Belmont Yard Sales: May 30–31

Photo: Yard sales in Belmont.

Yard sales in the “Town of Homes.” 

• 96 Agassiz Ave., Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• 151 Beech St., Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• 30 Clark St., Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• 30 Davis Rd., Sunday, May 31, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• 13 Harvard Rd., Saturday, May 30, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• 6 Hillside Terr., Saturday, May 30, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

• 30 Moraine St., Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• 179 Trapelo Rd., Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31, noon to 4 p.m.

• 449 Trapelo Rd., Sunday, May 31, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• 88 Winn St., Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Selectmen, Minus One, Unwilling to Replay Solar Fight at Town Meeting

Photo: Jim Williams (left) and Mark Paolillo.

Telling their new colleague revisiting a contentious Solar Amendment at the reconvened Town Meeting on Monday, June 1 is “not a good use of Town Meeting’s time,” the Belmont Board of Selectmen voted 2-1 to recommend unfavorable action on a motion to reconsider to bring the amendment back before the town’s legislative body.

During the debate, held at the Board’s meeting on Thursday, May 28, at the Beech Street Center, Selectman Jim Williams – who will bring the motion before Town Meeting next week – contend that the vote by Town Meeting on May 4 to “postponed indefinitely” the amendment was an example of “tantrum management” where personal attacks were launched to stifle a debate opponents didn’t want.

Yet for the two selectmen opposing the motion, a Solar Amendment “reboot” would be the wrong message to bring to resolving the issue of net metering in Belmont.

“We want to focus on the future, not the past,” said Selectman Mark Paolillo, who with Chair Sami Baghdady, voted to recommend not rehearing the debate.

Saying that he is committed to reaching the “right measure” on solar power pricing by committing to a relatively short public process to determine a long-term policy by October, Baghdady added that the reconsider motion “only creates perfect division in town.”

Paolillo restated an argument made by several Town Meeting members earlier in May that the amendment, requiring the town to approve a yet-to-be created state legislation on net metering, as “completely flawed to begin with.”

Paolillo called for an independent review of any future policy “to find middle ground” to defray the cost of installing and using solar power by revisiting earlier plans adopted by the town. He said this could be done within 60 days after Town Meeting adjourns.

Williams said he would be willing to remove the motion if those who brought the solar power measure  to Town Meeting – known as Article 9 – would support a more formalized review period suggested by Baghdady and Paolillo, “because then I have the confidence that the opposing position will be heard.” 

But Phil Thayer, Precinct 6 and a supporter of the article, said he didn’t have any comment on the proposal. 


Selectmen OK Woodfall Road Purchase And Sale, $1.75M Price Tag

Photo: Woodfall Road site.

The Belmont Board of Selectmen approved a purchase and sale agreement for the purchase of town-owned property at the end of Woodfall Road to a Lexington developer for $1,750,000.

Dani Chedid of Lexington’s Phoenix Construction Group will now begin the formal process of purchasing the 5.25 acre parcel adjacent to the Belmont Country Club and in the Hillcrest neighborhood on the west side of Belmont Hill, said Sami Baghdady, chair of the Selectmen at its meeting Thursday, May 28.

Chedid, the lead of a three-person group, outbid Northland Residential of Burlington (which constructed the The Woodlands at Belmont Hill) by nearly $1.5 million in December 2013 to begin working with the town on a final price tag for the property that will be home to four luxury single-family homes. 

Seventeen months ago, Chedid offered $2.2 million of the site. Since then, the town – through Town Administrator David Kale’s office – and contractor have been negotiating a final price for the land after a long due diligence process that included environmental assessments, soil testing, monitoring wetland requirements and, at one point, discussions with the country club on the likelihood of golf balls flying onto the new homes, said Baghdady.

“Woodfall Road is a different site since the request for proposal,” said Baghdady, referring to the nearly half-a-million dollar reduction in the original offer. 

“Yet even now, it’s a much better award than the $750,000 [Northland] offered,” he said.

The P&S now requires the town to present a “clean” title and for a state environmental test to be conducted. In addition, Chedid will go before the Belmont Conservation Commission to request a “side” order to allow some relief to build on one of the four lots due to wetland concerns.

A final purchase of the land, which has been on the market for more than a decade, should occur in the next two to three months, said Baghdady.

