What offseason? Belle Vernon Area’s Humbert back to work
Matt Humbert took two days off after the Belle Vernon Area football team lost its opening-round playoff game at Franklin Regional.
That was long enough.
The BVA coach is back to work, and has already started postseason meetings.
“I’ll evaluate every aspect of the season,” Humbert said. “Games, practices, players, coaches … every little nuance that made up the season, I’ll evaluate it.”
Humbert said he had a brief meeting Monday with this year’s seniors.
“I’ll meet with them all again,” Humbert said. “My goal is to make sure they stay on their academics. This is the time recruiting is starting to heat up. I want the seniors to know that they are laying a foundation. I want those kids to be a part of the program.
“My goal is that no matter where they go to school or play, I want them to continue to come around and want them to know they are always welcome.”
Exit interviews will be held with each player and coach.
“We talk about all the positives and we’ll talk about what we need to work on,” Humbert said.
Reiterating a topic he mentioned at the beginning of the season, Humbert said he encourages participation in other school sports.
“After a couple months, that’s usually when players want the weight room opened up, so we’ll start up again and get our offseason calendars together,” he said. “If there are players that are involved in other sports, I want them focused on those sports.
“But that’s about the time that the kids that aren’t in other sports are usually ready to get going again.”
Humbert said he would give this season a C-plus grade.
“I just think there’s a lot of unfinished business that we left on the field,” the ninth grade civics teacher said. “I feel like I let three wins slip through our fingertips. In those games, I feel that we lost those games more than the other teams winning. I wanted those seniors to go out with those wins … it would have been a big boost for them and the program.”
While he graded the program on a tough scale, Humbert is proud of how his team performed.
“Those seniors … I think they accomplished a lot and the team, they played hard … they never quit. It was a hell of an effort every Friday night,” Humbert said. “It’s never easy to go through a coaching change. I think the players handled it very well. It’s a tough thing to handle, but it’s more of an individual player thing. Some kids embrace it and some find it harder. There’s always going to be change, though.
“Now I’ll be able to get an offseason with the team. With the kids that we have coming back, I’m excited to have the opportunity to push them a little harder. I know they want to be coached harder and that they can handle it. I know they want to engrain themselves in the program and get better.”
As for next season, Humbert said he will keep expectations high for his team.
“Besides the Thomas Jefferson game, all of our losses were close games, that truly is a positive,” Humbert said. “We have a big class of juniors back next year and I’m excited to look at the incoming sophomores and freshman to see where we can add to our team. One thing for sure is that you can’t replace a guy like (offensive tackle) Devin Hannan. He’s a one-in-a-million player. So that’s a hole we’ll look at closely.
“Just because there are a lot back doesn’t mean there won’t be a huge competition for positions. It’s going to be interesting to see some of the kids fight it out.”
Those players who will return should be prepared — because their coach will be. He already had his two days off for the year.
Humbert plans to meet with youth league coaches and middle school coaches to get a grasp on what the future holds.
“That’s the one thing I would have liked to get accomplished this season,” Humbert said. “But with a short turnaround from getting hired, I didn’t get to some of the youth league involvement that I would have liked to with camps, clinics and things of that nature. I really look forward to that.”
Maybe in the summer Humbert will take some more time off.
“It’s funny … my wife, I’m sure wants me home more, but once I am there for a couple days, I’m sure she’s ready for the season to get started again,” Humbert said with a laugh. “I’ve had my two days to relax. It’s time to get back to work.”
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2667.