Belmont Boys’ Rugby Takes State Title Over Arch-Rival BC High, 20-7; Fourth Title In Program History

Photo: The Belmont High School Boys’ Rugby squad celebrate its 2022 MIAA Division 1 State Championship with the tournament trophy.

Boston College High School rugby squad is known as the Eagles, but at MIAA Division 1 state title match, it was the Belmont High ruggers who flew to victory.

In a match where Belmont’s embrace of an all-encompassing kicking game proved decisive against the traditional muscle and brawn style employed by BC High, the Marauders dominated the Eagles, 20-7, on Saturday, June 17, capturing its second MIAA Division 1 state championship and the fourth title in the program’s 15-year history before a boisterous near capacity crowd at Curry College in Milton.

“We had a saying all year: ‘Don’t go through the wall, go over it.’” said senior fly-half and co-captain Erik Rosenmeier who scored twice from penalty kicks and on a pair of conversions resulting in half of Belmont’s points. “And that’s what we did today. Our kicking was amazing.”

Belmont’s kicking strategy which has become an important part of the program’s overall tactics mimics a trend in the professional game where world-class teams and national squads punt to challenge opponents, all a defense to reset and to “flip the field” with deep strikes placing the competitor on the back foot.

While kicking was an effective weapon against BC and St. John’s Prep in the semi-finals, Greg Bruce, Belmont’s head coach since he brought rugby to the school in 2007, pointed to the hard work the Marauders have placed in defense and tackling during the season.

For the past two weeks we coaches built our defensive structure and put it into practice in training,” said Bruce. “The forwards played great, the backs, the defense. It was a team performance to be honest.”

“BC is an amazing team but they rely on their athleticism more than they rely on their skill. They really just want to get the ball and run it hard up the gut and hope we can’t tackle them. And, you know, that’s what we did, stop them,” said Rosenmeier.

Belmont came out of the gate fast and used their inside running to great effect to set up Loose Head Prop Asa Rosenmeier – Erik’s younger brother – to barrel into try from six meters out just four minutes in the match to give Belmont the early 7-0 lead. But 10 minutes later, a series of quick hitting runs by BC allowed senior Jack McNicholl to slalom 30 meters to tie the game at 7-7.

Belmont spent the first half placing the Eagles under pressure with sustained tackling against the BC frontline and a number of clearing punts that kept putting the Eagles behind the midfield line. On the offensive side, the Marauders’ were able to string together drives that got them within kicking range when penalties were called against BC. Bruce didn’t hesitate to put the ball on Rosenmeier’s toe as the senior scored twice at the 23 minute and 32 minute marks as the lead climb to 13-7.

The ability to keep momentum on its side turned out to be critical in Belmont’s final score, a gutsy drive after time expired in the half in which the Marauders’ protected each ruck and finally opened a small gap in the BC line allowing Lock Viktor Insanic to run straight into try to give Belmont a two score lead, 20-7.

The final 35 minutes was a near masterclass by the Belmont XV in denying BC the momentum or big plays needed to get back into the match. When the Eagles threatened 10 minutes into the half, Belmont backs came up with a great stand inside its 22 meter preventing runners from turning the corner, stalling BC’s drive eventually resulting in a Rosenmeier kick that was “knocked on” by an Eagles back giving possession to the Marauders in the BC half.

While BC kept to its strategy of quick, hard hits into the body of Belmont’s line, the tactics proved exhausting to the Eagles which was only compounded by a series of deep kicks that allowed Belmont to reset its defense and force BC to travel ever further to attempt to cut the margin of Belmont’s lead.

“The second half was a little boring; a lot of whistles, we got a yellow card and then it got really, really choppy after that. But they did what mattered most when it mattered most and that’s why we’re here,” said Bruce.

In its final venture close to the try line, Marauders’ Number Eight Max Cornelius made a critical steal ending all of BC’s hopes. Soon after the starters started coming out and the reserves got a chance to be on the pitch for the final whistle.

The 2022 crown joins Belmont’s MIAA Div. 1 state championship won in 2019 and MYRO titles in Division 1 in 2013 and Division 2 in 2011.

