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To longtime booster, AHS hockey teams are 2-time Super 8 champs

Quite an accomplishment, and quite a testament to what might have been.

AHS hockey flag at home of Bob Bartholomew

Longtime Arlington High School hockey booster Bob Bartholomew has hung banners at his 51 Newport St. home honoring the AHS hockey team.

In 2017, the squad topped the Super 8 tourney. This year, the team closed out its remarkable 2019-20 season playing 20 straight games without a loss

It's the final game -- the one not played at TD Garden on March 12 -- that hurts. Because of concerns about the novel coronavirus, the championship match with Pope Francis was called off, and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association declared both teams co-champions.

“It’s a really crappy way for a senior [year] to end,” Coach John Messuri he told The Globe.

It was.

So Bartholomew, known as "Bob Barts," wrote to YourArlington, in uppercase: "ARLINGTON SPY PONDERS COLORS FLYING PROUDLY AT 51 NEWPORT ST. HOME OF THE TWO TIME SUPER 8 HOCKEY CHAMPIONS."

If it helps an AHS hockey booster stand the pain, let's allow that bit of exaggeration.Bartholomew graduated from Arlington High in 1967, which he calls "the class of champions." To reach that class, he was a member of the 1966 Class A football team, which went 9-0-0. "I was a captain along with Jack Byrne and Steve Donnelly," he wrote.

He also on the 1967 ice hockey team that was a state champ. Coaching both football and hockey was legendary Eddie Burns.

He began a substitute teacher in 1972. The same year, he was the freshman ice Hockey coach, trainer and equipment manager at AHS. He was on ice hockey coach until 2011.

Now retired from teach physical education, he still goes to Ottoson daily (when it is open), to the before-school program and covers all three lunch periods.

At AHS, he coaches freshman volleyball and fast-pitch softball, and volunteers with boys' ice hockey.


Globe, March 18, 2020: A look back at the history of co-championships (and a near-miss) in MIAA sports

March 13, 2020: Heartbreak: AHS-Pope Francis final canceled; teams named co-champs

March 26, 2017: SUPER 8 CHAMPS: In first title match, AHS hockey wins in OT, tops Globe ranking


This column of opinion was published Friday, March 20.

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