Belmont Schools Increasing Rents, Fees for BASEC, Swim Team and Kindergarten

Photo: Renting Belmont High School’s Higginbottom Pool will cost more if the Belmont School Committee approved fee increases. 

Saying that teaching positions should not be sacrificed if programs using its facilities are not paying a fair rate, the Belmont School Committee was presented a proposal to increase the rent for two non-profit programs and a jump in kindergarten fees in the coming school year.

“So now we will be we equitable with other areas and we’ll be getting more money,” said Belmont School Superintendent John Phelan at the committee’s meeting held Tuesday, May 26 at the Chenery Middle School.

Under the new fee schedule, two popular programs, the Belmont After School Enrichment Collaborative (the independent non-profit that runs the after school care programs at Belmont schools) and the Belmont Aquatic Team will see significant hikes in rental bills in the next two years.

Part of the impetus for a comprehensive review of the district’s rent and fee schedule came during the lead up to the Proposition 2 1/2 override vote in April, in which town voters overwhelming approved a $4.5 million tax hike to cover future deficits in the district’s budget.  

“We have not raised fees in five years and we’ve been talking about” revisiting the subject no matter the override’s outcome, said Phelan.

The overriding concern facing the district is that the current rates doesn’t meet the costs of “keeping the lights on,” paying utility costs, cleaning the areas, having maintenance workers on site and other demands on the district to keep the facilities up and running. 

Led by Tony DiCologero, the district’s Finance, Business and Operations director, the analysis calculated the cost-per-square-foot to operate a variety of spaces – the Higginbottom pool at the High School is far more expensive than a standard classroom – so the district could create a “baseline” cost to use a particular location.

DiCologero discovered the current sticker price for space did not meet the basic expenses required to manage the space. In addition, Belmont’s rental fees were well below the market rates of surrounding towns.

After the initial analysis was run, Phelan and DiCologero met with the two major users of school space – BASEC and BAT – to discuss the need for a “rethinking” on the fees.

“We see them as partners with the schools,” said Phelan. “They were expecting rate increases and were eager to refile contracts and we agreed to phase in the fee so not to pile on a burdensome expense in the next six month.”

Under the proposal, BASEC will see an increase of about a third to rent space in the six schools – 25 percent in fiscal 2016 and 7 percent in fiscal 2017.

In actual dollars, increases range from $7,400 to $5,900 over the two years with rental expenses reaching $29,425 at the Wellington, Butler and the Middle School, $23,406 at the Winn Brook and Burbank and $6,688 at the High School in fiscal 2017. The school district will see an increase of a nearly $36,000.

BAT will see a major increase in its rent over the two years of a proposed new contract. Currently, the squad pays what many consider a token fee of $13.28 an hour, using the pool for just over 500 hours for a total cost of $6,760.

Beginning in fiscal 2016, the rent increases to $50 an hour and then to $70 an hour in fiscal ’17. The increase will see rental fees jump by $28,000 over the two years to $35,000. 

In addition to the fees, the groups will also need to produce a certificate of insurance and have their employees submit to a CORI review. 

Phelan said he did not know what the rental fees would cost individuals as members of the effected groups, but he has heard the groups “will be able to absorb the new costs.”  

Parents of incoming full-day kindergarteners will see fees increase either $400 or $600, depending whether Gov. Charlie Baker is successful in passing through the legislature a cut in an annual state grant that facilitates full-day K. If the grant money is not restored by either the House or Senate, the higher rate will be imposed. 

Even with the higher fee – the first increase in four years – compared to surrounding town and private kindergarten, the cost for the program “remains a bargain,” said Phelan.

The proposal is before the School Committee and its financial subcommittee. It will be voted at the next meeting of the school committee on June 9.

Sold in Belmont: A Quartet of Roaring 20s-Era Abodes Skidoo Off the Market

Photo: 39 Bartlett Ave.

A weekly recap of residential properties sold in the past seven-plus days in the “Town of Homes.”

• 39 Bartlett Ave. Colonial (1927). Sold: $510,000. Listed at $525,000. Living area: 1,400 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 99 days.

35 Gilbert Rd. Condominium (1925). Sold: $497,000. Listed at $449,900. Living area: 1,100 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. On the market: 65 days.

71-73 Lewis Rd. Condominium (1924). Sold: $485,000. Listed at $485,000. Living area: 1,198 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. On the market: 70 days.

