Holiday Parking Cheer: Selectmen OK 2 Free Hours at Municipal Lots

Photo: Don’t put any coins in or swipe you credit card if your staying less than two hours.

The holiday season came early for residents and shoppers who will be shopping for that special gift in Belmont’s three main shopping districts as the Board of Selectmen Monday night, Nov. 9, voted to allow the first two hours free at municipal parking lots town-wide during the holiday season.,

The free parking will take place from Nov. 27 to Dec. 27, said Town Administrator David Kale “as a  ‘welcome back’ gesture” to customers who didn’t want to contend with the road construction occurring throughout Belmont.

Currently, parking in the three municipal lots – Belmont Center, Waverley, and Cushing squares – costs a dollar for each hour and five dollars for the day.

Concerned business owners told Kale the reconstruction of Belmont Center and the work on the $17 million Trapelo/Belmont Corridor project had impacted sales and activity in the past six months. The free parking will be an incentive to draw them back.

Kale said parking enforcement will target the late afternoon hours, after 6 p.m. to keep spaces turning over during the peak shopping times. 

Also, the town will increase the number of trash bins in the business centers, especially in Belmont Center during the annual Belmont Turn on the Town, Dec. 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Belmont Selectmen Chair Sami Baghdady said it was also a “tough environment” for store owners along Trapelo Road and especially those in Cushing Square which are dealing with the delay in the construction of the proposed Cushing Village development.

In construction news, Kale said the laying of sidewalks in Belmont Center is proceeding quickly, and the installation of new street lamps has begun on Leonard Street.

Opinion: Invest the Money to Keep Waverley Station Accessible

Photo: Waverley MBTA Commuter Rail Station 

By Jim Williams

In September, MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola made a presentation at an open Board of Selectmen meeting concerning handicap accessibility at the Waverley Commuter Rail station. Public comments opposed closing the station and Sami Bagdadhy, chair of the board, stated the Selectmen’s position was that our existing stations should remain open and be handicap accessible. 

Subsequently, a proposed MBTA design charrette was expanded to an open public meeting now scheduled for Nov. 16 at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St. Then, in late October,  the MBTA informed the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board of three possible outcomes including making Waverley accessible; closing Waverley; or leaving Waverley open and investing the $30 million estimated to make Waverley compliant with applicable State and Federal accessibility regulations into a system-wide project that would impact a significantly  larger number of customers with disabilities. 

I am standing to support alternative three above for the following reasons:

  1. The proposal of a third alternative defeats the logical fallacy (bifurcation) that only making the Waverley handicap accessible or closing it are the possible remedies when, in fact, there is in reality a range of options.
  2. The previous strategy of building a third station in Belmont and closing the existing two has objectively and overwhelmingly the least favorable cost/benefits profile of any possible solution.
  3. The Fitchburg line has been in existence for more than 125 years and was and still is integral to the economic development and well-being of Belmont.

So what can be done? First, get informed and write letters to the elected, appointed, or employed officials responsible starting with Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. This can make a difference. 

Second, attend the Nov. 16 meeting and let your voice be heard loud and clear. For the MBTA, I recommend working with Belmont’s Economic Development Committee and  Community Path Implementation Committee in addition to the Belmont Disability Access Commission in developing responsible solutions for this important initiative. For the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board,  I recommend exploring with the MBTA the acceptable alternatives that will impact the largest number customers with disabilities. 

In closing, I want to remind everyone listening: The railroad belongs to us; The State and Federal funding involved is our money; We get the government we deserve.  

Jim Williams, Selectman

Glenn Road

This communication is compliant with the State’s Open Access laws as I have not discussed its contents with either Baghdady or fellow Selectman Mark Paolillo.

Belmont High Students Connecting All Over Belmont


by Samantha Kelts, (2016), Alexia Stefanovich (2016), and Jackie Jiang  (2018)

On Saturday, Oct. 17, Belmont High School students participated in the 17th annual Connecting With Belmont community service event that included everything from gardening, farming, and sandwich making, to reading with young children at the library and removing invasive plants.

