SA junior honored as student athlete

Published 11:40 am Saturday, January 27, 2018

Will Belmonte, a junior at Southampton Academy, was one of 16 student athletes from across the state honored last Sunday night as part of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Education Foundation’s 13th annual Student Athlete Achievement Awards. The ceremony, held at the Westin Hotel in Town Center of Virginia Beach, recognizes high school aged student-athletes for their excellence on the field of the play, in the classroom, as well as their contributions within their communities. According to school officials, Belmonte is the first ever from Southampton Academy.

The Hall of Fame received over 100 nominations for this past school year, from which an awards committee selected the 16 finalists — eight boys and eight girls. The awards ceremony was held at the Westin Hotel in Town Center of Virginia Beach.

High school-aged student-athletes were judged based on their excellence on the field, in the classroom and as members of their communities.

Belmonte currently plays varsity soccer and is also on Southampton Academy’s varsity cross country team. In the past, he has also played JV football, JV basketball, varsity basketball, JV soccer, AAU basketball for the Western Tidewater Braves and travel soccer for Franklin Fire SC.

In their decision to name Belmonte a finalist, the judges also took into account his current 4.32 grade point average, his taking AP calculus as a junior, his Eagle Scout service project, during which he built raised plant beds at The Children’s Center in Courtland, and making all-conference in soccer and cross country.

In addition to Belmonte, this year’s group included the No. 1 high school girls basketball recruit in the country for the Class of 2019, a female golfer whose talent has allowed her to compete in both girls and boys state competitions, a student-athlete who has aspirations of running for president, multiple Eagle Scouts, and numerous young people who will train with U.S. National team programs.

“The Hall of Fame would like to thank our sponsors for this year’s Student Athlete Achievement Awards: Davon Inc., Davenport and Company, Riesbeck Contracting, Towne Investment Group, Towne Insurance, Seventh Point Advertising and Checkered Flag,” said Eddie Webb, president of the Hall of Fame organization.

[Editor’s note: a previous version of this article published on Saturday, Jan. 27, had incorrectly reported that Belmonte was named to the 2017 Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. Though he was one of 16 finalists, only four were named the Hall of Fame’s Student Athletes of the Year: Leah Crouse from Virginia Beach, Grace Hoepfner from Yorktown, Neal Azar from Norfolk, and Daniel Brickhill from Buckingham.]