Given A Second Chance, Belmont’s Bridget Gray Comes Home A National Champion

Photo: Belmont’s Bridget Gray whose semi-final heroics helped the East Coast Wizards capture the USA Hockey U19 Tier 2A Girls National Championship

Sometimes an athlete is at their best when they get a second chance. And for Belmont’s Bridget Gray, that opportunity came with just one second remaining in the semi-finals of USA Hockey U19 Tier 2A Girls National Championship were held in West Chester, outside of Philadelphia on April 3.

During the tournament, Gray and her team mate, Elizabeth Sullivan of Shrewsbury, shared time between the pipes – playing half of each game alternating between starting and finishing the game – as goalies for the Bedford-based East Coast Wizards, one of 12 U19 Tier II teams to make the national tournament.

Belmont’s Bridget Gray in action at USA Hockey U19 Tier 2A Girls National Championship were held in West Chester.

After the Wizards – coached by Mike Milofsky, who grew up in Belmont and played for Belmont High – won the three games in the initial group round, they defeated the Minnesota Premier Prep Royal, 6-4, in a morning quarterfinals on Sunday April 3, advancing to a Sunday night semi-final tussle with their Massachusetts rivals, the Boston Junior Eagles. 

Taking over in the second half of the game against the high-scoring Junior Eagles (they would tally 25 goals in five games), Gray was peppered with shots that included one ending up in her net with 49 seconds remaining in the third to give the Junior Eagles a 4-3 advantage. But the Belmont High all-star was handed a reprieve when the Wizards’ Jenna Lynch scored with a single second remaining in the contest to send the contest into overtime.

Given a (one) second chance, Gray delivered big time, stopping every chance in the 17 minute sudden death overtime, then during the climatic penalty shot shootout, made three consecutive saves on each of the Junior Eagles who scored on her in the game. With the Wizards having scored two in the first four opportunities, Gray caused the fourth Junior Eagle to miss and secured a miraculous trip to the finals.

In the final on Monday, April 3, the Wizards beat the Wisconsin Selects, 2-1, to win the championship title.

Gray’s 2021 and 2020 Wizard’s teams had also qualified for Nationals, but were unable to participate due to Covid; 2020 was cancelled and in 2021 travel restrictions prevented a trip to Colorado. 

Belmont’s Bridget Gray in action at 2022 USA Hockey U19 Tier 2A Girls National Championship

Town-Wide Covid Vaccination Clinic At Beth El Temple Tuesday, May 3 

PhotoVaccine/booster shots will be provided to public school students and staff on April 12. (Credit: Wikimedia)

The Belmont Health Department is offering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents, including first, second and booster shots on TuesdayMay 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Ave.

Register for a vaccine appointment here.

Please present insurance cards, photo ID, and vaccination cards at appointment.

The CDC recommended in late March that all individuals over the age of 50 and certain immunocompromised individuals get an additional booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines. The decision follows authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a second booster dose for these groups four months after receiving a first booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Those eligible include:

  • Individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after getting a first booster.
  • Individuals 18 and older with certain medical conditions may get a second Moderna booster at least 4 months after first booster.
  • Individuals 12 and older with certain medical conditions may get a second Pfizer booster at least 4 months after the first booster.
  • In addition, per the CDC, individuals 18 and older who received a primary vaccine andbooster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

Residents may access booster doses from more than 1,000 locations, with appointments readily available for booking across the Commonwealth. Visit to make an appointment.

This clinic will be operated through a partnership between VaxinateRX and the Belmont Health Department. The Pfizer vaccine will be available.

Having difficulty registering? Call 617-993-2720 or Email: for assistance

Belmont 8th Grade Girl Hoopsters Take Home Metrowest Crown

Photo: ”We are the champions!” Belmont’s 8th Grade hoopsters (Back row from left) Leah Attridge, Emma Kass, Sophia McClendon, Sam Ryan, Amy Saukkonen. (Front row from left) Erin Attridge, Grace Grant, Sophie Tournet, Sophia Pang.

It took three nail biters for Belmont’s 8th Grade Maroon basketball team to take the Metrowest League Division 2 tournament, capturing the crown with a come-from-behind victory vs. Wellesley, 48-45, in the finals.

