STATE CHAMPS! Belmont Takes Girls’ Rugby Title Over Algonquin

Photo: Smiles from the Belmont High Girls Rugby, state champions.

Belmont High School Girls’ Head Coach Kate McCabe told her team during the season that “offense wins games, but defense wins championships.”

McCabe’s adage turned out to be spot-on prophetic as the Marauders used a punishing defense to propel its offense to  17 unanswered points as Belmont defeated Algonquin Regional High School, 17-14, to win the inaugural MIAA Girls’ Rugby State Championship on a hot Saturday afternoon at Endicott College, June 10.

After falling behind 14-0 in the first 25 minutes, the Marauders’ used a “no stars” team approach to claw back into the game, sparked by two pivotal plays by a pair of sophomores and the determined leadership of a group of graduated seniors.

“There is not a girl that has been playing with us this entire season that doesn’t deserve credit for what we did out there,” said senior captain Sara Nelson who three years ago was one of the original players who helped started the girls’ program.

“It’s such a team effort, and I love them all,” said Nelson.

“I’m so excited for them,” said McCabe walking off the field with the state championship trophy in her hands.

“They worked so hard; they really wanted it especially the senior class. They made [the state championship] their goal, and I’m just thrilled they got it,” said McCabe, which included Anne Baker, Molly Goldberg, Aisling Madden, Georgia Parsons, Mariel Somers and Nelson.

Not only was the game the first ever state championship for the Girls’ (as well as two divisions of Boys’) it was a historic game as it was the first title game in the US sponsored by a state high school interscholastic association. It is hoped that the championships will spur other state associations to add rugby – the fastest growing high school and college sport in the US – to its list of varsity sports.

Not that Belmont made it easy on themselves to take the championship as the first 25 minutes found the Marauders’ digging a fairly deep hole for themselves as early mistakes and inability to stop the T-Hawks backs resulted in a quick 14-0 deficit. Algonquin’s senior fullback Kendall Scholl found herself turning the corner on Belmont’s defense to score a long distance try only four minutes into the game.

The match-up was following a familiar script of the previous two meetings between the teams – Belmont won 20-10 away and tied the T-Hawks 10-1o at Harris Field – in which Algonquin started out strong scoring the first try. 

For nearly the remainder of the half, Belmont had its back to the goal line. After one stellar defensive stance in which the Marauders stopped Algonquin for more than two minutes from within five meters, the T-Hawks pushed Belmont back so its big front line player Charlotte DiGovanni could fall forward with a disputed try as many saw the ball fall out of her hands before it was touched down with 11 minutes to play.

“We did not make it easy on ourselves, that is for sure,” said McCabe. “I think that first half we played a little afraid. We didn’t want to make mistakes, but we made a lot of mistakes.”

With time running down in the half, Algonquin would lose its best all-around player, senior Sam Dickie, to a shoulder injury. Soon after, Belmont would get the break they needed as sophomore fullback Gabriella Viale took the ball from 25 meters out and ran through the T-Hawk line for an uncontested try with no time on referee Kelly Craven’s watch to cut the lead to 14-7 at the half.

“I just saw a gap, and I took it,” said Viale.

McCabe said Belmont needed to take more chances in the final 35 minutes which the Marauders did, stealing a pair of critical scrums and advancing the ball within five meters of the goal 10 minutes into the half but lost possession to an infraction.

But the subsequent kick by Algonquin – a team can advance down the field by kicking it up the pitch and out of bounds – was caught by Belmont’s sophomore right wing Hannah Hlotyak who scampered up the sideline 20 meters. Less than a minute later, senior “8” Georgia Parsons powered through a slew of Algonquin players for Belmont’s second try.

“I told myself that I was going to score try, try to score more than one,” said Parsons, whose ankle was tightly wrapped after injuring it three days before the game. Parson – who was the varsity soccer goalkeeper in the fall – missed the conversion to bring the score to 14-12. 

Belmont continued to press Algonquin on both offense and defense as the T-Hawks tired considerably, unable to move the ball effectively against a Marauder defense which each player called out assignments. Many times Algonquin players could only hand off the ball as there was no room to maneuver.

