Victory over Arlington caps season

Published in the October 20, 2017 edition

SAVA VLAJKOVIC (left) and David Kurti have plenty of reason to celebrate. The Melrose High boys’ soccer team is on the cusp on playoffs and a possible league title. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE—The Melrose High Red Raider golf team wrapped up an enjoyable season with two very competitive matches last week. On Oct. 12 the Raiders defeated Arlington 39.5-32.5, robbing the Spy Ponders of a tourney bid. 

“It was a great effort,” says coach Rick McDermod. “We played well across the board, and when all our cylinders click, we’re a team that can win. We’ve been a bit of a Cinderella team this season, just a point or two shy of victory in a few matches.” 

Close matches were a staple this season (their 4-7-1 season could easily have been an 8-3 season) including their battle against Lexington, a season finale in which they fell, 38-34. “That’s been the hallmark of our season. We lose by a whisker or win by a whisker.” But it leaves McDermod to believe that Melrose could have what it takes to make a run in 2018. 

Their contest against the Spy Ponders was one of their strongest efforts of the year. It was also an opportunity for Melrose to honor their seniors: Owen Markham, Thomas Bilbilian, Zach Farrell and Liam Mcguire. There was plenty of highlights during Melrose’s winning day. Says the coach, “Owen played so well down the stretch, it was great to see him do well on Senior Day. I was happy to see Tim [Healey] out of his cast to get some time in. And I was thrilled that Sean Senier earned a big win, some days later, over Lexington.”

Bilbillian, meanwhile, enjoyed a nearly flawless season, and with a record of 10-1, nearly undefeated until falling to his first competitor in the team’s final meet against Lexington on Monday. “He almost went the whole season. Such a tremendous effort,” says his coach. 

McDermod also pointed out the efforts of juniors Will Goodwin and Abbey Spencer. “I have a feeling both of these athletes will be working hard on the off season and come back strong their senior year.”

Next season, count on Melrose to rely on returning players: Zach Maguire, Jack Crowley, Jay Tucci, Will Goodwin, Matt Rocha, Tim Healy and Sean Senier, plus the incredibly promising freshmen duo, Quinn McCarthy (5-4-2) and Will Pierce (6-4-1) to keep them competitive. Said McDermod, “If we can return with our freshman class and an improved junior group, we could be looking at a winning season. These kids want to improve and win. The desire is there, next comes practicing in the offseason.” 

Meanwhile, senior captain Zach Farrell continues his season individually this weekend at the MIAA North Div. 2 tournament at Black Swan Country Club in Boxford on Monday with a 9:00 a.m. shot gun start.