The Gauntlet

Athlete of the Week: Noah LaBelle

In this week’s installment of Athlete of the Week, we feature our football team’s starting kicker, senior, Noah LaBelle.

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Athlete of the Week: Noah LaBelle

Senior, Noah LaBelle gets ready for the ensuing play

Senior, Noah LaBelle gets ready for the ensuing play

Senior, Noah LaBelle gets ready for the ensuing play

Senior, Noah LaBelle gets ready for the ensuing play

Cade Westberry, Sports Beat Writer

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Athlete of the Week: Noah LaBelle

In this week’s installment of Athlete of the Week, we feature our football team’s starting kicker, senior, Noah LaBelle. This is LaBelle’s fourth year at Saint Stephen’s and his second year on the football team. His first year on the football squad was back when he was a freshman.

LaBelle took a break from the gridiron after his rookie season (he’s a soccer player at heart), but this year, he decided to join the team once more for his final year as a Falcon.

In the first game of the regular season against Cambridge Christian, Noah was responsible for 5 of our 17 points, including a crucial field goal before halftime to give the Falcons a two-score lead. Also, Noah never gave the opposition a chance to gain momentum on kickoffs, as he booted every one to the back of the end zone for touchbacks.

However, last Friday’s game against Windermere Prep was where Noah stepped into the spotlight. The Falcons suffered a 35-21 loss, along with injuries to key starters including juniors Cam Vining and Ty Barker. With all these players hurt, Coach Creneti called on the kicker.

In a tense situation, losing late in the game, Creneti put LaBelle out there on offense to play receiver. Sophomore Patch O’Keefe (quarterback) proceeded to deliver a 30-yard strike to Noah for his first career touchdown.

LaBelle torched his man and created complete separation for Patch to deliver a beauty of a pass. The crowd was going crazy, and the other players all huddled around Noah in celebration of his score.

After the TD, LaBelle wasn’t done making plays.

After making the extra point on his own touchdown, Noah and the Falcons successfully pulled off an onside kick, even though Windermere was expecting it.

According to football statisticians, onside kicks only work about 20% of the time when the other team knows they’re coming. It’s almost a certainty that we are the only school in Florida, and maybe even in the nation, with a kicker who caught a touchdown on his first play on offense, and then successfully recovered an onside kick immediately after.

Finally, in the Falcons’ most recent win against Shorecrest, LaBelle netted six more points in a 42-7 win at home. That totals 20 points earned in three games for the kicker. He truly is a one-of-a-kind kicker, and for all of you that didn’t think so, this should change your mind; yes, kickers are people too.

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