.

Trapelo Road Paving Resumes Monday, Except Delays Along Route

Photo: Paving work in Belmont.

Starting at 5:30 a.m., Monday, Nov. 2, construction crews will resume paving Trapelo Road between Waverley and Cushing squares, according to Belmont Police.

The current construction schedule has paving work occurring on Monday, Nov. 2, Wednesday, Nov. 4, and Thursday, Nov. 5.

Police and town officials warn motorists to expect delays along the major thoroughfare that runs the length of Belmont from the Waltham to Cambridge town lines.

Town officials said that paving work is weather dependent and that the current schedule may fluctuate, although the latest forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures reaching the mid-60s into the 70s by the end of the week.

Due to cold temperatures it is not possible to complete the work during the overnight hours, necessitating daytime paving.

Questions about the project may be directed to the Office of Community Development at 617-993-2650.

Sports: Belmont Swimming Can’t Defuse Rockets at Home, Sets Sights on League Meet

Photo: Jessica Blake-West swimming the 100 butterfly against Reading.

“No tears,” said long-time Belmont High Head Coach Ev Crosscup as he talked to his girls’ swimming and diving team after falling to the visiting Reading Memorial High School in the final dual meet of the season, and clinching the regular season Middlesex League championships to the Rockets on Wednesday, Oct. 28. 

And like a good coach will also do, Crosscup took the blame for the 96-84 defeat at the Higgenbottom Pool. 

“I told [the girls] they should hold their heads up high. It was just some little things that, in hindsight, we could have done better, and I accepted the blame for that,” said Crosscup.

“They did nothing wrong. I should have had them just a little bit better prepared. But we can’t take anything away from Reading. They were the better team today,” he said.

In fact, the meet came down to the final relay, the 4×400-yard freestyle, in which Belmont needed to win and a second for a win, and a win and a third place finish for a tie. By the final leg, as Belmont’s senior captain Jessie Blake-West took off from the blocks, she was nearly 10 yards behind Reading’s sprint specialist senior captain Christina Tzianabos, who finished eighth in the 100-yard freestyle in last year’s state championships. But in one of the most impressive swims of the season, Blake-West cut seconds off the advantage, chasing down and nearly catching Tzinanbos, being inched out by less that a half a second as the standing-room-only crowd urged her on.

“She’s exceptional. [Blake-West] is a once-in-a-lifetime swimmer to coach,” said Crosscup.

While Reading, coached by Hall of Famer Lois Margeson – in her 28th season – threw down personal best times, the Marauders appeared less than sharp in the water.

The sense that something was amiss came in the first event, the 200-yard medley relay in which Belmont is the defending Div. 2 state champions. While Blake-West (in her favorite butterfly) and breaststroker Emily Quinn established a lead, it wasn’t enough of a buffer as Tzinanbos swam down Belmont’s Solvay Metelmann to out touch the senior by six-hundredth of a second (1:55.50 to 1:55.56).

And while Belmont won the same number of events as Reading (five to five with a tie), the Rockets came up big in what has been a Belmont bug-a-boo for the past two years, the sprint freestyles, (the 50 and 100 yards) taking home a total of 22 points to only 10 for the Marauders.

One bright spot in the frees was Belmont’s freshman Nicole Kalavantis, who dominated the distances, winning the 500 yard going under five-and-a-half minutes (5:28.91) and the 200 (2:04.59) where she pulled away from Reading’s freshman phenom and winner of the 100 yards free, Marie Letendre.

“Our freestylers did a wonderful job. [Reading] just has some real strong ones,” said Crosscup.

Blake-West dominated the two individual events in which she won at last year’s state championship, the 200 individual medley (2:14.62) and the 100 butterfly, in which she swam in 57.10. 

Belmont’s diving stalwart Cynthia Kelsey took home a comfortable 266.70 to 199.73 point decision over freshman Maddie Doyle in the 1 meter. 

In some surprising results, Belmont lost each of the relays (200, 400 and medley) and Quinn, who finished third in last year’s state championships, was caught and passed in the 100 breast by yet another Rocket freshman, Anna Roberts, 1:11.00 to 1:11.57. 

When Blake-West could not make a remarkable comeback in the final event and the handshakes given, the team sat before Crosscup, who was sitting on a starting block. Rather than speak about the meet, he congratulated swimmers who set times that qualified them for the coming sectional and state championships.

