Belle Vernon football recognized as Shining Stars

The Leopards captured both WPIAL and PIAA championships last fall

Fri Feb 03, 2023 - 10:19AM

Westmoreland Sports Network Westmoreland Sports Network
From L-R: Coach Matt Humbert, Steve Macheska, Jeff Mikell (Smail Kia)From L-R: Coach Matt Humbert, Steve Macheska, Jeff Mikell (Smail Kia)

Last Updated: Fri Feb 03, 2023 - 1:09AM

The Belle Vernon Area football team enjoyed a historic campaign, as the Leopards went 12-2, winning both the WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A championships.

Due to their tremendous accomplishments, the team has been recognized as our male Shining Stars Team of the Fall.

After dropping consecutive games early in the season, Belle Vernon Area finished the season on an 11-game winning streak. That surge included a perfect 5-0 mark to capture the Interstate Conference title, capped by an impressive 48-14 win against Elizabeth Forward in the regular-season finale.

In the WPIAL postseason, the top-seeded Leopards rolled past East Allegheny and Freeport Area, returning to the district championship game for the third time in four seasons. Unlike the previous trips, though, this time the Leopards captured gold, as they ousted Avonworth 24-7 at Acrisure Stadium, winning the second WPIAL Championship in school history.

Advancing to the state playoffs, the Leopards edged Central (Martinsburg) 21-17 in the semifinals, thus punching their ticket to the PIAA Class 3A Championship at Cumberland Valley High School. With state supremacy at stake against Philadelphia’s Neumann-Goretti, the Leopards posted a goal-line stand in the final minute, recovering a Saints’ fumble to secure a 9-8 victory.

Junior standout Quinton Martin, one of the top recruits in the country, led BVA in touchdowns, rushing yards, and receiving yards on the campaign. Additionally, junior quarterback Braden Laux paced the Leopards in passing yards, while junior safety Adam LaCarte topped the defense in tackles. The Leopards were under the guidance of head coach Matt Humbert, who set the program record for career victories earlier in the season.

With the Shining Stars recognition, Belle Vernon football will receive $500 to go towards the team boosters organization courtesy of Smail Kia in Greensburg and the Westmoreland Sports Network.

ABOUT SHINING STARS: Shining Stars is a partnership between Westmoreland Sports Network and Smail Kia in Greensburg to recognize and support Westmoreland County student-athletes whose academics, community and athletic excellence shines the brightest. Two teams will be chosen as Shining Stars each season throughout the year with each receiving funding to help their booster programs.