“Coming into the season, there’s this kind of pressure. I really wanted to win a state championship to finish my high school career,” said Rosenmeier. “When we lost our very first game to Milton [17-12 on April 8],it was kind of like a wake up call for us that we needed to get our act together. And we just worked our [posterior] off for the rest of the season and now we’re here with this,” said Rosenmeier hold the state trophy.

“Amazing!” he said as the celebration continued on the pitch.

Summer’s Here! Underwood Pool Season Starts Wed., June 22 With Kick Off Pool Party Sat., June 25

Photo: Summer is here as the Underwood Pool opens for the 2022 swim season.

Summer in Belmont officially started on Tuesday, June 21 just before 6 a.m. with the sun setting on the longest day of the calendar year at 8:26 p.m. (Compared that to sunset in Reykjavík, Iceland that occurs at 12:04 a.m., the next day!)

But everyone knows summer really comes to Belmont when the Underwood Pool at the corner of Cottage and Concord opens for the swim season. And that will occur on Wednesday, June 22 when the facility opens at 10 a.m. for its three-day “preseason.” The facility will be operating on a limited schedule – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – from Wednesday to Friday, June 24.

The pool will begin its “peak” season from Saturday, June 25 to Aug. 21 when the hours are lengthened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. And on the first Saturday, the Belmont Recreation Department will hold a kick-off summer pool party dubbed Summer Splash-Down. The celebration, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., will include ice cream courtesy of the Belmont Public Library, giveaways, food trucks and music from local bands Vibe Check, So Blue Jazz and a Led Zeplin cover band. Entry to the pool and stuff will be with a pool membership or a day pass.

For all information about the Underwood Pool – membership, day passes, rules and regulation – go to the link here.

Four For Four: Belmont High Girls’ Rugby Defeats Lincoln-Sudbury, 34-0, For Fourth Straight Div. 1 State Crown

Photo: Belmont High School Senior Capt. Evie Hamer holds aloft the MIAA state championship trophy after Belmont defeated Lincoln-Sudbury, 34-0, to win its fourth consecutive Division 1 rugby state title

After a first-half where it was forced to rely on its underrated defense by a gutsy Lincoln-Sudbury Regional team, Belmont High School Girls’ Rugby flipped the switch on its dominating attack scoring five tries in the second half as the Marauders defeated the Warriors, 34-0, to take home the program’s fourth consecutive MIAA Division 1 state championship before a near full house at Curry College. Saturday, June 18.

“Man, every time it’s really hard,” said Kate McCabe, Belmont’s head coach since the program began in 2015. Belmont has won each of the four Division 1 tournaments contested since the MIAA sanctioned the sport in 2017. (The 2020 season was cancelled due to Covid while the girls’ played Rugby 7s in a non-title post-season.)

Having taken on Lincoln-Sudbury for the third straight title game, McCabe said every meeting with the Warriors “is a battle and whatever the first game of the season [a Belmont win, 39-26, in April] is doesn’t guarantee what the last game of the season is.”

The match was a tale of two halves, with second-seed Lincoln-Sudbury (5-3) playing a possession game from the kickoff, holding onto the ball for nine of the first 10 minutes while putting Belmont (7-0) under pressure by employing a wide-open game from the back. L-S came close to scoring midway through the half when the Warriors appeared to have crossed the try line but lacked control of the ball.

“We weren’t expecting them to be coming this hard,” said Belmont’s Number 8 Val Detheux. “They’ve been more wide offense and I think we got surprised by that.”

That first half Belmont demonstrated its tackling ability which is the underrated part of its game. An example occurred with the Warriors driving five meters to try, standout tackling first by open-side flanker Alex Townsend then inside center Helen Feldhaus sent L-S ball carriers back 10 meters stalling the push.

“We had amazing tacking from our captain, [senior fly-back] Evie Hamer, who shouldn’t have had to make those many tackles. She was phenomenal,” said McCabe, who also gave kudos to all the backs for shutting down the tightly organized L-S attack out wide.

In the waning moments of the half, Belmont finally took advantage of a sustained possession finding room on its right side to come within a few meters of the try. Despite being knocked off the play earlier, Detheux reentered the pile of players and squirmed the ball over the line for the game’s first score with three minutes remaining. A missed conversion allowed Belmont to walk off the pitch with a precarious 5-0 lead.