Trailing 44-38 with three minutes remaining in the championship game against a 13-1 opponent, Belmont’s defense shut down Wellesley finishing the game on a 10-to-1 run as Belmont got hot from deep in the second half with Sophia Pang, Amy Saukkonen and Sophie Tournet hitting multiple threes from downtown.

Belmont’s Sam Ryan from the baseline vs. Wellesley in the Metrowest finals

Saukkonen set the tone early for Belmont with her lockdown defense, as Sophia McClendon, Samantha Ryan and Grace Grant controlled the glass. Great passing and unselfish play from the entire team led to many open shots. Leading scorers were Pang with 17, Tournet,11, with McClendon and Saukkonen finnished with nine each.

Belmont ended the season with a 15-6 record.

“This team always plays unselfish, intelligent and hard. They stay positive even when things aren’t going well. This is a guaranteed recipe for success,” said Jason Tournet, who along with Bernie Ryan and Mike Grant coached the girls.

Belmont’s Leah Attridge (right) vs. Wellesley in the Metrowest final.

Belmont defeated Hopkington in the first round, 61-58, with Ryan, Pang, McClendon and Tournet scoring in double figures. Erin and Leah Attridge hit clutch jump shots and Ryan nailed a 3 to give Belmont the lead late in the 3rd quarter. Grant grabbed multiple key rebounds and Pang and Tournet combined for 14 in the 4th quarter to help hold off a late Hopkington charge. 

Belmont won a tightly-fought semifinal, 44-40, against a 14-2 Rochester squad. McClendon dominated from the tip, finishing with 24 points and several blocked shots. Pang chipped in with 14 and the Belmont team defense did a great job in the second half with Emma Kass excellent under the basket, helping to overcome a tall Rochester front line.

In the past four years, the team racked up a 12-1 playoff record while winning a pair of Metro crowns all the while having a great experience playing basketball together. The team would like to thank Belmont Youth Basketball Association for all of its support, particularly during the Covid pandemic. 

Abstracts And Collages Highlight New Art Exhibit at the Gallery@BMC; Opening Reception May 6

Photo: Works by Kate Rosenburg and Marjorie Bangs that will be shown at the Gallery@BMC

Painter Kate Rosenburg and collage artist Marjorie Bangs have a new show “Works by Kate Rosenburg & Marjorie Bangs” at the Gallery@BMC, which is located in the Belmont Media Center, 9 Lexington St. across from Star Market.

The opening reception is Friday, May 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Food and refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

Rosenburg specializes in abstract paintings. Her work attempts to create a dramatic contrast between background and shape that is simultaneously stimulating and compelling. Bangs lives in Belmont and is the Volunteer Gallery Coordinator at the Belmont Media Center. She studied filmmaking at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, but now is creating collages using ephemera and images from 1950s and 60s. 

The exhibit will run until June 30. The gallery is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more info go to

To get to the Gallery@BMC, take the 73 bus to the Church Street/Lexington Street stop in Waverley Square.If you are coming by car, there’s free on-street parking and a paid parking lot nearby on Church Street.

Belmont High PTSO Speaker Series Understanding Youth Mental Health: Guidance for Parents and Guardians On May 3

Photo: The poster for the Speaker Series event on May 3

On Tuesday, May 3, at 7 p.m., the Belmont Wellness Coalition will be present a ZOOM talk as part of the 2022 Belmont High School PTSO Speakers Series on “Understanding Youth Mental Health: Guidance for Parents and Guardians.”

A panel of BWC experts and a member of the Belmont High School Crisis Team will discuss topics such as:

• How to distinguish typical versus concerning behaviors,

• How to create a crisis plan,

• Self harm versus suicidal ideation,

• What to do when your child is in crisis, and

• The Belmont Schools Crisis Teams – who they are and what they do for students and families. 

Zoom Link

If you would like to submit questions in advance, please fill out this Google form:

Select Board Backs Belmont Fire Chief After Being Cleared Of Alleged Residency Violation

Photo: Belmont Fire Chief David DeStefano in July 2021

The Belmont Select Board rallied to the side of Belmont Fire Chief David DeStefano Monday night, April 26, after an independent investigation found DeStefano has not violated the residency clause in his three-year contract requiring him to live no farther than 15 miles from Belmont.

“I’m sorry that you have to continue to be subjected to these kinds of accusations and I want to thank you for your strong service to the town,” said Board Chair Mark Paolillo.