On offense, junior scrum half Jessica Rosenstein – who takes the ball from the scrum and delivers it to the backs – was quarterbacking the offense with spot-on back passes while junior flanker Kailee Pellicane had a series of punishing runs while doing the dirty work of clearing out Algonquin players attempting to steal the ball after a Belmont runner was tackled. 

Up front, the forwards, lead by the senior Head Prop duo of Baker and Goldberg supported by sophomore Locks Grace Christensen and Samantha Dignan and flankers; senior Somers and Pellicane dominated the scrums and rucks which left the Algonquin front line exhausted for most of the second half.

With 17 minutes remaining, Belmont moved to its left where they found room to run. Sophomore Amanda Hanley took the ball on a 25-meter romp to inside five meters where junior Rachel Iler-Keniston picked up the ball and dove in for the try. The conversion from the acute angle failed to give Belmont a slim 17-14 lead.

Six minutes later, Algonquin came close to turning the table on Belmont as a quick restart saw a T-Hawk fullback break through an opening into the clear. With only open turf between her and the end zone, it appeared she was going in for a sure tying try when Viale ran her down with a game-saving tackle 15 meters from the goal line. 

“I saw the girl break away and I was like, ‘you’re no getting past me,’ and I went for it,” said Viale who competes in winter track. 

That would be as close Algonquin would come to scoring as Belmont’s fly backs began picking up large chunks of real estate while substitutes such as Heather Swanson contributed by making a critical steal from an Algonquin ruck. 

After the field clock had stopped at two minutes for what seemed to be 10 minutes and with Craven looking at her watch, Rosenstein kicked the ball out of touch after a penalty. It was then the final whistle blew, and after a few seconds of drained relief, the celebration began. Each player received a championship medal, and Nelson accepted the state championship trophy with the coaches. After photos of them with the trophy and banner, the entire team then ran through a “tunnel of honor” created by supporters and several members of the boys’ team who came to cheer the girls.

McCabe said for Belmont, the victory is vindication for the seniors who came out as sophomores to start what was then a fairly unknown sport for girls in the state. 

“For girls’ rugby, I hope this starts a trend., I hope more schools have girl rugby teams. I hope we see more really tough games like this. The fans were going crazy. It was a great game of rugby,” she said.

When asked what it was like winning a state championship, “it had not sunk in yet” said Nelson with a beaming smile and tears in her eyes.

Belmont Girls’ Rugby Prepares for Historic First-Ever State Finals Sat. June 10

Photo: Preparing for history.

It’s two days before she will lead her team into the first-ever state Girls’ Rugby final and Belmont High Head Coach Kate McCabe is not particularly happy.

On Belmont High’s Harris Field, McCabe ordered the three dozen or so girls who were out practicing to perform 10 burpees, a quick penalty for not being ready to restart after a water break.

“You have two and a half hours here to prepare for the game,” said McCabe, a social studies teachers at the school as well as the coach who started the program three years ago with a handful of hopefuls who practiced in the mud as she taught them the game.

“Let’s not waste any time,” she said.

The team then got down to business, running through plays with a focus on tackling and protecting the ball.

McCabe and the squad are taking their undefeated season – three wins and a tie – and strong play with them as they enter the Endicott College football stadium at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 10 to take on rival Algonquin Regional High School for the third time with a state championship trophy as their goal.

The game – played between the two Boys’ title games – is special not just that it’s the first-ever state championship in rugby, it is also the first finals sanctioned by a state high school interscholastic association, a breakthrough that gives the sport a boost towards acceptance by high schools in Massachusetts and in other states.

“It means a lot for the program and I’m really proud for women’s rugby,” said McCabe last month.

For Sara Nelson, one of the first girls to go out for the team three years ago and is now the team’s sole captain, “it’s great that we get to represent the sport in the finals.”

Starbucks Coming Down Wednesday; Disruptions To Cushing Sq. Traffic

Photo: The work is underway at the newly dubbed Bradford in Cushing Square.

