Marauders Enter Spring Playoffs With A Pair Of Belmont Favorites At Division 1 North Track Championships

Photo: Belmont High athletes and teams are in playoff and championship action this weekend

A pair of Belmont High field performers and a powerhouse Marauder team will be headlining the return this weekend of sports tournaments and championship meets sponsored by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Senior pole vaulter Sarah Firth will attempt to take the Division 1 North title while junior Sofia Hospodar has the co-longest triple jump in the division this outdoor season at 36-feet, 6-inches. Firth, who won both the All-State and New England titles in 2019, has the best height in the state of 11 feet, 6-inches. Firth will also run the 100-meter hurdles at the meet held in North Andover.

This season marks the return to the pitch of Belmont High Rugby, out to defend its 2019 Division 1 state title. The 4-0 Marauders is the second seed by way of a coin flip with fellow undefeated Milton, the two-time state Division 2 champions who were promoted into the top league this year.

Belmont will host three-seed Boston College High, whose only loss this season was to Belmont, in a semifinal match on Wednesday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. on Harris Field.

Belmont Boys’ Lacrosse (5-7) will take on hosts North Attleborough High (6-7) in an 8-9 match-up on Friday, June 18 art 4 p.m., with the winner having the tall task of visiting first ranked Medfield High School (14-1) on Monday.

Belmont High Baseball, ranked 21 (3-8), will have a long trek on Friday, June 18, as they hike up to Haverhill to play 12th ranked Whittier Regional Vocational Tech (7-6) at 1 p.m.

Belmont Boys’ Tennis travels to Concord Carlisle at Noon, Friday, June 18, as the hosts, ranked 6th, will challenge number 11 Marauders.

In competition in the D1N meet completed on Thursday, June 17, Belmont junior Jackson Coelho took 4th in the 800 meters in 1-minute, 57.04 seconds while senior Colby Woo cleared 11-feet, 6-inches in the pole vault for 5th.

At the D1N outdoor track championship meet, Belmont Girls’ will be represented by seniors Leya El-Chanati (100, 200 and long jump); Isabel Burger (1 mile), Rachel November (400 hurdles), the 4×800 relay; while seniors Samantha Lim and Knar Krafian joins Firth in the 100 hurdles.

Belmont Playoff Teams Include Baseball At Home (Sort Of) And A Rugby Twofor

Photo: Playoffs in Belmont for the next week.

Baseball will be playing in Belmont, just not where you hoped they would and both Rugby squads are hosting their semifinals as a doubleheader as Belmont High School sports teams are the the midst of tournament action.

On Thursday, June 6, the Belmont High School Baseball Team will host  Masconomet Regional in the MIAA Division 2 North Tournament. But the home game will not take place at Brendan Grant Field. Rather, the game will be played at the Belmont Hill School varsity baseball diamond off Marsh Street. The game begins at 3:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, June 12, Harris Field will be the location of a rare rugby doubleheader as Boys’ and Girls’ Rugby host respective state Division 1 semifinals as both Marauders squads are second seeds in the MIAA playoffs.

The Boys’ will take on Lincoln Sudbury Regional at 5:30 p.m. while the Girls’ hosts Needham at 7:30 p.m.

Belmont Rugby Teams Meet Familiar Rivals In Saturday’s State Finals [VIDEO]

Photo: Senior Scrumhalf Joe Viale racing down the pitch vs. St. John’s Prep

With a pair of dominating performances in the state championship semifinals last week, Belmont High School’s boys’ and girls’ Rugby squads now prepare to meet familiar foes in the state finals in a rare doubleheader where girls and boys high school teams will be seeking championships on the same day this Saturday, June 23.

The number one-ranked boys’ (6-0) in Division 1 will meet defending championships and second seed Boston College High School (5-1) in the late match of the three championship finals taking place at Newton South High School at 4 p.m

In the middle match at 2 p.m., the first seed and defending champs Belmont (7-0) is match up against second-ranked Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School (5-2) in the Division 1 Girls’ finals. 

The Belmont teams earned their place in the championship match with convincing victories in the semifinals that took place at Harris Field. On Tuesday, June 12, Belmont’s girls’ defeated the Needham High squad, 54-7, in a game that was more competitive than the earlier encounter between the teams.

Saturday’s opponent Lincoln Sudbury has been the one team which has placed the most pressure on the Marauders. It took Gabby Viale‘s ten-meter “tap and go” dash up the middle for a try on the last play of the game to give Belmont a 17-12 away victory on April 25. In the reverse fixture on June 12, Belmont’s defense and tackling kept a surging Warriors’ at bay for the 14-12 win, the margin of victory provided by junior Johanna Matulonis‘ converting both two-point conversion kicks after trys. 

Belmont will be relying on Senior Scrumhalf Jessica Rosenstein – who will be playing collegiately at national champs Lindenwood next year – to deliver the ball to the backline and direct the offense. Expect the team to rely on Number 8 Grace Christensen to take inside runs while Viale will be relied on to continue her season-long game-breaking runs while the back row wingers – highlighting juniors Hannah Hlotyak, Clare Martin, and Kiera Booth – will play a central role advancing the ball. 

The Marauders will need to protect the ruck – when a runner is stopped, their teammates attempt to push back the opponents so the scrumhalf can release the ball to the back row – and win the scrum when Belmont’s front eight players battle Lincoln-Sudbury’s front eight for the ball. 