The complaint by former Belmont assistant Fire Chief Angus Davison alleged DeStefano had violated his work contract by not establishing a primary residence 15 miles from Belmont within six months after signing his contract in February of last year.

The residency allegations against DeStefano is the latest in a series of actions by Davison and others questioning his selection to lead the fire department and the process of hiring candidates from outside of Belmont when there are several “inside” applicants with equivalent leadership experience.

“Even before my official appointment as fire chief, a small network of individuals has worked to undermine the fair process by which I was selected as the most qualified candidate to be the fire chief,” said DeStefano. “Since my appointment, the same individuals have attacked and tried to undermine my leadership by attacks on my character.”

“I’m tired of all of the innuendo. I really tired of the continued sort of attacks if you will by certain individuals against our fire chief about not only residency but other sort of matters as related to the appointment process,” said Paolillo.

Using fuel receipts and mileage usage from DeStefano’s town-owned vehicle obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Davison attested DeStefano’s daily mileage total – averaging 150 miles – was well beyond the distance needed to reach the Dedham address the fire chief claimed is his current residence. Davison suggests the distance is associated with round-trip to Cranston, RI where DeStefano was living when he was hired.

Since the mileage has not dropped since his hiring, Davison alleges that DeStefano “has not moved and is not abiding by the the residency clause” and thus is unable to meet the “essential functions” in the job description which requires him to respond quickly to serious incidents and fires as well as medical emergencies and fire investigations.

“Proximity to Belmont is a concern of the town the the ability to respond quickly is of the utmost importance. Responding from Rhode Island doesn’t meet that criteria,” contends Davison.

Davison said if the board did not address his allegations, he would bring them to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and request a fraud investigation be brought against DeStefano.

Presented with what Paolillo called “this serious claim,” the board asked the Boston law firm of KP Law PC to review the charges. Brian Maser, who is Belmont’s labor counsel, pointed to the admitting broad definition of residence by the state’s Civil Service Commission as the physical location of the employee’s house or other dwelling place. So confirming if a location is a residence would include having property records such as a lease or mortgage in your name, a voting record at the location, utility bills, excise tax records and a motor vehicle registration for that address.

Maser said DeStefano has provided the town a lease for a property 15 miles from the town, utility bills in his name and a driver’s license for the address in Dedham. In addition, DeStefano has verbally represented to Belmont officials that his primary residence is in Dedham.

“It’s our opinion that despite not being required to do so, the chief has voluntarily presented sufficient documentation to rebut the spurious allegation advanced against him related to his residency and has been in compliance with this employment agreement,” said Maser.

“Mileage is not an indicator of residency,” said the board’s Adam Dash. “Chief DeStefano has been doing an outstanding job and we’re lucky to have him.” DeStefano stated that in his first year leading the department, he’s revitalized training programs, updated countless policies, will start an EMS bike unit and trained for active shooter incidents as well as push to replace the department’s aging air packs.

“So I reject the pettiness and unsubstantiated claims of one or two individuals who favor the status quo and favoritism over progress and fairness.” he said.

Pair Of Chenery Middle School Musicians Awarded Annual McLellen Scholarship

Photo: This year’s recipients of the annual John McLellan Music Scholarship (from left) Chenery Middle School students Markus Sendzik and Fiona Rodriguez-Clark with John McLellan

Markus Sendzik, a 7th grade violinist, violist and pianist, and Fiona Rodriguez-Clark, an 8th grade cellist, are the 2022 recipients of the annual John McLellan Music Scholarship, created to help Chenery Middle School students achieve new levels of musical accomplishment.

They received the $500 scholarship, which honors long-time Chenery Middle School band director John McLellan, who retired in 2018 after inspiring thousands of Belmont public school students to love music during his 35-year-career, at the Chenery honors ensemble choral and orchestra concert on April 12.

Sendzik and Rodriguez-Clark applied for the honor and were selected by the Scholarship Committee for their leadership, scholarship, musicianship, and mentorship. The students plan to use the awards to further their music education this summer. The scholarship is administered by POMs, Parents of Music Students. More information is at

Belmont Girls’ Rugby Starts Defense Of State Titles With 39-26 Victory Over Top Rival Lincoln-Sudbury

Photo: Off to the races: Belmont High’s Val Detheux scoring her second try from across the midway line in three minutes as the Marauders’ defeated Lincoln-Sudbury, 39-26, to open the 2022 rugby season.