The Starbucks Cafe has closed and the Trapelo Raod is about to be dug up as the developer of the Cushing Vill … The Bradford prepares to move forward with excuvation and infrastructure work at the 167,000 sq.-ft. residential/retail/parking complex.

Otto Weiss, project manager for Toll Brothers Apartment Living who is building the development told the Belmontonian on Tuesday, June 7, construction is “on schedule” and, weather permitting, the foundation for the Winslow – the first of three buildings on the site located at the former municipal parking lot adjacent Trapelo Road – will be poured in early August. 

He also said the company will officially take possession of the now closed Starbuck’s cafe on Monday, June 12 and the building – which was constructed as a Friendly’s restaurant in the 1970s – will be razed starting on Wednesday, June 14. 

In preparation to the demolision, “[o]n Monday (June 12) we will relocate site fencing that runs behind Starbucks to the curb at Trapelo Road and tie it into the fence running from the corner of Common Street,” said Weiss in a press release sent on Friday, June 9. 

The side walk between Williston and Common Street along Trapelo road on the project side will be close to pedestrian traffic and signage will be installed instructing pedestrians to cross the street at Williston Road and Common Street.  

All utility cut offs will be performed on Monday, June 12, weather permitting, which will require utility crews with trucks working in the street. Police details will start at 7 a.m. on Monday.

The utility shut-offs should not affect service to the surrounding community, said Weiss.

“However the various utility companies may inform you of shut offs need to accommodate their work. That would be out of our control. If we are notified of any suck shut offs we will pass the information along immediately,” he said.

Celebrate Father’s Day On The Run At Brendan’s Home Run 5K

Photo: And they’re off!

Father’s Day. It’s when the family has a relaxing Sunday with dear ol’ dad.

But in Belmont, Father’s Day starts with a quick five kilometer ramble through town as the 16th Annual Brendan’s Home Run takes place on Father’s Day, June 18.

The certified 5K (3.1 miles) race and walk starts and finishes at Belmont High School Harris Field track (adjacent the Skating Rink on Concord Avenue) at 10 a.m. The walk will start at 9:30 a.m.

With its collection of really fast runners – Race Director Brian Rogers is predicting the women’s course record will be “smashed” – at the head of the race and a flat, easy course for the less-than-fast folks, the race has become a must-do early summer event in Belmont and in eastern Massachusetts.

Race participants will get the opportunity to take part in a standout raffle. There is also prize money for the fastest three male and female finishers, age-group and team awards including fastest parent/child tandems.

Cost: Pre-register before Thursday, June 16: $25. Register on day of race: $30. Download the entry form at

The first 400 entrants receive commemorative T-shirt.

Proceeds from the race go to benefit The Brendan Grant Foundation and Memorial Scholarships. The foundation noted the race’s presenting sponsors Belmont Savings Bank and Fitness Together are instrumental to the success of this great event and it’s deeply grateful for the support and generosity of the DerKazarian family.

Contact The Brendan Grant Foundation at 617-489-1514 or at for more information.

Season-Ending Heartbreak: Belmont Baseball Falls in 10 to Braintree

Photo: Belmont High Baseball 


It appeared that eight-seed Belmont High Baseball would finally do what no team could in the past two years; knock out two-time defending champions Braintree High School from the Super Eight baseball tournament.

Leading 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, Belmont took the field having just scored a pair of what appeared to be insurance runs and surviving a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth and now were three outs away from the monumental upset.

But a one-out three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning by Braintree’s centerfielder Jackson Duffy off Belmont reliever/catcher Cal Christofori tied the score at 4. 

And a single off Belmont’s righthander Max Meier by third base/reliever Brennan Quigley brought home catcher Alex Kennedy in the bottom of the 10th saw Braintree walk off with a dramatic 5-4 victory at Brockton’s Campanelli Stadium Wednesday night, June 7.