According to Alice Melnikoff, the event’s organizer and school’s Community Service Director, the yearly Connecting Wih Belmont event is not only about getting high schoolers involved in the community, but also about working to make improvements to our town that will motivate others to get involved as well.

“It’s important for students to give back to the community that nurtured them. It spotlights what the students can do for the town, and how everyone can be involved in helping make Belmont a better place,” she said.

At the Belmont Food Pantry, a group of student volunteers worked on sorting and organizing the sea of donated food items onto designated shelves. Freshman Lily Hoffman Strickler, expressed her motivation behind volunteering for this event, telling us that “there are so many people out there that don’t have as many resources as we do, and it feels good to give back.”

On the opposite side of the high school, a group was also working hard to restore benches on the softball field while inside the school’s cafeteria, another group was assembling sandwiches for the Middlesex Human Services Agency, which has runs shelters, a soup kitchen, and detoxification and rehabilitation programs.

“It was really rewarding because it showed what we could do when we all worked together” commented senior Ammu Dinesh; “we got into a rhythm and cranked out 312 [sandwiches] in two hours.”

Students also spread out to locations all over Belmont to contribute their time to improve the Belmont community as a whole.

Two groups of students made their way over to the Belmont Public Library and the Woodland Garden, located on Concord Avenue. The first group stayed indoors and helped wash baby toys, organize books in the young adult section, and read with children.

“I like this particular community service event because it does good for the community while also building a structure for Belmont High School,” said Sasa Gutterman, Class of 2017.

Kylie Sparks, Young Adult reference librarian, described how before the event, the “room was totally packed full of books” and that it “is a really big help” when student volunteers can provide service.  She also loves that it brings people into the library.

Sophomore Teresa Frick read with a young kindergartener and commented that “he’ll use reading skills for the rest of his life, so it makes a big impact.”

Outside of the library, at the Woodland Garden, students gave their time in order to remove widespread euonymus ground covering that was preventing the garden’s vinca leaves from flourishing and surviving.  As summarized eloquently by junior Bo Lan, the motivation behind doing this type of physically challenging work is that, “we need the community of Belmont to enjoy this place.”  

Although difficult, students find it rewarding to see how their individual efforts can have a positive impact on our community.  Sarah Sos of the Belmont Garden Club stressed the fact that “it is important to get people started on a lifelong habit of not just acting for themselves but for working for the community as a whole,” an idea that is central to the purpose of the Connecting with Belmont event.

The Woodland Gardens was not the only location where students got involved in nature.  At the Mass Audubon Habitat, students cut back overgrown vines and weeds on the outskirts of Weeks Pond and Meadow. They cut down bittersweet leaves, which are invasive vines, in order to prevent them from taking nutrition from the trees, thus keeping the trees alive and healthy. Senior Katrina Rizzuto commented that “the scenery was beautiful,” and that “Habitat is definitely the best place to experience autumn.”

Students greatly enjoyed spending time in this peaceful atmosphere. After an afternoon of immersing himself in nature, Freshman Ken Chen said that he felt “a sense of accomplishment after all the work, because seeing the original pile of thorns disappear was rewarding.”

Students even had the opportunity to go as far as the Beech Street Senior Center, where many hands were desperately needed to manage the garden surrounding the building. The four students assigned here raked leaves and gathered the piles into leaf bags, and also learned how to identify and pull many different varieties of weeds.  Although having never met before, these students showed excellent group effort in helping in our community.  

“It’s important to help out and make connections with your community, and it’s also important to make connections with your peers, which is why this event is so significant,” explained senior Ritika Saxena.

The work of the volunteers was much appreciated by the group’s supervisor, Claire Stanley, for when asked for her opinion on the Connecting With Belmont Event, she disclosed, “I think it’s wonderful that students are required to do community service here in Belmont.  That did not happen when I was young in Michigan. It’s a great use of volunteer time and the senior center desperately needs more people than just me to take care of the garden.”