On defense, watch for Belmont tackling attempt to counter the speed and physical nature of the Warriors.

If there is one advantage Belmont will carry into the game will be its experience – Saturday will be consecutive championship matches for nearly all the players on the field – and knowledge of the game which will 

Belmont Boys’ completed the season undefeated and rarely challenged in the late going of matches. And they showed its superiority in the semifinals as they dispatched St. John’s Prep High, 33-3, on Wednesday.

Boston College High squeaked into the championship game with a 12-10 semifinal victory over Lincoln Sudbury. Belmont defeated the Eagles on a rainy April 25, 26-14, with BC High scoring a late try. 

The Marauders will look to its senior front-runners, captain and flanker Will Lozano and scrumhalf Joe Viale, who will provide leadership by example on both sides of the ball, leading the attack into the heart of the BC High squad while being the first line of defense with an emphasis on stealing the ball from the ruck or during the run of play. 

And it will be in the ruck, side out and especially the scrum where Belmont will attempt to continue its season-long dominance. Despite being outweighed by BC High and St. John’s Prep by a significant amount, the forwards – front row Jake Parsons, Ryuichi Ohhata, and Mark Morash; locks Andra Duda and Maxwell Baskerville; flankers Connor Shea and Lozano; and 8-man Sam Sagherian – have controlled the majority of scrum restarts by working in concert as a single unit, resulting in the Marauders dictating how the game is played.

Look for Belmont to control the line-outs with Baskerville as the jumper who is lifted to capture the ball. Center back Sam Harris and wings Joe Altomare will give Belmont a great amount of pace in the open field. 

And the Marauders is expected to have an advantage in the kicking game as senior flyhalf Laurent Brabo has been hitting conversions and penalty kicks from well past 30 meters.

Rugby: Boys’ Outplay Defending Champ BC High; Final Play Gives Girls’ Win Over L-S

Photo:Senior flyhalf Laurent Brabo running for Belmont’s first try against BC High.

In a battle of rugby royalty, Belmont High Boys’ is wearing the crown after a convincing 26-14 victory over defending Division 1 state champions Boston College High School on a soaked Harris Field, Wednesday, April 25.

After defeating last season’s number 1 and 2 teams (the Marauders thrashed St. John’s Prep, 38-23) in its first two matches of the season, Belmont can claim the top spot in Division 1 in Massachusetts.

While both teams had its hands full with the wet conditions, Belmont’s skill and tactics won out against the Eagles. As with their game against St. John’s Prep, it was Belmont’s dominance controlling the scrum where Belmont’s front seven was outweighed by both prep schools highlighting the Marauders’ control of the game.

Senior flyhalf Laurent Brabo eluded two BC High defenders to scamper 40 meters for Belmont initial try at the 11-minute mark and then easily converted the two-point conversion kick. (Brabo is fast becoming the program’s best ever kicker having scored a 45-meter penalty kick.)

It took the Marauders only five minutes to double the score to 14-0 when after soon after a great kick to touch to advance the ball near the BC High goal line, senior Sam Harris punched to through to score Belmont’s second try.

BC High halved the lead to 14-7 during its longest possession of the game, but Belmont would not be denied its third score when Will Lozano ran up the middle with five minutes remaining in the half to make the score 21-7. 

Both teams came close to score in the initial 10 minutes of the second half but dropped balls and great defensive stances by the Eagles and Marauders halted the threats, Belmont would finish its scoring in the 57th minute to raise the score to 26-7 before BC High used some brute force to register its second try two minutes into extra time.

Girls’ Use Last Play To Eek Out Victory At Lincoln-Sudbury

On the final play of a game, Belmont High’s junior fullback Gabriella Viale tapped the ball to herself and scored the match-winning try as Belmont’s Girls’ Rugby defeated hosts Lincoln-Sudbury Regional, 17-12, in a contest played in a constant downpour on Wednesday, April 25.

Despite finding itself down 12-10 in the final 20 minutes, “[The team] was impressive since no one lost their cool, they never panicked. They were always composed,” said Belmont head coach Kate McCabe of her team.

After defeating its first two opponents by a combined 138-0, Belmont soon discovered the Warriors – which the Marauders squeaked out a 10-5 home victory last year – were ready to take on the defending state champions.

“They were really tough and super aggressive at the start of the game,” said Viale, who said the game certainly affected by the heavy rain with many dropped balls. 

Belmont took the lead 5-0 through Viale before the Warriors tied the match at 5 going into the half. Junior Number Eight Grace Christensen gave Belmont the lead, 10-5, with a strong try early in the second half only to see Lincoln-Sudbury score and make the conversion kick to go ahead 12-10. 

“It took a little while to get used to what they were doing but in the final 20 minutes we were playing within their 20 [meter],” said McCabe.

While they were on the front foot, Belmont waited until the games final seconds to score. A penalty was called on the Warriors near its goal line allowing Belmont to restart play as Lincoln-Sudbury was running back to line up defensively. Rather than pass the ball back, Viale tapped the ball with her boot and sprinted for the try. With Calista Weissman’s conversation kick, the ref blew the final whistle.

Belmont’s rematch with Lincoln Sudbury is May 30 at Harris Field.