The halftime break provided the opportunity for Belmont to regroup and reset its offensive.

“We were able to to kind of settle down, play our pattern, really work what we know and then some of that space finally opened up,” said McCabe, who pointed to Marauders forwards especially the two locks, Lulu Conroy and Giulia Vecchi, who ran up the gut of the Warrior line luring the L-S forwards into the middle of the field, allowing more space for Belmont’s backs to “strike out wide.”

The Marauders’ quickly brought the ball down to the Warrior end and five minutes into the half, sophomore left wing Mia Taylor took the ball from 20 meters out, broke two tackles and dove over the try line to up the score to 10-0. Just a few minutes later, Taylor once again sprinted down the left side to found clear sailing to give Belmont a 15-0 advantage at the 46 minute mark.

Belmont’s third try of the half was its most creative as right wing Allie Caputo gathered a Belmont downfield kick at midfield and laid off to a streaking Detheux who outsprinted the L-S back line for her second and the rout was on at the 55 minute mark. In a moment of rugby camaraderie, Detheux was congratulated with a hug by a L-S player after the touch.

“I play a lot of outside club rugby and I know half of these players,” said Detheux. “Yeah, we’re friends.”

Belmont finished the scoring with 40 meter treks from Caputo – who paid for the try by being knocked off the pitch with a NFL tackle – and de la Fuente who sprinted clear then lunged for the try line after getting caught five meters out.

With the final whistle, the Marauders completed its perfect season and is taking home another state championship trophy to the newly-built high school which has yet to have a display case installed.

“We’ll find a closet to put them in for now,” said Adam Pritchard, Belmont’s acting Athletic Director.

“I’m so honored to be able to play with all these amazing seniors in their last year or as they go off to play rugby in college,” said Taylor. “I’m just so honored to be chosen to wear this jersey and be a part of this champion team.”

In the year marking a half century since the enactment of Title IX, McCabe sees her sport as a vehicle for equality in sports.

“I just want so many girls in Massachusetts to have the experience of stepping on the field and knowing that they are playing a full-out contact sport where they are dominating, where they are strong, where they’re recognized for their athleticism that they’re putting on the field,” said McCabe.

“In a world that’s seeking egalitarianism, that’s what rugby is. It’s fun and I want more teams out here.”

Obituary: Paul Lyons, Legendary Coach And Noted Belmontian, Died At 85 [Update]

Photo: Paul Lyons in February 2019

Paul E. Lyons, a legendary high school coach who brought to Belmont its only state boys’ basketball championship as well as being a respected educator and Bemontian, died suddenly on Sunday, June 19.

He was 85.

“The loss of Coach Lyons is heartache felt throughout the Belmont, Cambridge and Boston basketball community,” said Adam Pritchard, who played under Lyons then became his assistant before succeeding him as Belmont High head coach in 2000.

“Personally, Paul has been my coach, mentor, and mostly an amazing friend. I loved him and I’m thankful that coach and [his wife] Moira, through their support and generosity, have been in my life through every season for the past four decades.”

Lyons coached the Belmont High boys’ basketball team for a quarter century from 1975 to 2000 and led it to its only state crown in 1993 while winning the Middlesex League title five times. By the end of his Belmont career, Lyons had racked up 335 victories (and 473 overall) and is a member of the Massachusetts Basketball Association’s Hall of Fame. In February 2019, the playing surface at the Wenner Field House was named “Coach Lyons Court” in his honor.

Paul Lyons was Belmont High School’s Boys’ Basketball head coach from 1975-2000

“The one quote I tell my players was that success is not a destination, it’s a journey we take along the way. It’s more important what you did then what the outcome was,” said Lyons at the dedication.

“Before every game as we prepared to go on the court we put our hands in and listened to coach say, ‘Let’s be humble and close as we huddle together tonight. Let’s feel the power that flows from faith and gives us courage and strength as we play. When the game is played and we’ve met the test, please let us know we’ve done our best.’ That sums up everything I know of [Lyons] and he was the best,” said Pritchard.