Back in nature at Belmont Acre Farms, students cleared over 1,000 square feet of plants from the farmland to leave room for crops. Mayura Thomas, Class of 2019, stated that she enjoyed the activity because “it felt good doing hard work for a good cause.” Farmer Michael Chase highlighted the outstanding point that “it’s important to make the connection to where your food comes from” and, also, that through this event, “you can directly see how multiple people working together can accomplish quite a lot.”

Overall, Connecting With Belmont was a huge success, and everyone is anxiously looking forward to participating again next year.

Belmont High Cheer Team In Regionals for First Time in 58 Years

Photo: Screenshot from a video of the Belmont High Cheerleaders (courtesy Marauder Media)

It was in 1957 when the Frisbee was introduced, “American Bandstand” had its first broadcast, the Soviets launched the first space satellite named Sputnik and Elvis Presley was on everybody’s transistor radio.

It was also the last time a Belmont High School cheer team was in a regional competition.

That was until last week, when Belmont High Cheerleaders, with a flawless performance at the Middlesex League meet in Woburn, advanced to the Massachusetts Fall Cheerleading North Division 2 Regional championships to be held Sunday, Nov. 15, at Woburn High School.

Congratulations go to Amanda Bonilla, varsity cheerleading coach, and the boys and girls of the team which have upped their game in the past few years.

Below is the performance captured by Marauder Media:

This Week: So Much! Authors Talks, Scharfman Recital, Memorial Rededication

Photo: The rededication of the WWI memorial will be held at 1 p.m. Veterans Day.

The government side of things “This Week”:

  • The Belmont Board of Selectmen will hold an abbreviated meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9 in Town Hall. 
  • At 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, the Selectmen will conduct a public ascertainment hearing on the performance of Verizon in its capacity as a cable provider.
  • The Community Preservation Committee is meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10 in Town Hall to discuss Belmont’s recreational needs, preliminary applications for CPC grants and preview the committee’s Nov. 12 public meeting.
  • The Belmont Board of Selectmen is hosting a community meeting to discuss a presentation of a new Minuteman Regional Vocational and Technology High School at 7 p.m. at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • The Belmont School Committee is meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Chenery Middle School to discuss the district’s technology plans, a SPED update and the first quarter report.
  • The Capital Budget Committee will meet in the Selectmen’s Room at Town Hall at 5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12, to discuss outstanding capital projects and approach to coordinating, addressing and funding projects. 
  • The Board of Health meets at Town Hall at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12, to discuss the town’s off-leash permit program with John Marguranis, the town’s animal control officer.
  • The Community Preservation Committee is holding a public meeting to introduce the final application of projects seeking to fund. Each project’s sponsor will present their case before the public and the committee. The meeting takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12 in the Selectmen’s Room at Town Hall.

• The ELS Conservation Circle for Beginners will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Monday, Nov. 9 in the Belmont Public Library’s Flett Room.

Belmont author Len Abram will read from his novel Debris: A Novel of Love, War and the Lusitania in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room from 11 a.m. to noon on Monday, Nov. 9Debris offers a human tale of courage and conflict, lives shattered and rebuilt, and loves formed and lost amid war’s debris. All are welcome to attend this free program. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Refreshments will be provided.

• The Belmont High School Girls’ Soccer team will travel to Marblehead on Monday, Nov. 9 for a 4 p.m. game against second-ranked Marblehead High Magicians in the quarterfinals of the Division 2 North sectional finals.

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. 

• A free recital from accomplished young baritone singer, Jacob Scharfman, will take place at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St., on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 1:15 p.m. A Belmont native (he is the son of the late School Committee member Dan Scharfman) Belmont High School (2009) and Brown University (2013) graduate, Jacob performs frequently as a vocalist and director. His solo work includes engagements with the Boston Camerata, the Providence Singers (section leader), the First Unitarian Church of Providence (section leader), and Community Music Works. He currently sings with Schola Cantorum of Boston.