Before the ninth inning, everything appeared to have fallen into place for the Marauders to upend the Division 1 powerhouse. Just as it had done in the first game of the double-elimination playoffs for the elite eight baseball teams in the state against number 1 ranked St. John’s of Shrewsbury, Belmont kept the game close into the late innings against the Wamps.

For the second straight game, Belmont’s junior southpaw Nate Espelin started and kept the Marauders in the game through five innings. Espelin got out of tight spots in the first – bases loaded with one out – and second innings with a pair of strikeouts in each frame.

Braintree finally caught up to Espelin in the third on a sacrifice fly to grab a 1-0 lead.

Braintree’s pitcher Jack Andrews needed some good fielding plays to keep the game scoreless for the Marauders.

Espelin left the game with one out in the fifth with a man on second, giving the ball to his fellow junior Meier so escaped a bases-loaded predicament in the sixth. Belmont’s best shot at scoring came in the top of the 7th with Meier and Ryan Noone on second and third with one out. But Andrews got a strikeout and a ground out to end the threat.

Tailing 1-0 in the top of the eighth inning, Belmont finally broke into the scoring column. Left fielder Connor Dacey singled, shortstop Steve Rizzuto sacrificed, and Christofori earned a walk. 

After cleanup batter first base Dennis Crowley drew a free pass, an exhausted Andrews left to be replaced by Quigley who got Meier to strikeout after 11 pitches.

Controversy soon erupted when pitch hitter Noah Riley was hit by a pitch, sending Dacey home. The Wamps players and coaches felt that Riley leaned into the pitch, but to no avail. Then an error by Braintree third base saw Christofori waltz in to give Belmont a 2-1 lead.

But Braintree nearly scored in the bottom of the inning as Meier hit two batters and walked the third. In came Christofori who struck out a pair and saw Kennedy hit a deep drive that sent right fielder Paul Ramsey to the wall for the third out. 

And when Crowley and Meier stroke back-to-back RBI singles in the top of the ninth, Belmont had a three-run lead, 4-1, ending the last of the 9th. 

But a dream season which saw Belmont come from behind to take its first Middlesex League title in more than a quarter century and be selected to participate in the top playoff tournament in the state came to an end sooner than anyone wanted it.

Belmont Farmers Market Opens for Season Thursday @ 2 PM

Photo: Open for the season!

The Belmont Farmers Market will open for the 2017 season today, Thursday, May 8 at 2 p.m. its traditional fanfare, ringing of the market bell and a ribbon cutting at its home in the rear of the Claflin Street Municipal Parking Lot just off Belmont Center.
The market, run by the Belmont Food Collabrative, will hold a tasting by the recently opened Foodie’s Markets, there will be a Storytime event, and a musical performance featuring saxaphones.
The weekly vendors at the market include:
Bread Obsession (new), Brookford Farm (new), Del Sur Empanadas (new), Dick’s Market Garden Farm, Goodies Homemade, Foxboro Cheese Co., Hutchins Farm, Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery, Red’s Best Fish/Boston Smoked Fish Co. (new), and Stillman Quality Meats.

The occasional vendors this year include:
Bittersweet Herb Farm (new), Garbage to Garden (new), Indonesian Three Magnolias (new), Minuteman Kettle Corn (new), Recreo Coffee & Roasterie (new), Sustainable Belmont Rain Barrels, swissbäkers (new), and Valicenti Pasta Farm.
Learn about our vendors on the market’s website.
Schedule of Events today include:
  • 1:55 p.m.: Fanfare by Nathaniel Meyer & Ribbon Cutting by the Belmont Board of Selectmen
  • 2:15 p.m.: Tasting by Foodie’s Markets
  • 4 p.m.: Storytime with librarians from the Belmont Public Library
  • 4:30 p.m.: Music by Eight Thumbs Saxophone Quartet

LIVE: Town Meeting, Segment B: The Budget, The Final Night

Photo: Town Moderator Mike Widmer.

Welcome to the final night of the 2017 Belmont Town Meeting.

After speeding through the first half of the financial articles on Monday, June 5, Belmont’s annual Town Meeting will only have seven articles remaining on this year’s warrant.