Lyons and Ralph Jones were the founders of the Belmont Youth Basketball Association in 1977 and the Marauders Basketball Association in 1986 which supports both the high school teams as well as introducing thousands of elementary and middle school-aged children to the game. Nearly all the players on the boys and girls high school teams started playing hoops in the BYBA.

“He was very competitive and always wanted to win, but [Lyons] did so with a great deal of class and integrity,” said Jones after the Belmont School Committee approved the court’s naming.

Jones noted Monday Lyons was also supportive of women’s basketball, using his involvement with the Marauders Basketball Association to provide new uniforms to girls teams when they were wearing handmade kits. “It was very important at the time to show that the women were an equal partner,” said Jones.

“It is still unbelievable he is gone,” said Melissa Hart, the former Belmont High Girls’ Basketball head coach. “He was such a presence in Belmont Basketball from his early years to his grandfathering days, but more so in a lot more loves than Belmont ones. I was fortunate to have known him. Lyons and one of his daughter’s was actually the person who told me about the Belmont Basketball job, encouraged me to apply, and wrote a recommendation for me for it. It meant a lot that he supported me as much as he did. Will be strange to not see him in the stands at some games next year.”

“From my experience with Paul, he was first a devoted husband and father, and devoted teacher of math and basketball skills,” said his friend Chet Messer. “He was a quiet person but a person who loved to laugh. He also loved ice cream after games, thus a regular at Rancatore’s.”

“He taught his teams life skills as well as basketball skills. He requested that each team member give back to basketball later in life. A great example is Adam Pritchard who became an assistant including on the 1993 state championship team and Paul’s successor after 25 years,” said Messer.

Born in Boston in 1936 to Joseph and Catherine (McKeon) Lyons and raised in Cambridge, Lyons attended Cambridge High Latin School and later Boston College on a basketball scholarship – playing on one of the first Eagle teams invited to the NCAA tournament – where he received his BA in Mathematics. (He would later earn a M.Ed. from Boston University.) After graduating, Lyons joined John Hancock where he worked as an actuary.

One of his former basketball coaches became aware of a basketball coaching opportunity in upper state New York and after an interview, Lyons was offered the head basketball coach and assistant football coach posts at Mount Carmel High School. Lyons would return to his hometown to begin a 40-year career in the Cambridge Public Schools first as a math teacher/coach at Cambridge Latin then become head of the math department. As its director, Lyons was required to give up the school’s basketball coaching position. He went on to become the freshman coach at Bentley College, then assistant coach at Harvard University before coming to Belmont High.

He and his wife of 58 years, Moira, were Belmont residents for 49 years.

A loving father of five who dotted on his 12 grandchildren, Lyons’ final post on his Facebook page, dated June 17, spoke of his pride that his granddaughter, three sport all-star Kendall Blomquist from Westwood, was playing for a lacrosse state championship on Monday, June 20.

Westwood won the game.

Lyons is survived by his wife, Moira (Feeley) Lyons; daughter Kathleen Guden and her husband Jay of Belmont, son Michael Lyons of Andover, daughter Patricia Brody and her husband Jeff of Belmont, daughter Sheila Blomquist and her husband Scott of Westwood, and son Kevin Lyons and his wife Chris Ann of Arlington. He is grandfather to Katie, Kevin and David Guden; Ben, Matt and Sarah Brody; Brian, Hannah, Kendall and Sean Blomquist; and Caleigh and Mackenzie Lyons.

He is also survived by his sisters-in-laws Eleanor Feeley, Eileen Feeley, Brenda Lipizzi, and friend Joyce Finerty and by many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and devoted friends. 

Visitation will take place on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 4 p.m., at Keefe Funeral Home, 5 Chestnut St., Arlington. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, June 24, 2022 at 11:30 a.m., at St. Camillus’ Church, 1185 Concord Turnpike, Arlington, followed by the burial at Highland Meadow Cemetery, 700 Concord Ave., Belmont.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Coach Paul Lyons Scholarship Fund at http://gofundme.com/f/paul-lyons-scholarship-fund or Pine Street Inn, Boston.