49 Sycamore St. #2. Condominium (1925). Sold: $388,000. Listed at $389,900. Living area: 950 sq.-ft. 5 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. On the market: 40 days.

The great explosion of home building in Belmont lasted about two decades at the start of the last century. Farm and orchard lands were developed, estates were subdivided and streets plotted north and south of the Trapelo/Belmont corridor.

So it shouldn’t be that far-fetched to see four homes built in the 1920s selling in the same week. What’s interesting is that some have gone from owner-occupied two families to straight duel condominiums. Guess no one wants to be the landlord living over/under the tenant. 

It should also be noted that, despite news that the real estate market is suffering a lack of supply (causing prices to race skyward), especially of condos, Belmont saw three units on the smallish end of the square footage scale sell along with a sad-looking single-family.

And for these parts, rather affordable, on average about $480,000. Not a bad starter house for many couples.

Of course, just outside job-hot Austin, Texas, (about the same distance from Belmont to Boston) this is what you get for $469,000.

With the Giant a Block Away, New Pharmacy Sets Focus on Service, Free Delivery

Photo: Pharmacist Richard Simon at Belmont Pharmacy. 

When Jack wished to see the Giant, he had to climb a magic bean stalk that reached far into the sky.

All Robert Pavlan needs to do to find his “giant” is stick his head out the door of the newly-opened Belmont Pharmacy, look to the left and there is a 95,800 sq.-ft. CVS/pharmacy staring right back at him. 

But the life-long independent pharmacist, who came back to Belmont from living and working in California, there is no reason to believe that the town can’t accommodate another drug store. 

The storefront opened on Wednesday, May 20. The store is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

“It will take this a couple of months to get this going,” said Richard Simon, a pharmacist who will run the business side of the new store located at 246 Trapelo Rd.

“We’re getting a feel for the neighborhood and getting good feedback,” said Simon, who has been a pharmacist for more than 20 years, opening up the pharmacy services at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and working at an independent pharmacy in Brookline in the late 1990s. 

With a third pharmacist in the fold, there is more than 70 years of experience in the store. 

A past resident, Pavlan wanted an opportunity to come back to “the neighborhood,” and took up that opportunity when he saw the storefront location open up on busy Trapelo Road.

“The space was available and, yes, he saw how close he’d be to another pharmacy,” said Simon.

But what a competitor; CVS is second only to Walgreens as the largest pharmacy chain in the US with more than 7,600 stores. It sells in a few minutes what Belmont Pharmacy could hope to provide in a year.

What they may lack in bulk, the new store will make up in service, said Simon.

“We’re going to be offering a lot to the community,” Simon said, such as blood pressure that customers can show their physician, blister packing for older customers, and patient profiles in which patient drug information is printed out in a wallet-sized card “because a lot of people are unaware just what their medications are and can be used if they are hospitalized.”

“And we will have free delivery in Belmont and Watertown, and that will expand when we expand,” said Simon.

What Belmont Pharmacy will not do is follow the national pharmacy model of becoming “a convenience store.” Inside the store is a few rows of over-the-counter medicines, cold relief and remedies for minor injuries.

“We’re not selling frozen pizza, bottled water, summer beach chairs; that’s not who we are,” said Simon. 

“We’re your pharmacist and we will look after you and your family.”

Simon said the store will be very competitive in pricing prescriptions with CVS.

“They get their drugs by the ton and we don’t. But their prices are set and we have the flexibility to set ours on need and demand,” he said.

The business has begun to canvas local doctors, the area hospitals including McLean and the town’s Board of Health and Council of Aging.

“There’s going to be outreach, but there has been a nice amount of groundswell of people coming in and saying, ‘We’re glad you’re here’,” said Simon.

Two-Bit Hike in School Lunch Prices Next School Year

Photo: Lunch in Belmont.

Dustin O’Brien, Belmont Public School’s Food Services director, has been a culinary whirling dervish this school year. 

The person responsible for providing nutritious meals for students that partake in the lunch offerings at the six Belmont public schools – as well as breakfast at the Belmont High – O’Brien has been leading the way in establishing innovative programs and new nutrition partnerships including taste testing new menu items, bringing in rustic breads with Iggy Breads and starting a “farm to table” initiative where locally grown produce from Belmont Acres Farm and from other growers is used in meals throughout the growing season.

