Track: South Feature Athlete - Belle Vernon's DJ Mraz

Written by Justin Criado on .

Name: DJ Mraz
School: Belle Vernon
Grade: 12
Sport: Track

Background: Mraz led the Belle Vernon boys team to a first-place finish by winning the the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the Mid Mon Track and Field Classic April 27 at Ringgold. The Leopards earned 227 team points.


Track: Belle Vernon boys take first-place finish at Mid Mon Track and Field Classic

Written by Justin Criado on .

After finishing as runner-up a year ago, the Belle Vernon boys team won first place in this year's Mid Mon Track and Field Classic at Ringgold April 27.

DJ Mraz won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs as the Leopards earned 227 team points.

Ringgold finished second with 205 points, while Monessen finished third with 52 points.

Nine teams participated in the meet.


Track: Belle Vernon sophomore already one of state's top throwers

Written by Justin Criado on .

Sophomore Gianna Gaul already holds Belle Vernon school records in both the shot put and discus, and looks to showcase her impressive tosses at the PIAA championships this year.

Gaul already won gold in the discus at the Tri-State Championships with a mark of 130 feet, 2 inches, and her career-best throw of 136 feet, 9 inches would have been good for second at last year's state championships.

Gaul has consistently thrown the shot put in the mid-30s this year.


Softball: Belle Vernon enjoying strong bounce-back season

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

It only took until April 6 of this season for Belle Vernon to match its overall season win total last year of five. One day later, the Leopards matched their section win total last season of three. They have not list since, continuing to build on one of the best WPIAL turnaround stories of the 2015 season. Belle Vernon went through an uncharacteristic 5-12 campaign last season. It finished 3-9 in Section 3-AAAA. The year started slow with a six-game losing streak and ended on a sour note with a four-game losing streak. It has been a night and day difference from last season to this season. After starting with a .500 record through four games, Belle Vernon went on a tear, winning seven consecutive games, including section wins at West Mifflin and McKeesport and a win at a tough Yough squad.

In the win over Yough, it was freshman pitcher Bailey Parshall stepping up. She struck out nine to earn the win and helped her cause at the plate with four hits and an RBI. Belle Vernon was ranked No. 4 at the time and Yough was ranked No. 2. Parshall has emerged as a top young talent in the WPIAL this season. She fired a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in a non-section win over Mount Pleasant.


Baseball: Belle Vernon getting no help from the weather

Written by Brad Everett on .

As is the case just about every spring, inclement weather has wreaked havoc on the early portion of the WPIAL baseball schedule. And while all teams have been affected, few have taken more of a hit than Belle Vernon.

The Leopards – who have had six games postponed this season – played just their fourth game Monday, losing at Thomas Jefferson, 16-6. The loss dropped the Leopards to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in Class AAA Section 4.

Belle Vernon's win came against Uniontown, 8-5, in the season opener. The Leopards then dropped consecutive decisions to West Mifflin (6-2) and Canon-McMillan (7-2).

Coach Daryl Hixenbaugh returned five starters from last year's squad that went 10-7. Those starters are senior pitcher-third baseman Nolan Stulock, sophomore shortstop-third baseman Jake Callaway, junior second baseman-shortstop Evan Hannan, sophomore catcher Jordan Zilka and sophomore left fielder Tim Labuda.