There may be no place that proves that mantra better than Belmont Hill, where the Independent School League’s top defense over the past three seasons has helped to capture at least a share of three consecutive ISL titles.
With plenty of standouts returning to the fold, including a five-pack of top-ranked seniors, the Hillies are poised to once again be a cliché … and they’re OK with that.
"The first thing we talk about, day one, is play great defense," explained senior defender and co-captain Max Fields, who will play for Cornell next year. "Coach is always harping on it. I’ve been lucky enough to play with a ton of great poles and be mentored by (current Brown players) Alex Santangelo (and) Max Gustafson when I was an eighth-grader. I learned to grow up through the ranks and how important defense is to our game. It’s the key cog to our whole operation out here."
For head coach Tim Sullivan, the defensive mindset began with his predecessor and current assistant coach, Chris Butler, who also is the head football coach and defensive coordinator at Belmont Hill.