According to Belmont School Superintendent John Phelan, the entire operation is self-sufficient, with the money taken in paying for the food and staff in each school.

“They don’t take a dime from the district,” Phelan told the Belmont School Committee on Tuesday, May 26. 

Yet there is more than just food and personnel that makes for an efficient department. They need to outfit a working kitchen – the pots, pans, and especially the bigger items, said Phelan, “working oven and refrigerators.” 

Yet, other than the basics, O’Brien doesn’t have the extra cash on hand to do simple tasks such as haul away broken equipment from the lunch rooms. 

With the support of Phelan, O’Brien has created a capital plan for food services, “to continue to provide quality food,” said the superintendent. 

The program would be set up like a revolving capital fund, with funds appropriated to replacing and upgrading equipment along with any other need in the kitchen. 

The proposal asks the School Committee to approve a 25 cents increase for a daily meal “ticket” to bring in between $60,000 to $66,000 annually into the revolving account. 

The changes will result in the following prices for lunch beginning in the new school year in August:

  • Belmont High School: $3.50
  • Chenery Middle School: $3.25
  • Belmont’s elementary schools: $2.75

Even with the increases, Belmont school lunch prices will be in the bottom third compared to surrounding communities, said Phelan. And hopefully with new equipment, prices will remain lower due to efficiencies. 

The School Committee will decide on the fee increase at its June 9 meeting. 

Crowds View Parade, Solemn Remembrance on Belmont’s Memorial Day

Photo: Veterans greet each other on Memorial Day, Belmont 2015.

On a muggy, overcast morning, Belmont residents came out to participate and watch the town’s annual parade and remembrance service on Memorial Day 2015.

One of the biggest crowds in recent memory sent the long-line of veterans, color guards, public safety officers, scouts, the combined Belmont high and middle school marching band and sporting teams such as Belmont Hockey and the Arlington-Belmont state champion crew off with cheers from Cushing Square down the Trapelo/Belmont corridor, onto Grove Street before stopping at Belmont Cemetery. 

Speaking before the assembled audience, the Reverend Paul Minor, co-rector with his wife, Cheryl, of Belmont’s All Saints Church, said the day is not just for those who sacrificed their lives defending the country but also “those who mourn the loss of loved ones throughout our history.” 

“We pray that inspired by their witness and service and sacrifice of blood that we would move forward in our own way to draw closer to our national vision of compassion, of mercy, of justice, of the rule of law,” said Minor, the sole full-time chaplain in the Massachusetts Army National Guard where he has achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 

Sami Baghdady, chair of the Board of Selectmen, said that while the Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, of backyard barbecues and escaping to the Cape, it is a day to remember the more than 120 from Belmont, from the Civil War to the war in Iraq, who died in combat or on active duty, including three remaining missing in action. 

“To Belmont, Memorial Day is much more than just another holiday,” as the enthusiasm of residents coming out to greet the veterans or pay their respect at the service “that we have not forgotten the true meaning and purpose” of the day. He noted earlier this month, the town approved funding to a committee to refurbish the town’s three main veterans monuments. 

Baghdady also praised the decade long service of the former town’s veterans agent, John Maguranis, and introduced the current agent, Bob Upton, for coordinating the day’s events. 

The day’s featured speaker, retired US Army Major General Robert Catalanotti – who was base commander of Camp Taji in Iraq a decade ago – asked residents that after the barbecues and all the other long weekend events are over, “resolve to continue the meaning of this holiday with your loved ones.”

“Later, when the sunsets, after the smell of hot dogs and burgers fade away, I ask you to stop and reflect on this day, and the soldiers who paid the price that we will never be able to match,” he said.

“Most of all, today is the day to tell the stories of the soldiers on the battlefields of decades past. So soldiers of yesterday and today are never forgotten by the children of tomorrow,” said Catalanotti. 

This (Short) Week: One Acts on Friday, Beech Street Open House, Arbor Day at the Butler

On the government side of “This Week”: 

  • The Belmont School Committee is meeting on Tuesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. at the Chenery Middle School. 
  • The Warrant Committee meets on Wednesday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chenery Middle School to discuss transferring funds from its reserve accounts to the school department to fill the current budget deficit. 
  • The Board of Selectmen will meet on Thursday, May 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Beech Street Center  to be updated on the Belmont Center Reconstruction project and discuss the new “green space” in front of the Belmont Savings Bank. It will also go into executive session to discuss the sale of two parcels of town-owned land, the commuter parking lot in Cushing Square for the Cushing Village development and the lot off Woodfall Road.