Playing its first competitive match in nearly three years, the Belmont High Girls’ Rugby XV squared off with its chief challenger, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High, in the 2022 season opener as the Marauders’ began its defense of its three consecutive MIAA state championships from 2017-2019.

It’s always a red letter date when long-time rivals meet, especially early on in the season as it gives a good indication where both teams are heading. And the Marauders’ offense clicked from the start, putting L-S – which the Marauders defeated in the previous two state finals – into a 22-0 half time hole leading to the 39-26 victory at Harris Field.

First half scrum, Belmont High vs. Lincoln-Sudbury in 2022 season opener.

“There are a lot of nerves coming into this game,” said Belmont’s Head Coach Kate McCabe after the match. “It’s hard to start with Lincoln-Sudbury and, man, they do not disappoint. It was a really hard hitting game and they seemingly got better and better as the game went on.”

When Belmont processed the ball, it demonstrated the duel threat of scoring off of grinding out multi-phased drives as with its first two scores – by sophomore left wing Lucy Kabrhel and senior scrumhalf ”Jef” Endo-Ferguson – or slash the defense with standout solo runs as Belmont crossed the goal line three times from 70-plus meters out. The highlight of the long distance ventures strikes from junior “eight” Val Detheux whose second of her two tries (which came three minutes apart) saw her slip through the middle of the L-S squad and outpace the back line to the try line.

“It’s really important to step sideways because when someone is ready to tackle you, they are low to the ground so they won’t be able to reach as far., So if you step, it’s easy to pass them,” she said.

Belmont scrumhalf ”Jef” Endo-Ferguson takes down Lincoln-Sudbury’s 9.

Detheux said playing the important Eight position with a full complement of 15 players – last year, the team played Rugby Sevens – was “scary” and ”it all happened very quickly.” But getting help from Endo-Ferguson and senior Flyhalf Evie Hamer ”was important that we work as a team, talking and sending the ball to the right places.”

Belmont showed how dangerous its offensive can be when receiving the ball with less than 90 seconds remaining in the first half 80 meters from the goal line. Rather than run out the clock, the Marauders’ team and individual speed, some impressive passes as well as defending the ball during the ruck paid dividends resulting in a four try half.

McCabe pointed to the play of senior fullback Cecilia de la Fuente who said the pace on her striker line runs ”were phenomenal” and a series of solo shoulder tackles by senior inside center Helen Feldhaus “were what we needed at that moment because Lincoln ever was coming was speed.”

Second half action between Belmont High and Lincoln Sudbury girls’ rugby season opener.

With the exception of Detheux, the team’s eight forwards are made up of seniors whose experience will be key to a return to a finals. It was the unit responsible for repelling L-S twice inside the 10 meter line early in the match and stealing a number of rucks especially in the first half.

But it’s not all the dirty work inside the scrum or taking opponent runners so the ground for the front. Senior hook Narine Mahserejian contributed to the offense going off on several runs including a notable 30-meter dash that had the sideline screaming.

“I do like to take the ball and crash it into them. I like to run through the defense and try to get a couple of meters in,’ said Mahserejian.

The one deficiency in Belmont’s game was when L-S exploited some less than stellar tackling in the final 15 minutes of the match, a detail McCabe did not overlook.

“Honestly, we’ve been working for four weeks and they put a lot of those pieces together on the field,” said McCabe. “And it was beautiful to see and people stepped up in a big way in the attack. I know that this is just the foundation and that we have a full season to build on it.

“So it’s a great place to start but there’s some work to be done, for sure.”

Belmont High’s left wing Lucy Kabrhel scores the first try of the girls’ rugby season vs. Lincoln-Sudbury.

Nine Belmont Runners Break 3 Hours At ’22 BAA Marathon As Brownsberger Tells His Day At The Race

Photo: This was the 126th Boston Athletic Assocation’s marathon held on Patriots’ Day.

While he may have felt he was living in a Jackson Browne song, Belmont’s Will Brownsberger did himself proud Monday at the 126th Boston Athletic Association’s Marathon even though came in on fumes.

Having last run the annual 26.2 mile race 17 years ago, the veteran legislator was hoping to keep the same pace at 65 as he had at 48. And for 22 miles – having climbed over the four Newton Hills including the devilish last one named Heartbreak – he was holding his own until Father Time met him at the race’s last downhill plunge into Coolidge Corner and climbed on his back for the final stretch.

