- Last Updated on Friday, 01 September 2023 16:46
The class of 2023 represents the 23rd year of the Belle Vernon Area (BVA) Football Hall of Fame. Committee spokesperson Steve Russell announced the induction of five new members: three All Conference players from the past, a longtime defensive BVA coach, and a former BVA Football Hall of Fame committee member. Two of the players went on to Ivy League schools to continue their football exploits.
The induction ceremony will be held at half-time during the BVA Leopards versus the McKeesport Tigers contest on Friday, September 8 with a 7:00PM kickoff.
The BVA Football Hall of Fame credo is to preserve and honor the student athletes, teams, coaches, and contributors who have helped bring recognition and excellence to BVA’s storied football program. As an added feature since 2018, BVA football record holders in major categories have been compiled and updated yearly in a BVA Football Hall of Fame program book.
This year’s class of honorees include:
|Dennis Neupaver, a 1966 BVA graduate, was a three-year letterman and an All-Conference halfback under coach Jimmy Russell. Neupaver’s coaching career began at Rostraver Junior High as the head coach for two years, where he won section championships. He coached the BVA high school football squad as an assistant to coaches Petrucci and Machesky.
|Jeremy Dongilli, a 1995 BVA graduate, was the first BVA quarterback to pass for over 1,000 yards in a season. A 1994 All Conference player, Jeremy led the Leopards to the Keystone Conference title. Jeremy went on to letter in football at Princeton University.
|Brad Yates, a 2004 BVA graduate, is a two-time selection to the Keystone All Star team. Coaches marveled about Brad for they had never seen a center that fast. He garnered the Richard O. Dolfi award at BVA. Brad went on to attain Academic All-Conference Player at Carnegie Mellon University.
|Coach Brett Berish, a 1990 BVA graduate, was a wingback and defensive end for the Leps from 1987 through 1989 under coach Billy Connors. Berish then went on to have a stellar coaching career beginning in 1990 through today. This past year Berish was an integral part of the Belle Vernon Area High School defense winning both the Class 3A WPIAL and PIAA titles.
|Jack Fayak, a longtime Belle Vernon Area Football Hall of Fame committee member, will be honored for that role and his many years of community service in BVA athletics.
A new edition of the BVA Football Hall of Fame program book will be available for fans with updated record holders covering the history of BVA Football 1965-2022.