Belmont Boys’ Tennis In Final Four After Dominating Sharon, 5-0; Meet No. 1 Concord-Carlisle Wednesday

Photo: The team celebrating with final four banner after Monday’s victory

A dominate display of tennis against five-seed and previously undefeated Sharon High Monday, June 13, has Belmont High Boys’ Tennis advancing to the Final Four of the MIAA Division 2 state championship where the Marauders’ take on number 1 ranked Concord-Carlisle High School on Wednesday, June 15 at Newton South High at 4 p.m.

The five game sweep of the visiting Eagles – taking the three singles and both doubles matches – marks the third consecutive time Belmont has shut out its opponent in this year’s tournament. The 5-0 whitewashing was highlighted by three 2-0 set victories by the team’s singles: Junior number 1 Alek Karagozyan, senior number 2 Ezra Copes-Finke, and senior number 3 Charlie November. Karagozyan and Copes-Finke won their first sets 6-0 while November came through with a pair of 6-2 wins, allowing both doubles – led by first Dani Karma and Nitish Bhatta – to play without pressure of must wins.

“They’re a tough team,” said Copes-Finke. “I knew that if I played my best match I could beat my opponent. I think it was a little more dominant that I thought it was going to be, but that just proves that I should believe in myself a little more.”

The overall play from Belmont in the tournament “has been incredible,” said Karagozyan. “Even when we felt like we were in control , we didn’t let up in our intensity. We just kept going.”

In his match, while the score line may have shown Karagozyan in control from the start, “it certainly was close as [the Sharon 1] had a really good serve, so I had to consistently fight to break his serve and hold mine.”

Know for his endless energy on the court, November has been described by opponents as a “pusher” which he accepts saying that “it takes skill to be [one.]”

“I’m athletic. I’ll run around all match. They want to talk? Six two, six two says otherwise,” said November.

Next up is the Patriots which have won the two most recent MIAA Division 2 state championships in 2019 and 2021. The teams have one common opponent in Lexington, both losing to the Minutemen: 5-0 vs CC and 4-1 against Belmont.

“They’re really good. I know the number one and he’s a phenomenal player with a great, great game,” said Karagozyan. “I’m excited to go out there and battle with him on Wednesday,” adding this Belmont lineup is prepared for the challenge.

“The camaraderie this season has been insane. I’ve never been prouder to play on this team” he said.

Boys’ Rugby Swept Aside St John’s Prep, 29-7, Next Up BC High In State Finals Saturday

Photo: Belmont High’s Number Eight Max Cornelius scoring his second try of the game as Belmont defeated St. John’s Prep, 29-7, in the MIAA Division 1 Boys’ Rugby semifinals

The combination of a rock solid defense along with an offensive minded kicking attack resulted in three tries in the first 20 minutes as Belmont High Boys’ Rugby rolled to a 29-7 victory over the St. John’s Prep Eagles in the Division 1 state semifinals in front of a packed Harris Field on Friday afternoon, June 10.

Belmont Boys’ will face long-time rivals Boston College High in the Division 1 state championship match at 4 p.m., June 18, at Curry College in Milton. The Boys’ join the Belmont High Girls’ Rugby squad at the finals as the girls seek their fourth consecutive state championship vs Lincoln-Sudbury Regional at 2 p.m.

Belmont High’s long-time Head Coach Greg Bruce anticipated a defensive struggle with the Eagles after meeting them two week before in Danvers, a match where a late try saw Belmont come through with the victory, 15-12.

“They were really physical side and well coached and we knew that they’d have threats all over the field and we just had to play a very tight defensive game,” said Bruce after the match. “We said to the guys what’s going to determine the game is how you’re able to make your tackles … and they did it.”

Belmont clicked on its first venture into St. John’s end as the Marauders’ Number Eight Max Cornelius scooped up the ball from a ruck five meters from the try line and muscled it in at the five minute mark for a 5-0 lead.

The Eagles pressed their advantage after a kick clearance and a Belmont penalty saw them inside of 10 meters to the try only for Belmont’s defensive scheme stop five attempts by the Eagles to score and subsequently successfully holding up an Eagle player on the try line to win the ball.

Belmont showed great finesse with its kicking game which has become an increasingly important part of its game plan allowing the Marauders to relieve defensive pressure. On several occasions, Belmont “flipped the field” by kicking the ball from deep in its defensive end with the ball ending up in St. John’s end of the pitch.