• Do you have a big reader on your holiday shopping list? Head over to Wellington Elementary School’s Monster Book Fair this week to discover hundreds of books for the kids on your list. This is one of the biggest fundraisers for the school and we appreciate your support. The Book Fair is open to the public at Wellington Elementary School, 121 Orchard St., for shopping the following days/times.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 10: 8 a.m. to 10  a.m. and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Pizza is available for sale 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 12: 8 a.m. to 10  a.m. and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog 2:50 p.m.)
  • Friday, Nov. 13: 8 a.m. to 10  a.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

More information including featured book titles, teacher wish lists and online shopping can be found here.

• It’s ‘Tween Tuesday at the Belmont Public Library, and the group will discuss the book Matilda by Roald Dahl in the Assembly Room from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Copies of the book are available for checkout at the Children’s Room desk. Afterward, there will be a movie and snacks in this extra-long program. Register online or call the Children’s Room at 617-993-2880.

• Wednesday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. All town, state and federal offices are closed as is the post office, the district schools, the Beech Street Center and the public library. 

• A rededication ceremony for the World War I Memorial will be held at 1 p.m. on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the island across from the Belmont Lions Club and the commuter rail station in Belmont Center. The ceremony will be attended by the Belmont High School Band with comments from the Selectmen and will include the color guards from both the Police and Fire departments.

• The fourth-seed Belmont High School Girls Field Hockey team travels to Reading High School on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11 to play the number-one seed (and 11th-ranked team in the US) Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in a Division 1 North sectional semi-finals. The match up between Belmont (16-2) and the undefeated, untied Colonials (19 wins) begins at 1 p.m. 

• Join other elementary school readers at the 2nd & 3rd Grade Book Club on Thursday, Nov. 12, 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the library’s Flett Room to talk about this month’s book, Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar. Register online or call the Children’s Room at 617-993-2880.

• Wall Street Journal columnist, Belmont native – his mother was a longtime teacher at the Winn Brook School – and author Jason Gay delivers a hilarious and true guide to modern living in his first book Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living. Four times a week, millions of people turn to Gay’s column where he give an amusing, fan’s view of the sports world, which he loves but doesn’t take too seriously.

Gay will speak about his view of the world as part of the Friends of Belmont Public Library’s Author Series at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12 in the Assembly Room. It is free and open to the public.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.  The Assembly Room is physically-challenged accessible.

• Literacy Playgroup is a parent and child group that supports child’s language and literacy development on Friday, Nov. 13, 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in 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 younger.

• The Senior Book Discussion group will meet on Friday, Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Beech Street Center to discuss Doctor Zhivago (Part One) by Boris Pasternak.

The League of Women Voters is hosting a Brown Bag Lunch Talk on Friday, Nov. 13 at noon in the Flett Room of the Belmont Public Library on “Start School Later in Belmont?” with Andrea Prestwich, chapter leader of Belmont Start School Later campaign. Many feel that Belmont schools start too early, with adverse consequences for our kids’ health and safety. The talk is open to the public; bring your lunch, there will be beverages and cookie.

Open Reception for ‘Printmakers of Cape Cod’ at Belmont Gallery Sunday

Photo: “Kayak at Rest” Color Woodcut by Evan Charney.

An opening reception for Printmakers of Cape Cod, the new exhibit at the Belmont Gallary of Art, will be held in the gallery on Sunday, Nov. 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Belmont Gallery of Art is located on the third floor of the Homer Municipal Building in the Town Hall Complex at 19 Moore St.
Printmakers of Cape Cod, at the BGA from Nov. 6 to Dec. 11., features work by 25 members of the arts group Printmakers of Cape Cod. Techniques displayed include linocuts, screen prints, etchings, monotypes, photogel transfers and woodcuts. There are more than 50 works hanging in the show and a number of other prints are available for purchase in the BGA’s print bins.

Regular gallery hours are Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Don’t miss The Boston Printmakers‘ 2015 North American Print Biennial at Lesley University, Nov. 8 to Dec. 12 at the Lunder Arts Center, 1815 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge.

Sports: Belmont Field Hockey Dominates Masco, Heads to Sectional Semis

Photo: Morgan Chase (6) passes to Bridget Gardiner (center in white) for Belmont’s third goal vs Masco Regional.

