First-year Belmont Hill coach Dave Cunningham didn't get intimidated facing off against some of New England's most accomplished prep school coaches this season.
In fact, Cunningham led his alma mater to an outright Independent School League championship. Belmont Hill clinched the regular-season championship on Wednesday with a victory over Brooks School. The Sextants (15-4 overall, 13-1 ISL) won their last 13 league games after starting 0-1.
It marked the first season since 2011 in which Michael Grant did not serve as the Belmont Hill coach. Cunningham played for Grant, earning ISL MVP honors in 2012, before spending the last two years as an assistant on his staff. Grant established a winning tradition in his decade-plus at the helm, posting a career record of 124-27 along with four ISL championships.
"It was an interesting start to the season because I scouted our first two opponents -- Worcester Academy and Thayer -- and we lost both games," Cunningham said. "At that point, I decided to go back to something I learned from Mike. We focused on ourselves and stopped scouting our opponents. That's when we went on a tear."