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Sports Spotlight: BHS, TVL Will Team Up for Cardiac Testing of Students

Sep 27, 2018 07:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Bellingham High School

written by KEN HAMWEY, Bulletin Sports Editor
The Bellingham High Athletic Department and the Tri Valley League are taking a pro-active approach in dealing with cardiac testing of students. They have enlisted the Boston ECG Project Charitable Foundation to screen students in an attempt to save lives through early detection of potentially lethal heart conditions in adolescents through ECG screening. Screening will be performed for those 12-25 years old.

The Project’s aim is  “to detect underlying heart conditions that may lead to Sudden Cardiac Death or dormant congenital heart conditions that could lead to future serious complications.” According to the Boston ECG Project, Sudden Cardiac Death is the No. 1 medical killer of young athletes and the No. 2 medical cause of death among youth under age 25.

Bellingham High has scheduled its testing day on Oct. 20 at the cafeteria from 10 am to 3 pm. There is a $35 charge, which will cover the cost for supplies and the staff of doctors/technicians/nurses. Registration can be completed on-line and a link will be posted on the high school’s athletic website.

Bellingham High Athletic Director Michael Connor hopes that all students, from grades 8-12, take advantage of the testing.  “We would be remiss if we did not offer this opportunity to our community,” Connor said.

The ECG test takes about five minutes and is non-invasive. Results will be forwarded to the Boston cardiologist team and, if there are abnormalities, doctors will contact parents directly. Tests look for irregular heart conditions and abnormal cardiac arrhythmias. Bellingham High Athletic Trainer Jen Dowd will be on hand to assist during testing.

The Boston ECG Project targeted the TVL to be the first league in Massachusetts to undergo testing. Medfield High, a TVL member, was on board early on to implement the project. According to the ECG Project, sports physicals are the same as they were 50 years ago; the group’s long-term goal is to make this endeavor a reality nationwide.

First Win in 4 Years for Girls Soccer Team

A 3-1 victory over Blackstone-Millville ended a four-year losing streak for the Bellingham High girls varsity soccer team.

Sophomore captain Haylee Morrison scored off a rebound in the first half from 25 yards out; then three-year veteran Kim Rodriguez added the Blackhawks’ second goal (the eventual game-winner) in the second half, beating the Chargers’ fullback and the goalie from eight yards out. Eighth-grader Sara Trumm finished off the scoring on a low shot from six yards.

 “I’m glad for the girls and their parents,” coach Len Gosselin said. “They deserved this victory. BMR is a team that’s on par with our ability. We’re building toward being competitive. We’re a young team, but when our freshmen and sophomores get to be seniors, we should be competitive. We’ve got a chance to win three or four more matches this season.”

Gosselin praised the three goal-scorers and also eighth-grade sweeper Ashley Henrich. “Haylee is tough and well-rounded,” he said. “Kim is an experienced halfback who’s strong and skilled and Sara is very athletic. Ashley plays defense so well at sweeper. She’s superb on defense and she’s gaining confidence.”

After ending their losing streak, the Blackhawks bowed to Norton and Holliston, leaving their record at 1-5 at Bulletin deadline.

Linehan New Medway Jayvee Hoop Coach

Steve Linehan (left)has a new coaching job, but Bellingham High’s lacrosse players and fans can breathe a sigh of relief—he’ll still be coaching lacrosse and still directing the Blackhawks’ squad.

The 51-year-old Linehan, who previously coached the boys jayvee basketball teams at Ashland High and King Philip Regional, has been appointed the junior-varsity boys basketball coach at Medway High, where he’ll team up with new varsity coach Eric Copeland.
 “I’m looking forward to returning to the Tri Valley League,” said Linehan.  “It’s a very competitive league and I’m familiar with most of the coaches and the officials; and I’m glad to be part of a new varsity structure at Medway. Eric previously coached both the Franklin and Medway jayvees, and I coached against him when he was at Medway and I was directing Ashland.”

Linehan has a meat-and-potatoes approach to coaching basketball at the jayvee level. He’s acutely aware that his role is player development, but he places a high priority on character development.  “My job is to develop players to be ready for the varsity within a year,” he said.  “Character development, however, is significant too. The players I coach will all go out into the world and deal with life issues. Few will go on to play college basketball. That’s why it’s important to build strong character.”

A Bellingham resident for 19 years, Linehan, who founded the Bellingham Area Youth Lacrosse Organization (BAYLO) and also served as its president for four years, remains totally committed to Bellingham’s lacrosse program. He took the head-coaching reins two years ago and last season guided the Blackhawks’ to six victories, the most in a single season in BHS  history.
 “When I took the job, I said I’d commit to the lacrosse program for 10 years,” Linehan noted.  “Our progress is a little ahead of schedule, but it will take 10 years for us to be a viable program in the TVL.”

