Watertown High School enjoyed an amazing winter sports season – perhaps the most historic winter in school history – and the success was celebrated this week at the School Committee meeting.
Four teams displayed five banners earned this winter on the basketball court and ice hockey rink. Watertown High School Athletic Director Michael Lahiff said this is the first time in his memory that four teams – boy’s and girl’s basketball and boy’s and girl’s ice hockey – have won the Middlesex League title.
“It may be the first time in Middlesex League history,” Lahiff said. “I don’t know. I don’t go back that far.”
The Raiders finished the season one win from the state final. Watertown’s boy’s basketball team finished with a 18-6 record. After three tournament wins – including a North Section final – the Raiders fell to Cardinal Spellman at the TD Garden in the state semifinal. Spellman went on to win the state title.
Head Coach Steve Harrington, who picked up his 300th coaching win this season, said it was a special season for his team, and enjoyed being part of a great year at WHS.
“Clearly this is one of the most successful winters in Watertown history,” Harrington said.
The girl’s basketball team lost just one regular season game on the way to winning the Middlesex League title. The Raiders then went to the North Section final, where they lost in overtime to eventual state champion Arlington Catholic.
Coach Patrick Ferdinand’s team finished 21-2. He said he has received a lot of help.
“This is such a small community and such a strong one,” Ferdinand said. “The support we have gotten support from parents, the school and the administration is amazing.”
The key to the success, he said, is for individual players setting aside their own goals and focusing on the team.
Boy’s Ice Hockey
Perhaps the toughest road to a Middlesex League title came for the boy’s ice hockey team. The Raiders had to win a few games down the stretch to capture the title, Lahiff said. Head Coach Mike Hayes’ team won Watertown’s first boy’s hockey league title in 30 years and finished with a 14-3-5 record.
Watertown got a tournament win before falling 1-0 in overtime to Wayland. Hayes credited his team’s hard work for the success.
“The players worked extremely hard all year, with a smile,” Hayes said. “It makes coaching easy. They all played for the team.”
Girl’s Ice Hockey
The girl’s ice hockey title was celebrated in both Watertown and Belmont. The schools did not have enough players for their own team so they joined together to put a team on the ice, and in just the first year of the partnership the team won the Middlesex League. Lahiff said he was pleased with how the team united under head coach Steve Russo.
“We have had a rivalry with Belmont, but they did a good job breaking down the rivalry and coming together,” Lahiff said.
The Watertown-Belmont team, known as the Maraiders (a combination of both team’s mascots) finished with a 17-3-2 record. The won one tournament game before losing a close game to Duxbury – the team that captured the state title.
The Watertown-Belmont co-op team will go on for at least one more year, Lahiff said.