Sports: Girls’ XC Takes The Wrong Way Home; Golf Opems With The W; Field Hockey’s Hard Start

Photo: Belmont High’s Isabel Burger

It was looking like a promising start to the shortened season for Belmont High’s Girls’ Cross Country. Senior Isabel Burger surged in the final half mile to win going away the first dual meet against Lexington on a crisp Saturday morning Oct. 3.

Lexington’s first runner came by 15 seconds back. Lexington runners then came in third, fourth and fifth. “I know we had runners who were better than those runners,” said Belmont Head Coach Melissa Tkacs.

When each of Lexington’s seven runners in the first wave of the varsity race had crossed the finish line of the 3.1 mile race in Lexington’s Hastings Park with nary a Belmont Harrier insight, “I knew something was not right,” said Tkacs especially when the second Belmont runner across the lin started two-and-a-half minutes after the first wave.

Thankfully, about 12 minutes after their expected arrival time the team began appearing from the Bermuda Triangle known as the Lexington cross country course.

So what happened? It appears that the Belmont runners behind Burger where told to run a half mile loop not the one time as they were supposed to but two extra times resulting in the “Lost Six” logging 4.1 miles. The runners said that a course official kept sending them back on the loop.

Due to the incorrect instructions, the Minutemen took the meet, 20-41.

“The results won’t reflect what the girls are capable of,” said Tkacs. “They ran hard even though it was an extra mile and that a lot of extra running to do.”

“We’ll rally and do better at the next meet,” she said.

There has been conversations Belmont runners will return to the course to run and receive a time for the race.

Golf Hopes To Repeat Opening Win Against Always Tough Lexington

Belmont High’s golfers got off to a smart start in defense of its Middlesex League crown by defeating Arlington High’s SpyPonders, 41-31, at Winchester Country Club on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Head Coach Jeff Shea will lead his charges against visitors Lexington on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 3:30 p.m.

Field Hockey Discovers The Old Ways Won’t Work

Belmont High Field Hockey has long been known as a team that used precise passing and pressuring defense to reach the post season 13 times in 14 years.

But under the new rules – reducing the numbers of players on each team from 11 to 7, no penalty corners and social distancing between players among others – its once strengths have diminished to a more wide open game that a single player can dominate.

Against Belmont in the season opener on Saturday, that one player was Lexington’s Maddie Devine. Last year’s Middlesex League co-MVP who will be heading to BU next year, Devine quarterbacked a quick team that found space all over the field playing a long ball game.

“We went into the game with an offensive mindset because we looked good in practice,” said head coach Jess Smith. But early in the game, Lexington was able to send midfielders into the offensive end, creating odd man breaks where two or three Minutemen would be defended by a single Belmont back line player.

“No matter how much you practice, it’s only in the game where you saw how important long passes and speed have become,” said Smith.

Needing to quickly adjust their game, Belmont would revert back to playing as if it was 11 players against 11 with a reliance on short connecting passes. “But that’s wasn’t going to work,” said Smith.

It wasn’t pretty at the end as Belmont and Smith suffered its worst defeat since Smith arrived in 2004, losing 8-0.

“We’ll have to work on our defense and learn to adjust. But we’re just not there just yet,” said Smith.

Belmont Playing Modified Soccer, Field Hockey, XC This Fall; Volleyball, Swim, Football Move To ‘Floating’ Season

Photo: There will be a fall sports season at Belmont High School.

There will be Belmont High student/athletes playing this fall at Harris Field and on the links this fall as the athletic directors of the Middlesex League have approved their schools playing boys and girls soccer, field hockey, boys golf and boys and girls cross country, according to Belmont Schools Superintendent John Phelan who announced the decision at Wednesday, Sept. 2 School Committee marathon meeting.

But volleyball and swimming will be moving with football and competitive cheer to the newly created “floating” season that starts during the final weeks of February and ending in April.

School superintendents and athletic directors that represent Middlesex League schools approved a league-wide response to move forward with a fall season. It has been reported that Belmont will compete twice against teams in the league’s Liberty Division – Arlington, Winchester, Reading, Lexington, and Woburn – which will end for this year the annual competition against cross border rivals Watertown.

The decision by the Middlesex League comes as other athletic conferences such as the Mayflower and South Coast leagues on the South Shore and the nearby Northeastern Conference have canceled their fall schedule and moved it to the floating season, with the hope that the modifications would be suspended with changes in the severity of COVID-19.

While Belmont will be playing this fall, some of the sports will look quite different. Field hockey will now be played seven-against-seven – under normal conditions, there are 11 on each team – while penalty corners which are an important part of the game have been banned.

Soccer will see corner kicks and sideline throw-ins ended, reduced to free kicks that can not be sent into the goalie’s area. Defensive walls that help goalies to protect against free kicks have been suspended. But the most significant ban will be the end of heading the ball.

Cross country will likely be a timed event where each participant starts a certain length of time – usually 30 seconds – from the next runner.

Sports: Belmont High Golf Places Fifth in Division 2 State Championship


Middlesex League champions Belmont High Boys’ Golf took home the fifth place medal in the Division 2 State Championship final held at the Black Swan Country Club in Georgetown on Monday, Oct. 31.

The team (14-0-1) shot a combined total 320 on the 5,840 yard par 72 course. Belmont Head Coach Jeff Shea squad was remarkably consistant with five of the six golfers within three shots of each other.

Of special note was Belmont’s number 6 ranked Cam Jefferson whose 80 was three strokes better than all the other number sixes playing Monday.

Westwood took home the title coming home with a 312, two shots better than North Andover. 

A week earlier, Belmont finished runner-up to North Andover, 318-322, in the Division 2 North Sectionals held at Far Corner Golf Club in Boxford. 

Belmont’s Michael Pergano registered a 79 and Bobby Malcolm an 81 in the D2 individual finals, won by Catholic Memorial’s Andrew O’Leary who took the title with a 1 under 71. 

Belmont’s golfers scores included:

  1. Michael Pergano     79
  2. Bobby Malcolm       81
  3. David Pergano         80
  4. Stevie Rizzulo          81
  5. Kevin Quirk              87
  6. Cam Jefferson          80