7:09 p.m.: Running a bit late but the meeting has started with the Pledge of Allegiance.

7:18 p.m.: Kathy Keohane, chair of the Library Trustees, is delivering a short report on the feasibility study for a new Belmont Public Library. The report is hereWhy does the town need a new library? Because it’s so well loved and used. There is a demand for library services and a new 38,000 sq.-foot building is needed. It will cost about $24 million for new construction which is the most efficient and cost effective. Private fundraising will be an important component of the financing of the new building.

7:27 p.m.: State Sen. Will Brownsberger is giving a report on making a few predictions. He said Belmont will still receive the local aid that has been estimated earlier this year by the legislature despite the fall-off in revenue. Brownsberger said there will be more congestion on roads and mass transit. He’s still concerned about changing local zoning laws to increase affordable housing types which died in the legislature. He’s working hard on mitigating aircraft noise over Belmont.

7:39 p.m.: Now off to the articles. Article 18 will establish a special education reserve fund to pay for unbudgeted costs associated with out-of-district tuition and transportation costs. Belmont School Superintendent John Phelan said this new account is different than the existing Stabilization Fund? Basically, it allows easier access to funds where the school committee doesn’t have to wait until June, it just means a favorable vote from the Board of Selectmen and the School  Committee. Jim Gammill, Pct. 2 and Warrant Committee member, who is in favor of the account said he doesn’t want to zero out the existing fund, rather keep about half of it where it is which will allow for policy discussion on SPED costs before the entire town. Phelan said he is only asking to establish the account this year with funding to be decided at next year’s Town Meeting. The article is approved with a few no votes/

7:59 p.m.:  Now the budget, article 13.

  • General government, $4.6 million – approved.
  • Employee benefits, retirement expenses, $7.3 million – approved.
  • Employee benefits, other reserves such as health insurance, $3.0 million – approved.
  • Public safety, $14.3 million – approved.

The school budget is now on the table, at $52.97 million. Phelan said he is “proud” to present this year’s budget. You can read the report here. The budget is on track to be balanced at the end of the fiscal year, “which is not always the case.” Challenges are enrollment projections and per pupil expenditures. Belmont spends $13,400 per student vs. the state with $15,500 and peer groups (level 1 districts and nearby towns) at $18,000, more than a third more. All the while enrollment is climbing by nearly 500 students by the 2024-25 school year. Personnel and space are needed. Phelan give a shout out to parent groups and the Foundation for Belmont Education. Gammill reads from the Warrant Committee report on the schools and comes up with an interesting fact: the town is likely paying too much for teacher salaries than peer communities. This issue could come back in future negotiations with the teacher’s union which is coming soon. 

Sue Bass, Pct 3, wonders what’s happening with later opening times for high school students. “I’m willing to pay for the schools but not if the students are sleeping the first two classes.” It could happen by Sept. 2018. Chris Doyle, Pct. 1, asked if any impact from Federal government funding with the new Trump administration which many believe will lower education funds in the coming years. Phelan said only $1.4 million comes from federal funds with $921,000 directed to SPED accounts. She also said the deficit on student spending vs. peer communities is “not sustainable.” Selectman Mark Paolillo speaks of the several financial deficits facing the town including paying for a high school.

Klaus Becker, Pct. 5, said the Gates Foundation found it’s not class size but high-quality teachers to have great outcomes. While he does agree with the idea, Phelan said size does matter to efficient teaching. Deb Lockett, Pct. 7, said “it’s startling” to see the cost-per-student deficit with other towns, that we are in a pit that we can’t get out. Lockett asked should the town/schools have a grant writer. Paolillo said while you can have a grant writer, it’s better to see if there is a different way to fund services. Steve Rosales, Pct. 8, said there is always a need for more money, but that doesn’t relate to the quality of the education. “It isn’t about money.” Anne Mahon, Pct. 4, said it is about the money, that people are coming to the town for education which you can’t do without paying for it.

The vote is taken and the $52.97 million budget is approved. 