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. 
• The Belmont Public Library on Concord Avenue will be holding two sessions of Story Time for 2’s and 3’s, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. 

• Town Meeting members from Precincts 1 and 7 will be meeting at Tuesday, May 26,
from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the Belmont Public Library.

Choices in After-Death Care will be discussed at the Beech Street Center on Tuesday, May 26, at 1:15 p.m. Come to a program presented by Raya Gildor, president of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Eastern Massachusetts for answers. What are the alternatives to conventional burial and cremation? How can I find a low-cost coffin? How can you make a funeral more meaningful and personal? Can you really keep a deceased body at home?

• The annual Beech Street Center Open House is being held on Tuesday, May 26, at 4 p.m. at the center located at 266 Beech St. This is a great opportunity in a short period of time to get a taste of what the center offers, as well as taste the light dinner refreshments sponsored by the Park Avenue Health Center in Arlington. There will be demonstrations of fitness classes and bocce, and a short concert from its singing group, the Bel Airs. Exhibits of paintings, and quilts created in quilting group will be showcased.

• The third installment of Belmont Public Library’s eCamp takes place on Wednesday, May 27, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Assembly RoomReference Librarian Joanna Breen and Technology Librarian Ellen Girouard will teach how to access the library from wherever you find yourself this summer, talk about Zinio and hoopla, and demonstrate other ways the library connects patrons to online media, in this free-flowing demonstration plus Q & A session. Enjoy snacks, practice with your device or a library laptop, and get connected to magazines, movies, music, and more. Register here or call 617-

Grade 7 & 8 Chorus and Orchestra Concert under the direction of Margot Reavey (orchestra) and Christine Moser (chorus), will be held Thursday, May 28, at 7 p.m. in the Chenery Middle School auditorium. 

• Belmont Against Racism, The Belmont Human RIghts Commission, Belmont-Watertown Amnesty International and the Social Action Committee of First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist invite the public to attend a program on Thursday, May 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Criminal Justice Reform: “What is being done in Massachusetts to address mass incarceration?” Speakers will include State Sen. Will Brownsberger, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, State Rep. Dave Rogers and Leslie Walker, executive director of Prisoners’ Legal Services. The event, which takes place at the First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist, 404 Concord Ave., is free and open to the public. Parking may be limited at the church. There is more parking on the street.

• Celebrate Arbor Day with the planting of new trees this Friday, May 29, at 10 a.m. at the Daniel Butler Elementary School on White Street. All are welcome to join the students and staff. 

• The Belmont High School Performing Arts Company’s annual One-Act Plays take place on Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30, at 7 p.m. in the Little Theater at Belmont High School. The six plays – a combination of comedy, drama, satire and romance – are directed by 11th and 12th grade students with three written by BHS PAC members. All 36 actors and 60 crew members are also BHS students. It is the best night of theater in Belmont for the entire school year. Tickets: Adults: $12; Students: $5. Tickets are on sale at Champions Sporting Goods in Belmont Center and on-line at

Belmont Falls to Boston College High in Rugby Championship Final

Photo: The boys up front, the core of the Belmont High School Rugby Club that held its own against undefeated Boston College High.

The 26 Belmont High School Rugby Club players gathered in a circle, after throwing in their soul and heart into every minute of the 70 played in the state championship game held Saturday, May 23, in Worcester.

In a classic battle that left bodies bruised and, in the case of senior back row/center Luke Perrotta, a jersey soaked in blood, Belmont were the equal of an undefeated and mostly untested Boston College High School club squad on the pitch on a breezy, warm afternoon.

Equal in all but one category, the score. In a game in which they honored the tradition built of past teams and a championship earned two years ago, the players walked off the ground beaten by the Eagles, 26-10.

But in the eyes of Belmont’s head coach Greg Bruce, there was no shame in the fight the team displayed on the biggest stage of the season.

“There’s nothing that takes away from the season that your had, the work that you put in, the bonds that you made out here this season. These bonds that you make in rugby can not be broken,” Bruce told his senior-laden team.

“Every day you had this jersey on, you did the club proud. You’re one hell of a team,” he said.