Two goals by junior sensation AnnMarie Habelow and a smothering defense was more than enough to send Belmont High School Field Hockey to the Division 1 North Sectional semifinals as the 4th-ranked Marauders dominated 5th-seed Masconomet Regional High School, 3-0, in a quarterfinals matchup at Belmont’s Harris Field, Saturday, Nov. 7.

“Everything happened the best way it possibly could, defensively and on offense. They couldn’t compete with you today,” said Jessica Smith, Belmont’s head coach while congratulating the team.

“I’m psyched. I didn’t know what to expect coming into this game,” said Smith, adding that she wanted the team to win this game because it proves that Belmont “deserves the four seed.” 

“We’re coming from the Middlesex League, maybe the towns aren’t as big but in the past few years, Belmont is really proving itself as a solid field hockey school in the state. Year-after-year we make it a couple of rounds (in the playoffs) and now it’s time to take the additional step and be one of the great ones,” she said.

While the game was supposed to be a wide-open affair between two athletically-inclined teams, Belmont (16-2-0) would command long stretches of the contest while keeping Masco, the Cape Ann League Kinney champions, on their heels especially in the first half when the Middlesex League Liberty titleholders outshot the Lady Chieftains, 14-1, and had seven penalty corners while Masco would go the entire game without a penalty corner. 

And it was the fifth corner when Belmont took the lead when Habelow – who ended the afternoon with nine shots – took the inbounds pass from sophomore forward Bridget Gardiner and rocketed a shot from 15 meters past senior goalie Amanda MacPherson-Peachy with 11 minutes left in the half.

“The big thing about the game before (a 5-3 victory over Central Catholic on Nov. 5) is we didn’t score on any corners, and they are a time you have to capitalize and I took advantage of that today,” said Habelow, whose play especially in the defensive midfield was critical for Belmont’s quick transition to offense. 

Masco were playing a slower more deliberate game, sending all but one player into the defensive zone when Belmont came within the 25-yard area from its goal, then push up players while delaying their restart until they were in position.

“It’s really hard to maneuver inside but sometimes that makes it easier because they will bump into each other so when you beat one person, you’re actually beating two,” said Habelow.

The Chieftains’ tactic worked in the Marauders’ favor as it allowed Belmont to set up its defense, clogging up the passing lane. Led by co-captains midfielder Serena Nally, Lilly Devitt, Sophia Stratford, Meron Power and the two Molly’s, defenders Goldberg and co-captain Thayer, thawed many Masco passes and attempts at dribbling the ball and by the Marauders’ ability to quickly close down on the attackers.

Offensively, senior forwards Kerri Lynch and Kate McCarthy, sophomore Bridget Gardner and freshman Morgan Chase harassed the Masco defenders on their outlet passes while taking ever opportunity to rush the Chieftains’ net.

“What it was is that we were passing to each other and they were hitting the ball and hoping that somebody would pick it up. And we were ready for that, so our kids were moving to the ball just like their players,” said Smith.

Not helping Masco was playing all but two of their previous games on a grass pitch, as opposed to the uniformity of the Harris Field “Turf” pitch.

“You have to be so much faster on ‘Turf’ and I think their style of play was to bring everyone up and back, and you can’t keep that up on an artificial field because the ball is moving so much faster,” said Smith. 

Down a goal after the first half, Masco came out running and passing, keeping the ball in Belmont’s end for the first three minutes.

But a quick turnover at midfield led to Belmont’s first corner of the second half and Belmont second goal as Habelow from a step within the scoring circle slammed the ball from Molly Goldberg by a charging MacPherson-Peachy for a 2-0 lead after five minutes.

Masco now dedicated players to the offense leading to it best scoring chance as senior defender and co-captain Tessa Ives made a stellar solo run to within 10 meters of Belmont’s sophomore goalie Christina McLeod (her 11th shutout this season) but her pass never hit a stick as it went skating by the net.

The final time Masco came close to threatening Belmont’s goal was with 12 minutes remaining when a midfield miscue saw five Lady Chieftains racing towards Belmont’s goal. But Julia Chase stepped in front of the first attacker taking the ball and with it Masco’s momentum.