9:16 p.m.: Town Moderator Mike Widmer said it will likely take two hours to finish the budget. UGH! And it’s starting to get really cool inside the auditorium.

  • Funding for the Minuteman Regional School, $910,185 – approved.
  • Public Service, $13.4 million – approved.
  • Human Services, $3.2 million – approved.
  • Debt and Interest on the debt, $4.5 million – approved.

Now the transfer of balances being read by Town Treasurer Floyd Carman. All approved.

This ends the budget.

9:24 p.m.: Now the citizen’s petition to transfer $1 million from free cash – the town’s piggy bank – into the General Stabilization Fund which was established after the 2015 Prop. 2 1/2 override which will then have $4 million. Petitioner Bob Sarno, Pct. 3, said this is a simple request, a fiscally prudent choice, as it will help delay the need for an override with town deficits rising in the next few years. While it will take a higher percentage (2/3 rather than the current simple majority) of town meeting members to approve the use of the $1 million as it’s in a stabilization fund, Sarno said any worthy expenses will be OK’d by the members.

Both the selectmen and the Warrant Committee voted “unfavorable” action.

Selectman Adam Dash said keeping the money in free cash will make it easier for the town to use the funds as it will need a simple majority rather than a 2/3 vote, especially since the money may be used to purchase much-needed modular structures.

Selectman Adam Dash said keeping the money in free cash will make it easier for the town to use the funds as it will need a simple majority rather than a 2/3 vote, especially since the money may be used to purchase much-needed modular structures in the fall. Selectman Chair Jim Williams said he is opposed to funding any capital expenditure with free cash – it should be bonded.

Both Selectman Paolillo and Treasurer Carman said while they support the idea, the time is not right to pass it. Wait until the October/November Special Town Meeting to realize the cost of the modular structures or some other issue. Several town meeting members voiced in favor of the petition all suggesting that it makes sense to place funds in reserve.

The motion was moved and the vote is taken. And it is adopted, 109 to 102.

9:55 p.m.: The final four articles are related to retirement issues: you can read the report here. The changes are made possible by local option from the state legislature, which the town’s Retirement Board brought forward to Town Meeting. Article 20 seeks to increase the cost-of-living-allowance base for 339 town retirees from $12,000 to $14,000 which turns out to be $35 a month/$420 a year. It will have the largest impact on the retirement liability of the four retirement articles, adding $235,150 to the fiscal 2019 budget and adding $1.7 million to the unfunded liability “and that’s a big climb to get out of” said Dash. “This is not small money we are talking about.” “We are meeting our legal obligation” if the town says put, said Bob McLaughlin, Pct. 2. It’s an issue of balance, said McLaughlin, and we don’t have the money. 

Jack Weis, Pct. 1, said the town needs to find a way to fund the two percent increase in the COLA as the town has an obligation to provide for retirees. Warrant Committee Chair Roy Epstein, said the COLA is a local option, it’s not a requirement; plenty of other well-funded towns are staying at $12,000. The higher expense of $235,000 to the town budget will have to come out of some other line item. 

The vote is being taken – and it fails 69 to 126. That was a surprise. 

10:42 p.m.: Now up is Article 19, to increase the stipend to the Retirement Board up to $4,500 from $3,000. Apparently, since they are fiduciaries and other new responsibilities set forth by the legislature, the retirement board believed it was appropriate to bring this local option to Town Meeting. The Selectmen voted 3-0 for favorable action while the Warrant Committee voted unfavorable action 9-1. McLaughlin said while the Retirement Board does a great job, so does the School Committee and the other 66 boards in town who don’t get paid. The vote is taken and its 22-164 in the negative. 

10:58 p.m.: Final two articles! Article 21 effects four spouses of employees who died while working by increasing the monthly benefit from $250 to $500 which will increase the 2019 budget by $13,805. Dash said he’s against the article on principal. Lubein said it’s a small amount of money and a unique case. Rachel Berger, Pct. 2, said workers do die young and it will help those who may have lost a breadwinner. The vote is taken and the article is approved 124 to 52.