“My tank was so empty at the finish line that the short walk to the Public Garden to meet my wife felt longer than the race,” he said. You can read about Brownsberger’s day racing to Boston at his website here.

While the long-time state senator and resident completed his race running on empty in 3 hours, 51 minutes and 58 second, Brownsberger placed a very credible 111th of 611 in his men’s 65-69 age category.

Over all, 35 Belmontians started in Hopkinton and completed the 26.2 mile race in Boston’s Copley Square on Monday, April 18. And it was a fast bunch as nine – a quarter of those who finished – crossed the finish line in under three hours. Leading the way for the men was Somerville Evan Vadenais in 2 hours, 37 minutes and 22 seconds

Also rocking his division was Tony Luongo who placed 112th from 2,985 in the male 50-54 group in a time of 2:59:42.

Tops for the 13 women residents running Monday was Belmont’s premier marathoner Becca Pizzi coming in under three and a half hours in 3:29:37, followed by Laurie Nahigian in 3:38:00.

Name ”chip” time
Emily Anderson5:54:58
Sam Belcher2:51:20
Katie Brace3:50:55
Charlie Brodigam 4:34:43
Will Brownsberger3:51:58
Sarah Cote5:48:05
Lisa Engler 3:45:53
Estrella Garcia Griego 5:01:20
Douglas Hall2:55:58
Jenny Luongo 3:58:58
Tony Luongo2:59:42
David Marchefka2:59:27
William Marinell4:07:31
Maria Marques Samary4:29:23
Laurie Nahigian 3:38:00
Lulu November 5:15:36
Becca Pizzi 3:29:37
Alix Price5:45:45
Teresa Pulaski 4:36:44
Lixin Qin3:14:24
Doral Reynolds 2:55:42
Paul Roberts 3:58:26
Jeffrey Roth 3:17:52
Chris Sabo 4:10:41
Joseph Shaw3:04:03
David Somers4:29:36
Matt Swanson2:56:48
Matt Taylor2:58:54
Mike Thomas 4:14:06
Simone Tropeano4:06:17
Evan Vadenais 2:37:22
Peter Walker 5:51:17
Andrew Webster3:45:50
Yi Zhang 3:41:46
Cheng Zhong2:55:39

What’s Open, Closed On Patriots’ Day; Trash/Recycling Delayed A Day

Photo: Boston Marathon 2010 in Wellesley.JPG|Boston_Marathon_2010_in_Wellesley]]

Patriots’ Day, the Bay State’s homegrown holiday, commemorates the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Menotomy on April 19, 1775, the first of the American Revolutionary War. While the first shot was fired in Lexington and the Regulars were halted at North Bridge in Concord, more than half of all casualties on the 19th occurred in modern day Arlington as Minutemen from surrounding towns converged on Menotomy to ambush the British over the short distance from Foot of the Rocks (at the intersection of Lowell Street and Massachusetts Avenue) to Spy Pond on the retreat back to Boston.

Today, most of the day’s attention is focused on the Boston Athletic Association’s annual 26.2 miles marathon that bifurcates a 26-mile stretch of eastern Massachusetts. It years will be a great day for runners and fans as the forecast calls for highs in the mid-50s with sunny skies.

So, what’s opened and what’s closed?


  • Belmont Town Hall, offices and buildings are closed as is the Belmont Public Library.
  • Belmont public schools are closed Monday and for the week of the spring-time break.
  • State offices such as the Register of Motor Vehicles and courts are closed.

Due to the holiday, trash and recycling curb side pickup is delayed a day; So if your removal day is Monday, don’t! Bring it to the side of the road on Tuesday.

And Massachusetts residents get an extra day before submitting or mailing their taxes.


As it is a state holiday, the US Post Offices on Concord Avenue and in Waverley Square are open as are federal offices.

Star Market on Trapelo Road is open as are retail and convenience stores, eateries and restaurants, and liquor establishments. MBTA: All subway lines will be operating on a regular weekday schedule with added service before and after the Marathon.

On Marathon Monday, various bus routes on both the North and South sides will be detoured. Due to congestion, bikes are not allowed on any MBTA vehicles on Patriots’ Day. An all-day pass is being offered for the Framingham/Worcester line. Copley Station will be closed all day Monday. View the MBTA’s Patriots’ Day schedule here.