In a game that was close for three-quarters of the match, there was nothing fancy in how Belmont and BC High fought the game. Take the ball and ram it forward. For most of the first half, Belmont – who was playing with key offensive threat senior centre Campbell McCready who was injured in the semi-final victory against Bishop Hendricken on Tuesday – held the momentum edge as Belmont’s core – the seven men in the forward position – held their ground against the unbeaten Eagles.

“The defensive pressure was really, really good. We were coming off the line with a lot of power,” said Bruce, who brought his team to its third consecutive state championship finals on Saturday, winning it all in 2013. 

Leading the group were the three front row big men; senior props Omar Escobar and Deshawn Fredericks with senior Bryce Christian in the central hooker position. Backed by Nick Ryan, Perrotta (who played nearly the entire game with a badly-bloody nose), Peter Durkin and Jacob Hale, the group stood up to the Eagles, resulting in many BC High runs resulting in negative yards.

“Their [fly-half] (in rugby, the player who is the on-field tactician) was under pressure and dropped four or five balls,” said Bruce.

Administering the pressure, both defending and in the transition, were senior scrum half and captain Darren Chan (hero of the semi-final game against Bishop Hendricken on Tuesday), senior flyhalf Paul Campbell and junior “Number 8” Lowell Haska.

And that pressure allowed Belmont to move down the field where a BC High penalty allowed Chan to line up and convert an easy three-point penalty kick to give Belmont the early lead.

Yet BC High, with a collection of players from across the Boston area, was undefeated due to its ability to use its most effective player, their “number 8,” big, brawny senior Terry Cullen who would take the ball from the scrum – what most people associate with rugby: when restarting play, eight players from each team binding together in three rows and the ball is tossed into the maelstrom to be battled over – and passed off the ball or just lower his head and plow.

“BC High’s a great team, and they put us under pressure,” said Bruce. After grinding out 20 meters in the middle of a maul, Cullen scored a five-point try about 25 minutes into the 35 minute half. When the Eagles missed the conversion, they led by two, 5-3.

Belmont nearly took the lead late in the half when Campbell rumbled 20 meters against an exhausted BC High team, coming up just three meters short of the goal line.

Just a minute into the half, Belmont secured the ball deep in the Eagles end on a mistake. Seconds later, Campbell found wing Luke Gallagher with a pass that allowed the senior to cross the goal line. A Chan conversion gave Belmont a 10-5 lead, the first time this season BC High trailed in the second half.

While Belmont appeared to have momentum on its side, what it didn’t have was the steady wind at its back as in the first half.

“They played the territory game real well, playing the wind, pinning us back in our end. When we try to counter – which is our strategy – it was tough to do with a 20-mph wind in your face,” said Bruce.

BC High’s Billy Connos would send long kicks into Belmont’s end, and their wingers would stop Belmont’s backs without much gain. At the 15 minute mark, BC High was threatening inside five meters of the goal line. While Belmont put up two stellar defensive stances, the third time was the charm for Cullen who piled into try to give BC High a 12-10 lead after 18 minutes.

“He’s been a great player for the past three years. I’m glad he’s graduating,” Bruce said of Cullen.

And now it was Belmont’s time to make small errors that allowed BC High to take charge. No longer were Eagle wingers dropping the ball. Instead, they began running off passes to scamper downfield for long gains down their left side. Cullen’s third try of the game came soon after one-such venture to up the score to 19-10 with about 10 minutes left in the game. And a late try off a long run from wing Joe Souza provided the final score.

All that was left was for coaches and teammates to console those too tired, sore and spent to care about anything other then the defeat.

On that cloudless, warm late spring afternoon, it was too early for Bruce to ponder about the season. Rather, it was about the boys.

“For everyone in the league besides BC High. we were able to put it together and walk away on top,” said Bruce.

“They are such a coachable group they work so hard in training. Before the season started; 6 a.m. sessions in January, March in the snow, mud and the rain, classroom sessions. They put in so much time. This is such as a cerebral group,” he said.

Bruce said he would miss this large group of seniors – many who were on the team which won the state championship in 2013 – knowing several are going on to play college rugby “and we’re really proud that they are going to be doing that.”

“Our mantra is that you leave the jersey in a better place; through your effort, commitment, and dedication. Despite not winning, this team left the jersey in a better place.”