As St. John’s continued to press, the Marauders’ defense stepped up once again as outside center James Barsam intercepted a flat pass and and sprinted 50 meters in the clear for the Marauders’ second try and a 12-0 lead after 15 minutes.

“James has gone for a few of those this year and it hasn’t really worked out. When he did it tonight, one of my coaches leaned over and goes ‘he finally got one’,” said Bruce, praising Barsam by noting that “while there’s other guys that get more credit, James is one of our most solid defenders outside and one of the most hardest positions and channels to defend on the field, which is the outside center.”

Four minutes later, after a costly Prep miscue, Belmont big man, tight head prop Asa Rosenmeier, rumbled in for the try – Belmont’s third – and a commanding 19-0 lead before 20 minutes had passed.

“I was out when we play them three weeks ago and I needed to prove myself,” said Rosenmeier who played the entire 70 minutes.

Bruce noted after the third score, St. John’s Prep changed its defensive set up which disrupted Belmont’s attack. “They put us under pressure. We lost all momentum and fluidity to our game at that point. And it stayed that way for a period of quite a long period of time,” said Bruce

St. John’s would use its passing quickness to set them up after a penalty inside the 10 meters for a successful try to cut the lead to 19-7 at the 26 minute mark. But that was all the Eagles could muster for the rest of the half as the Marauders’ group tackling was outstanding, limiting their opponent to only a handful of runs beyond 10 meters and forcing mistakes in the Eagles’ back.

“For as long as I can remember, our number one priority is defense. We spend more time on our defense this year than any year in the past,” said Bruce. “I said to the boys in the locker room, this is one of the best defensive teams we’ve ever had. And you’re gonna have to play the best game you’ve ever had to earn a spot next weekend. And they did it,”

Through out the remainder of the game, Belmont’s team defense would be challenged only a handful of times with hook Raffi Belorian and left wing Stephen Hong knocking a Prep runner into touch a meter from the try line to end St. John’s best and only threat of the half.

A second try from Cornelius 11 minutes into the second half and a three-point penalty kick from fly-half Erik Rosenmeier at the 60 minute mark punched the Marauders’ ticket to next week’s state finals.

For Bruce and the team, the victory celebration will be short lived.

“We’re gonna enjoy tonight and get back to work tomorrow. BC High is an amazing team,” said Bruce.

“I wouldn’t say we’re favorite just because we beat them in the last game (a 28-21 away victory on May 19),” he said. “BC has a way of putting together a game plan that works when it matters the most. And so, we’ll keep that in mind and try and counter it as best we can.”

For Rosenmeier, the finals will be one more game he gets to play with his brother, senior Erik.

“The emotions, wow. I know I will be nervous but also super excited,” he said. “First time ever playing in a state finals, It’s going to be a great place to be in whether we win or loss. Just playing at Curry is going to be fun.”

Belmont Boys’ Lax Wins First Ever Home Playoff Match, 8-7, Over Peabody; Next No. 1 St. John’s Prep Thursday

Photo: Belmont High’s Matt Pomer celebrating the game-winning goal vs. Peabody.

A goal by sophomore Midfielder Matt Pomer – his fourth of game – with 4:03 left in the match secured a historic victory as Belmont High (10-9) defeated Peabody Veterans Memorial High, 8-7, in the preliminary play-in game of the Division 1 MIAA Boys’ Lacrosse tournament at Harris Field on Tuesday, June 7.

The win was the first home tournament victory in program history as well as the first playoff game ever held at Belmont High. It is Head Coach Josh Streit’s first playoff victory of his career. (Belmont has won postseason games in the past: 7-5 vs host Masconomet in 2008 and 13-4 at Shawsheen in 2010).

“I thought we were moving the ball so well. The team was dodging to move the ball and you saw that in our goals,” said Streit.

Pomers’ goal came after the Mustangs (9-9) tied the match, 7-7, with a little less than seven minutes remaining in a tight match that justified the teams’ power rankings Belmont 32nd and Peabody 33rd.