Belmont sealed the game in the final minute when Morgan Chase squeezed a pass by MacPherson-Peachy’s pads to a wide-open Gardiner on the far post.

Belmont’s semi-final opponent will be known after the match between one seed Acton-Boxborough and 8th-ranked North Andover taking place on Sunday, Nov. 8. If the Marauders meet Acton-Boxborough, ranked 11th nationally by Max Field Hockey, it will be a game of taking advantage of every chance provided.

“When you play a team like Acton-Boxoboroug, you don’t know how many times you’ll have offensive opportunities and working on those. It’s also making the offense understand how important every touch is in the scoring circle which I think we improved a lot this game,” said Smith. 

“Defensively it will be practice on moving our feet and forcing them out wide. And just being confident because you play the game because you don’t know who’ll win,” said Smith.

Habelow noted that Belmont has some experience with highly-touted teams.

“We’ll prepare for them just like we did for Watertown (the fifth-ranked team in the country and undefeated in 160 games). We respect the best teams like it’s an honor to play the nationally best teams because it makes us better and it makes the entire program better,” said Habelow. 

Sports: Belmont Football Down Somerville Behind 4 TDs by Johnson

Photo: Makhi Johnson on his 70-yard touchdown run Friday night.

Senior running back Makhi Johnson scored four touchdowns and gained 280 yards to lead a balanced rushing attack featuring the return of fellow back junior Ben Jones as Belmont High School Football (4-5) won back-to-back games for the first time this season to defeat Somerville High School, 38-28, on Friday night, Nov. 6 at Somerville’s Dilboy Stadium.

Belmont is expected to host Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School (1-8) at Harris Field on Friday, Nov. 13. A final decision will be made early in the week. 

“I thought our guys did a great job staying within themselves and continue to play football,” said Belmont Head Coach Yann Kumin, pointing out the running tandem of Johnson and Jones, “when they are both healthy and together are really a great combination of backs.”

While Johnson was a threat at breaking long runs, scoring on runs of 66 and 70 yards, Jones would power into the middle of the line to grab three to ten yards at a time.

“When [Johnson] has [Jones] as a compliment, and they can trade out the way they did today, our offense gains another dimension, which is nice,” said Kumin.

Belmont took charge on offense and defense from the start of the game against Somerville (1-8). After holding the Highlanders to a single first down to start the game, the Marauders scored on its fourth play as Johnson swept down right sideline 66 yards for the first of his quartet of touchdowns at 6:16 of the first. 

On Belmont’s second possession, Belmont’s QB Cal Christofori hooked up with senior wide receiver Trey Butler for eight yards on a fourth down and six yards to the Somerville 24 yard line. A facemask personal foul placed the ball on the 12 before Johnson scored on a one-yard run early in the second quarter.

Senior Grant Gilbert, who made several tackles in the backfield, had the individual play of the game by hustling downfield on kickoff coverage and causing a fumble and recovery that directly led to Belmont’s third touchdown, a 15-yard run up the middle by Johnson.

After Somerville had driven the field on a five-minute drive to score, Johnson took a pitch from Christofori and outran the Highlander team down the right sideline for a 70 yard TD, which gave Belmont a 28-6 lead at the half. 

The Marauder took the second half kickoff and using Johnson and Jones as battering rams set up Christofori’s pass to senior wide receiver Joe Shaunnessey for a 30-yard touchdown and a 35-6 lead. 

While Belmont connected on a field goal by sophomore Aidan Cadogan, they were outscored by Somerville 21 to 10 in the half.

“One of the things we need to focus on in our progression as a team is putting teams away,”

“When we have a three, four touchdown lead we have to learn how to lock it down on defense to enable to keep our advantage,” he said.

Still, Kuman was pleased with the defense on the night.

“We made some big defensive stops when we needed to,” said Kuman, including “sniffing out” a screen pass that linebacker Justin Wagner intercepted late in the fourth quarter.

With one game before the Thanksgiving game against Watertown (6-3) – which will be playing in the Div. 4 Northeast Sectional finals, next week against Stoneham – Kumin is looking to be at 500 with five wins against five losses “when it comes to Turkey Day. We want to come to that game on a high.” 