And Crosscup was already thinking about the league meet being held Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 4 and 5, at Bentley College. 

“We should be solid at the league meet. I think we could win that,” he said. “I’ve always felt that the League meet is the true test of who is the best.”

Before leaving the pool, the senior co-captains led the team in the team cheer, as they looked forward to the league meet and the state championships.

This Week: Curtain’s Up on ‘The Laramie Project’, Early Release Wednesday

On the government side of This Week:

  • The Board of Selectmen will be meeting at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2 at Town Hall.
  • The Planning Board is also meeting on Monday, Nov. 2  at 7 p.m. but in the Homer Building where they will hear requests for decks, a floor addition and two special permits for home day care centers.

Music & Movement with Rubi, a movement and music program recommended for ages 3 to 5 (but 2-year-olds are welcome) will be held in the Belmont Public Library’s Flett Room on Monday, Nov. 2. There will be two sessions: 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

• Belmont’s Leah Brams will seek her third title in four years when she and the Marauders race at the Middlesex League meet at Woburn Country Club on Monday, Nov. 2. The race should begin at 3:30-ish p.m.

• The Belmont Boosters are meeting in Room 113 at Belmont High School, 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2.

Tuesday is story time at both of Belmont libraries.

  • Pre-School Story Time at the Benton Library, Belmont’s independent and volunteer-run library, at 10:30 a.m. Stories and crafts for children age 3 to 5. Parents or caregivers must attend. Siblings may attend with adults. Registration is not required. The Benton Library is located at the intersection of Oakley and Old Middlesex.
  • Pre-School Storytime at the Belmont Public beginning at 9:30 a.m.We’ll read longer books, sing and dance, and make simple crafts. For 3-5-year-olds with a longer attention span.

State Rep. Dave Rogers will be holding office hours at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St., at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3.

• It’s an early release day for Belmont’s elementary, middle school and high school students on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

Crafternoon is for students in Kindergarten and elementary school (first to fourth grades) where students can get creative and do an assortment of crafts on this early release day, Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room.

• The Belmont Public Library is hosting the Harry Potter Fan Club on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Flett Room. 

• Everyone is invited to Chinese Storytime which will take place in the Flett Room of the Belmont Public Library from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 0n Wednesday, Nov. 4.

• Sustainable Belmont is holding its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room. 

• The Belmont Historical Society’s Board meeting will be held in the Belmont Public Library’s Claflin Room, on Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

• The Belmont Council on Aging will host its inaugural Veterans’ Breakfast sponsored by East Cambridge Savings Bank, free for veterans on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 9 a.m. at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St. Meet Belmont Veterans’ Service Officer Bob Upton, Council on Aging staff, and local representatives over coffee and breakfast. Breakfast is limited to 50; please call the Health Department at 617-993-2720 to reserve your seat.

• If you love building with LEGOs, the LEGOs Club is for you! Kids in grades Kindergarten through 2nd grade will build with our LEGOs and we’ll put all the creations on display in the Children’s Room. The Club meets on Thursday, Nov. 5, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the library’s Assembly Room.
• The Belmont League of Women Voters monthly meeting is being held on Thursday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the library’s Flett Room.
• The Belmont High School Performing Arts Company’s fall play, “The Laramie Project,” will be performed on Nov. 5, 6, and 7 at Belmont High School’s auditorium. The play is about the reaction of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, which was considered a hate crime. The play deals with sensitive subject matter and contains mature content and, therefore, is not suitable for children and parental discretion is strongly advised for young teens. A powerful night of theater. See here for more information. Buy tickets now online and at Champions in Belmont Center. Tickets: $15 adults, $10 non-BHS students, FREE for BHS students and staff.
• Literacy Playgroup is a parent and child group that supports child’s language and literacy development on Friday, Nov. 6, 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the library’s Flett Room. You’ll play, read, sing and take home new ideas. Presented by educators from the CFCE grant program; for children age 4 and under.
• The Belmont Dramatic Club’s fall production of Tom Stoppard’s two one-act plays, “Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth” directed by Francine Davis will be performed on Nov. 6, 7, and 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of Belmont’s historic Town Hall. On-line tickets: $20 at wotinfo@ or call (617-460-2504 and leave a message.) The Christian Science Monitor calls the play: “A blend of comic nonsense and astringent political satire.”