11:04 p.m.: Here we go, the final article. Number 22, to increase the annual allowance of retirees who stopped working due to accidents or disability from $6,000 to $12,000. Only three retirees are effected with a small pool. It will take a bite out of the budget for $20,000 each year. The vote is taken – 60 in favor, 117 opposed.

And at 11:11 p.m., the annual Town Meeting is closed!

Belmont High Baseball Battles #1 St. John’s (S) Before Falling 3-1

 Photo: Steve Rizzuto scoring Belmont’s lone run in a 3-1 defeat by number one St. John’s of Shrewsbury. 

The Boston Herald’s Danny Ventura‏, the region’s most prominent writer of high school sports, tweeted this week that it was “Too bad Belmont [Baseball] had to play the top-seed [St. John’s Shrewsbury in the first round of the MIAA Super Eight baseball playoffs], they should not have been the eighth seed in the first place.”
On Thursday, Belmont High Baseball proved Ventura correct when the Marauders kept the state’s consensus number 1 team in check for nearly the entire game, coming up just short in a 3-1 loss in the opening game of the elite eight tournament held in Shrewsbury, Thursday, June 1.
“It was a great game,” said Belmont’s Head Coach Jim Brown. “We knew it would be close; they had their D1 (Division 1 college prospect Ian Seymour), and we had our best [southpaw Nate Espelin] going. While [Espelin] was little shaky in the first inning, he settled down and [junior righthander Max Meier] closed out a strong game pitching.”
The nine-inning game (as opposed to the seven innings played during the regular high school season) was a tight affair. Espelin got the first two batters out in the first but three singles on top of a hit batsman resulted in two runs (RBIs to St. John’s’ Tom Mochella and Jack Fields) crossing the plate.
But if the Pioneers were expecting to walk over the eight seed, they would end up disappointed as Espelin, and Belmont found its bearings and kept the game within two through the middle innings. 
While the Marauders did make contact with some hard hit balls as second base Steve Rizzuto – going 2-4 as he continues with the hot late season bat – got to  Seymour in the first for a single while leadoff batter left fielder Connor Dacey flew deep to right, Belmont would have to wait to get their next two hits; in the fourth, a senior catcher Cal Christofori single (that was whipped out on a double play) and the fifth on a two-out single from designated hitter Ryan Noone.

“We just didn’t get enough timely hits when we needed them. But we swung a good bat and played great defense,” said Brown, noting the play from senior center fielder Bryan Goodwin who expertly handled the wide open range of the field’s outfield as its nearly 400 feet to the deep center field fence.

Belmont finally took the measure of Seymour in the top of the 6th as Rizzuto scored from first on a monster one-out gap double to deep center field by Christofori (2-4 in the game) who is batting a spectacular .750 in his last five games, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

But the Pioneers rallied in the bottom frame, scoring on a single, a walk and then a one-out single from right fielder Bailey Mikule to give the home squad a two-run cushion and to end Espelin’s standout performance with three strikeouts while giving three earned runs on seven singles. Meier finished the game with two scoreless innings striking out four of the seven batters he faced.

Seymour (eight strikeouts, one earned run on five hits) got out of his final jam in the eighth as he struck out Christofori for the final out with Rizzuto on first.

Next up for Belmont is a losers bracket game vs. Braintree which has been pushed back from Monday to Thursday due to the rainy weather. The game is now scheduled at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, home of the Brockton Rox of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England, on Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m. The stadium’s address is 700 Belmont St. (easy to remember).

Braintree is the two-time defending state champion that narrowly lost to Boston College High, 3-2, in its opening round game.

“Anyone you play in this tournament is going to be great. [Braintree] could have their number one pitcher come back so we get a scouting report on them and get ready,” said Brown.

Is This The Final Night of Belmont’s Town Meeting? Bet On It

Photo: Town Meeting in Belmont, 2017.

Town Meeting can see the light at the end of this year’s tunnel.

After speeding through the first half of the financial articles on Monday, June 5, Belmont’s annual Town Meeting will only have seven articles remaining on this year’s warrant as it reconvenes tonight, Wednesday, June 7 at 7 p.m. at the Belmont High School auditorium.