After giving up the opening goal Peabody’s impressive sophomore long stick John Lucas – who ended up with three goals on as many shots, an assist and five ground-balls – Belmont sprinted to a 4-1 lead in a little over three-and-a half minutes in the first quarter: Pomer’s first (whose solo run was described as watching a ”freight train”) to tie it up followed twice by senior attack co-captain Spencer Scali, the first on a quick give and go from junior mid Quinn Leary and the second scooping up a Peabody drop ball in front of goal. Pomer finished the scoring with a long-range bullet.

Belmont was able to secure the ball and stay on the offense for most of the game by the grunt work “in the X” (the face off circle) from senior Ian Burns who Streit named the ”Man of the Match” for winning 90 percent of the draws he was involved.

”It’s all mentality with face offs,” said Burns. ”Peabody’s player got into my head a little bit but I made sure to stay on my game. And it was a big, big team win and I definitely tried to play my part the best I could.”

But Peabody, who finished with a winning mark in the season, came storming back scoring twice in 12 seconds midway through the second to level the contest at 4-4 before Pomer’s third in the half from a smart Leary assist gave Belmont the one goal margin at the half.

But the third was Peabody’s whose defense forced four consecutive ground ball turnovers as Belmont’s attack and middies were dodging into Mustang players ”and they were quickly doubling up on us and that led to our problems,” said Streit. On the other side of the field, it was that man, the defender Lucas, who twice outran the Marauder midfielders to score two minutes apart to give the visitors a 6-5 lead entering the final quarter.

But Belmont came out on the attack with senior attack Aubrey Talanian scoring the best individual goal of the afternoon, spinning the defender the wrong way to launch an uncontested tally 31 seconds in the quarter. Exactly one minute later, Talanian was mismatched against a smaller defender and powered Belmont in the lead at 7-6.

Despite two big saves by sophomore goalie Nate Moss – top notch against every attempt from distance – to keep the lead at one, Peabody would tie it up at 7s with 6:53 to go with overtime a real possibility. But Pomer, who had been quiet for the half, found himself open to the right of Peabody goalie Derek Patturelli and slotted his fourth goal of the game and secured the victory.

While the Peabody match was one of power ranking equals, Belmont’s round of 32 contest will see the Marauders taking on defending state Division 1 champions and number 1 seed St. John’s Prep in Danvers on Thursday, June 9 at 5 p.m. Streit said he had not been looking beyond Peabody so would have a quick look at tapes of the Eagles. ”We don’t know much about them, but then, they probably know very little about us, which is good,” said Streit.

”We just have to keep an open mind. We know the team is going to be a really good team. But we’re going in what the underdog mentality and I think it’s good to stay together as a team and keep our heads up going into the next game,” said Burns.

339 Earn Diplomas At Belmont High School 2022 Graduation Exercises

Photo: Caps into the air at the conclusion of the Belmont High School 2022 Graduation exercises.

Belmont High’s Vice Principal Dan O’Brien looked around to see just that type of unexpected episode someone running a big event doesn’t want to encounter.

Just as the long scarlet line of Belmont High seniors where to start their slow walk from the school to Harris Field for the graduation celebration, their classmate Lamique Neal arrived, running a little late with his graduating cap and gown still in the plastic bag.

Wondering for a second if he should get in line with his classmates without being dressed up, O’Brien told Neal that “now” was the time to hurry into his robe and join his class.

“You earned this!” said O’Brien finding Neal’s assigned spot. ”He’s not missing it,” O’Brien said later.

On Saturday, June 4, Neal and more than 339 students did earn their high school diploma after four years of hard work and accomplishments to become graduates of the Belmont High Class of 2022.

Under a brilliant morning sunshine, the ceremony began with Belmont High Principal Isaac Taylor speaking how society is beset with hardening divisions, ”this is the time in the world when compromise is not just a nice thing to have, it is essential.”

“When I graduated from high school almost 30 years ago, there was a sense of predictability in the world that does not exist today. In 2022, it is clear that humanity will need to find consensus on many important things that affects the infrastructure of our planet,” said Taylor, noting that requires an acceptance of people of all cultures and ethnicities.

“We live in a world of computers, algorithms and machines. Be we require more than fuel to power us and we need more than information to learn. We are people and people do our best work when we have time, space, love, understanding, acceptance and respect. It is hard to give to other people when we withhold from ourselves.”