Belmont Yard Sales: Nov. 7 (And a Ski Swap at Belmont High)

Photo: Yard sale in Belmont.

Yard sales in the “Town of Homes.”

36 Bellevue Rd., Saturday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds will be going to Belmont Food Pantry.

• 65 Bow St., Saturday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

69 Elm St., Saturday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

14 Pierce Rd., Saturday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

7 Weber Rd., Saturday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Belmont High School Ski Team is hosting its annual Ski and Snowboard Sale today, Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Great deals on new and used ski, snowboard and ice skating equipment featuring sales by Newton Centre Ski and Bike and consignment/donation.

Sports: Belmont Swimming Back on Top Winning League Meet Championship

Photo: Jessica Blake-West waiting to swim at a recent meet.

A week after a dispiriting loss in the season’s final dual meet to rival Reading Memorial High School, Belmont High School’s Girls’ Swimming and Diving team followed the lead of one of the great swimmers in program history and a freshman phenom to take home the Middlesex League Meet Championship title contested at Bentley College on Thursday, Nov. 5.

Belmont took 369.5 points for first with Reading second with 349.5 followed by Lexington with 226.5 and Winchester at 218.

Senior Jessie Blake-West set a meet record in her favorite event, the 100 yard butterfly and came in second to a boy in the 200 Individual Medley while 9th grader Nicole Kalavantis took both freestyle distance events, the 200 and 500 yard, to go along with a slew of mid-level swimmers garnering points and positioning themselves to set times that will allow them to head to the state championships in two weeks. 

Blake-West’s 57.47 second time in the butterfly erased a record going back to 1989, destroying Belmont’s Lena Eriksson’s past record of 58.22, and winning the event by more than four seconds. Her 2 minute, 14.52 second time in the IM was two second clear of the next girl as Blake-West finished second to Wakefield’s Christopher Anastasiades who swims with the girls since the school does not have a boys’ program. 

In the relays, Blake-West threw in a 25.76 fly leg in the 200 Medley Relay (with Molly Thomas, Emily Quinn and Solvay Metelmann), a time faster than all but a few freestyle legs as Belmont finished second to Reading. 

Kalavantis has become a big time scorer, first winning the 500-yard race the day before in Belmont breaking the 5 minute, 30-second mark (5:29.61) while tying for first with Bryan Filard of Woburn in 2:03.41, coming home in 31.25. Kalavantis also anchored the 4×200 free relay, cutting a seven-second deficit to two to see Belmont finish second. 

With Belmont needing only to finish second in the final event, the 4×400, to win the title over Reading, Belmont’s junior Julia Bozkurtian and senior Sara Noorouzi kept the team within striking distance of Reading when Kalavantis, who swam a 56.87 third 100 yard, touch off to Blake-West who proceeded to cap the night with a stunning 52.79 last 100 to catch and out touch Reading by three-tenth of a second, 3:47.66 to 3:47.95.

Also of note in the meet were senior Emily Quinn, junior Dervela Moore-Federick and freshman Angela Li qualifying for the state championships in the Medley Relay, while the same swimmers finished second, third and fifth respectively, in the 100 breast stroke with state times. 

Belmont’s long-time head coach Ev Crosscup said he was a little disappointed with some of the times posted by his charges at the Middlesex League Meet Championships held at Bentley College on Thursday, Nov. 5.

“Some didn’t do what I thought they could,” said Crosscup. “We’ll see hope things work out.”

But in talking to him, one could tell that he was proud at what the girls accomplished in taking home the championship crown a week after falling to Reading at Belmont’s Higginbottom Pool.

Next for the team is the North Sectionals which Belmont will be placed with powerhouse programs such as Andover, Chelmsford and Acton Boxoborough. Crosscup said he will be focusing on girls who are within reach of achieving a state qualifying time.

Then, it will be the state championship meet in which Belmont finished second in the past two years.

“It’s looking good, it really is. I think this meet meant a lot to where we want to be heading to states,” said Crosscup.