Wednesday’s agenda includes approving the actual town and school budgets along with nine transfer payments to meet some operating expenses before the town’s legislative body takes up a citizen’s petition to transfer $1 million from free cash – the town’s piggy bank – into the General Stabilization Fund which was established after the 2015 Prop. 2 1/2 override.

It should be interesting to hear the debate on whether to set aside savings for the GSF that will hopefully defer a future override request versus those who believe the town needs the flexibility of free cash to pay for other needed projects and expenses such as modular structures for the schools and town functions. 

Another debate is expected on the final four articles concerning voting for additional funds to retirees and their survivors which will add up to a substantial expenditure in future years. 

Also on the agenda will be a report from Kathy Keohane, chair of the Library Trustees, who will be delivering a short report on the feasibility study for a new Belmont Public Library. You can follow along with the report by downloading it here.

Krafian Adds Hurdle Crown at All State; Perkins PRs in 400 for 2nd [VIDEO]

Photo: Belmont’s Anoush Krafian out leans Plymouth North’s Madelyn Sessler to win the 100 meters hurdles state championship.

Back in February, Belmont High School’s track star Anoush Krafian was nipped at the line of the 55-meter hurdles in the Division 3 state championships, beaten by Hopkinton High’s Caitlyn Halloran by one-one hundredth of a second.

“I got beat on the lean,” said Krafian.

Fast forward to Saturday, June 3, at the Massachusetts All-State Championships at Bridgewater State University and once again, Krafian found herself involved in a race where the margin between winning and finishing second would be by the tightest difference.


But this time, it was Krafian who ran away with the victory.

In the most dynamic race of the meet, Krafian ran down defending champion Plymouth South senior Madelyn Sessler over the final three hurdles to capture the state title by, yes, one-one hundredth of a second, 14.64 seconds to 14.65.

“The second half of my race is always better than my first,” said Krafian. And it had to be as the Belmont trackster trailed Sessler by more than a step midway through the race. In the event that combines sprinter speed with the technical ability to smoothly clear ten hurdles, making up any deficit increases the likelihood of a loss of form that results in slamming into the hurdles.

But Krafian kept her cool and squeezed by Sessler for the narrowest of victories, ending a day where she twice smashed her own personal best (and school record) of 14.95 by nearly a third of a second, having run a PR of 14.87 in the qualifying round.

“I didn’t panic because I knew I could catch her,” she said. “I turned it on at the end.”

Krafian’s hurdle title was her second of the All-State meet, as she won the five-event pentathlon on Thursday.

Krafian’s time qualified to compete in the six-state 72nd Annual New England Interscholastic Outdoor Track & Field Championship this Saturday, June 10, at Norwell High School where she will be joined by her Belmont teammate Calvin Perkins. The junior took a half second off his personal best in the 400 meters dipping below 49 seconds to take second in 48.65 behind defending New England champion Rodney Agyare-May of Burncoat High of Worcester who strode home in 48.34.

The junior took a half second off his personal best in the 400 meters dipping below 49 seconds to take second in 48.65 behind defending New England champion Rodney Agyare-May of Burncoat High of Worcester who strode home in 48.34.

“Maybe next year,” said Perkins. “It was a good race.” 

At the New Englands Krafian will compete against meet favorite senior Bridget Charavalle of Danbury, Conn. (who has committed to run for Boston University) who ran a season’s best 14.23 at the Connecticut state championships over the weekend. Perkins will again be up against Agyare-May along with favorite Manchester, Conn. junior Jevin Frett who has a personal best of 48.08.

Belmont relay quartets came to the All-State meet to battle in the passing zones and crowded starts with the Girls’ 4×400 crossed the line in 9th in 4 minutes 4.39 seconds; the Girls’ 4×800 in 23rd in 10:00.20; the Boys’ 4×800 in 8:14.78 for (once again) 23rd and the Boys’ 4×400 in 3:27.26 for 13th.