Senior Class President Hamza Masoud ranked the important lessons each senior should have learned at their time at Belmont High: First, don’t fear rejection (Masoud told of being rejected by two classmates from going to the prom with the second time he didn’t even ask the person); the second, via ”honorary doctor, philanthropist and sometime musician Taylor Swift,” is to ”shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake” those who doubt you “off,” and the third is “how imperative it is that we don’t become haters ourselves.”

“Overtime, each of us has learned that being jealous of one another only prevents us from appreciating just how amazing we all are,” said Masoud.

Katherine Arkin, who was presented with one of the two School Committee Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship – Derek Chen was attending a national biology competition – spoke how her classmates navigated from a typical school experience to one of uncertainty in which a worldwide pandemic required an entirely different approach to learning.

Arkin, who will matriculate at Georgetown in the fall, said despite the experience, ”people all over the world regardless of their circumstances are taking action today in hopes of creating a better tomorrow” whether it is by initiating actions such as organizing walkouts or just by checking in with people when they feel line they’re having a rough day.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but we don’t want to be in the position where we regret not being a part of something not standing up for what we believe in and not helping to make the world a better place.”

The graduating class included Molly Babcock who attended with her service dog, Enzo, who was wearing his own cap and gown. A varsity swimmer, Babcock said Enzo has been with her for the past two years and holds the distinction of being the first daily service animal at the high school.

In a quick hour and 40 minutes, the newly-minted graduates were launching their caps skyward at the end of the ceremony.

”They can’t take this from me,” said one enthusiastic graduate holding his diploma. ”It’s mine now.”

Last In Belmont Boys’ Lacrosse Entertains Peabody Tuesday, June 7 In Division 1 Prelims

Photo: Belmont High will be playing in the MIAA Division 1 Boys’ Lacrosse tournament

It doesn’t matter how you make the postseason, just that you did. And by the skin of their teeth, the Belmont High’s Boys’ Lacrosse will be playing next week in the Division 1 state championships.

Under the MIAA state tournament system, the top 32 teams in the power rankings are invited to the playoffs much like the NCAA system. And for the final weeks, Belmont were hovering around that coveted final spot to extend its season.

And the Marauders (9-9) came through with 6 wins in their final 8 matches and in the final rankings, Belmont got an automatic bid … as the 32nd seed.

Whew!

Under the tourney system, any team with a winning or .500 record also are invited in to play the lowest seeded teams, which includes Belmont. As a result, Belmont will welcome 9-7 Peabody Veterans High School to Harris Field on Tuesday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. in a play-in match.

This marks the second time this season teams from Belmont and Peabody will meet in a preliminary round match as the Mustangs defeated the Marauders, 1-0, in Boys’ Soccer last fall.

Winning the play-in may just be a pyrrhic-victory as the team left standing will face the number 1 seed and perennial Division 1 powerhouse St. John’s Prep at Danvers.

But, that team will be playing one more game.

Belmont Boys’ Rugby Host St John’s Prep June 10 In Tourney Semis; Girls’ Await State Finals June 18

Photo: Belmont Boys’ and Girls’ ruggers are seeking to repeat the dual state championships in 2019

It’s tournament time and Belmont High Boys’ and Girls’ ruggers will be seeking to repeat its dual state championships from 2019.

Second-seed Belmont Boys’ will host third-ranked St. John’s Prep in the MIAA Division 1 semifinals at Harris Field at 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 10. The contest will be a rematch of the final game of the season when Belmont (5-1-0) traveled to Danvers and took down the previously undefeated Eagles,14-12.

If they win next week’s game, the Marauders will head to the D1 state finals on Saturday, June 18 at 4 p.m. at Curry College in Milton, to face the winner of defending champions and number 1 seed Boston College (3-2-0) vs the winner of the Milton High (the only team to defeat Belmont this season)/Xaverian Brothers tussle on June 2.

After going undefeated this season, the Belmont Girls’ are an automatic qualifier to the state Division 1 finals where they will meet the winner of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional/Brookline High contest. The match will take place on Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m. at Curry College.

This marks the fourth consecutive trip to the state championship match for the Marauders (5-0-0) where they will seek a four-peat, being victorious in every finals since the sport was accepted in the MIAA in 2017.