A native of Woburn, Linehan played football and basketball at Austin Prep in Reading. After graduation, he enrolled at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, where he played lacrosse for four years. He graduated in 1989 with a degree in psychology and now works as a sales executive with Ben’s Uniforms of Amesbury, selling police and fire equipment, gear and uniforms to departments throughout New England.

Tickets Still Available for Hall of Fame Event

The Bellingham High Athletic Hall of Fame’s inaugural dinner and induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Nov. 24, at Coachmen’s Lodge, starting with a cocktail hour at 5:30 pm. The dinner and induction will be from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Tickets for the event are $50 and for a table of 10 the cost is $450.

Tickets are still available and can be obtained by contacting Athletic Director Michael Connor at [email protected] If any individuals or businesses would like to help sponsor the event, they should email Connor.

The inductees include Glenn Gariepy, Ricky Santos, Brenna Elliott, Ron Russell, Stacey Blue, Matt Blue, Ron Bonollo, Frank Flynn, the 1985 field hockey team and the 2002-2003 basketball team.

BHS Football Team Starts Season at 1-1

Bellingham High’s football team opened its season on the road with a 30-6 victory over Blackstone-Millville/Hopedale but was unable to make it two in a row when the Blackhawks bowed to Canton, 42-6, at Anderson Field.

The triumph over BMR/Hopedale was close for a half as BHS took an 8-0 lead at intermission. But a 22-6 advantage in the second half propelled coach Dan Haddad’s squad, which got superb efforts from quarterback Jim Kilduff (2 TD passes and one TD rushing), running back Dan Unegbu (2 TDs and one two-point conversion), and tight end Ken Morrissey (TD reception). Running back Evan Laroche didn’t score but had a dynamic day rushing. Laroche and Unegbu also had one interception apiece.

 “Opening with a win was a great way to start the season,” Haddad said.  “Jim had a good day and Dan and Evan also were terrific.  “Jim is a fine student of the game, always talking about how we can do things and make them work. Dan is an excellent runner who’s strong and athletic, and Evan works so hard and is so powerful. They’ve grown so much as athletes and teammates.”

The Blackhawks were clinging to an 8-0 lead at halftime, thanks to Kilduff’s 12-yard TD toss to Morrissey and a two-point conversion by the QB; but Unegbu’s 20-yard TD scamper and his two-point conversion gave BHS a comfortable 16-0 lead early in the third quarter. The Chargers, however, closed the gap to 16-6 when quarterback Robbie Siefring connected with Dylan Ayotte on a 12-yard pass.

A quarterback sneak by Kilduff coupled with James Palermo’s two-point run gave BHS a 24-6 lead early in the final stanza. Unegbu finished the scoring when he hauled in a 20-yard pass from Kilduff. The two-point conversion failed but BHS was comfortably in the win column.
 Linemen who excelled against BMR/Hopedale included Dan Gavin, Zach Gabriel, John Keeler, Morrissey and Jake Bassett.  “They had a huge game on both sides of the ball,” Haddad said.
The loss to Canton was decided quickly as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter, then added two more touchdowns in the second stanza for a 35-6 lead at intermission.

Halfback Gersom Rivera was a force for Canton, scoring three TDs. In the first quarter, he ran for a nine-yard score then tallied six more points on a 40-yard interception return. His final TD came in the second quarter when he hauled in a nine-yard pass from quarterback John Hagan. Canton’s other scores were registered by Hagan and halfback Kyle Fitzgerald. Hagan scored on a 60-yard run in the first quarter and a five-yard rush in the third period. Fitzgerald notched his TD on a 30-yard pass from Hagan.

Bellingham’s lone score came in the final minute of the first half. Palermo grabbed a 40-yard pass from Kilduff, and a pass interference call put the ball on Canton’s 15. Two rushes by Kilduff advanced the ball to the six; then Palermo scored on a six-yard pass by Kilduff.
 “Playing a Hockomock League team like Canton was a major test,” Haddad said.  “They’re big and they’re physical. What hurt us were six turnovers. Once we fell behind, our kids got intimidated. This game was a good old-fashioned learning experience. We got an education and we got humbled. My message going forward as we get ready for the Tri Valley League teams is that you don’t always get what you want, but you get what you deserve.”

How Other BHS Sports Team Started

The boys cross-country team won its opener, a 27-29 triumph over Dover-Sherborn, a team that appears to be on par with the defending-champion Blackhawks. For Bellingham, Ethan Carr finished second in a time of 17:09; Cam Hasselbaum was third at 17:32 and Brandon Williams managed a fifth-place finish at 17:37. Other BHS finishers included Dan Kurczy (eighth), Brandon Gillcrist (ninth) and Michael Reissfelder (10th).  “Beating Dover-Sherborn was a huge victory,” coach Peter Lacasse said.  “It was a tough battle and a total team effort by our kids. Our last three finishers stepped up and that was important because it displaced their No. 5 runner.”

Elsewhere, the boys soccer team was 1-4, getting its victory over Millis; the golf team was 2-1 and the field hockey squad was 0-3.




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