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Boys' Varsity basketball season kicks off with 3 OT thriller

Last week the boys’ Varsity basketball team defeated Great Commission School in an exciting triple over-time match up. 

This is what Coach John Pannizzo had this to say about the 59-58 victory. “The game was incredible.  As a coach, you want to see your players respond to adversity and rise to the challenge.  I’m so proud of the toughness of the team and competing till the end.  From our older players not getting rattled, to our youngest playing with confidence.  This was a team effort. ”

Coach Pannizzo continued, “With the addition of Coach Doug Snook to the staff, along with the maturity and growth of the players, BMS basketball will be exciting this year.  Coach Snook and I have worked hard instilling confidence in the players in not only their abilities, but trusting the team.  They have worked extremely hard and I expect every game on the schedule to be competitive.  The 3 OT game vs Great Commission proved that they are ready for Thunder Basketball.” 

Check out the game schedule for the 2018-19 basketball season

Leah Echard, signs with DeSales University to play Division III field hockey in Fall of 2019

Congratulations to Leah Echard, a senior at BMS, on her committment to play field hockey at DeSales University, Allentown, PA!  Leah's mom, Michelle said, "We are certainly proud that her hockey career started in the fields of BMS and ended in the gymnasium signing onto a college to further her athletic future."

Jeff Fishbein, sports editor at the Lewistown Sentinel, reported on the following on November 13, 2018:

BELLEVILLE — Two years ago, Leah Echard was facing a potential end to her field hockey career.

On Tuesday, she took a step toward its next phase.

Echard, a senior at Belleville Mennonite School, committed to play college hockey at DeSales, a Division III Catholic university south of Allentown. The Bulldogs play in the MAC-Freedom and are part of the ECAC.

Belleville Mennonite ended its field hockey program due to a small turnout, but forged a cooperative with nearby Huntingdon. Echard said it was a positive experience.

“The Huntingdon girls have been so welcoming. The program up there definitely was such a blessing to us BMS girls,” she said. “We are so excited that they took us in and just adopted us into their family. It’s been quite the journey, and it’s been awesome up there.”

The Bearcats were happy to get her, their coach said.

“We definitely got an asset to our team with her — she definitely held our midfield together,” Shayla Bishop said. “Our girls and Belleville girls both had something to look up to, a goal to reach toward. We are definitely going to miss her on the field.”

Echard said DeSales reached out to her, but she went because it was a good fit.

“It was kind of a decision together,’ she said. “I went there and I felt like I was at home. It was just a really great feeling. I really think it was kind of a joint decision.”

The Lehigh Valley will be a big change, Echard admits, but it’s another challenge she looks forward to.

“It is a smaller school but it’s definitely way bigger than BMS,” she said. “The team there is a family and I think that’s something I take for granted here. That’s something I’m excited to have again there.”

Bishop sees no issue adapting to the new environment.

“Even coming up to Huntingdon was a change for Belleville and Huntingdon girls alike,”she said. “She adjusts to whatever I give her. No matter where I put here she’s willing to try anything. I think the adjustment will be different but she’ll do very well at it.”

Michael Armstrong, has accepted the Athletic Director role at BMS!  Michael is also a 2002 grad of BMS and he graduated from Hesston College with an associate’s degree in Youth Ministry.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southwestern College in Youth Ministry and a Master’s degree in Human Services/Christian Ministries from Liberty University. Michael is currently employed with Merakey as a Behavioral Specialist/Mobile Therapist and he is the Head Coach for the Huntingdon Area High School Varsity girls’ soccer team.  Prior to these roles, Michael was the Head Coach for the Hesston College men’s soccer team and also held various other coaching positions.  He holds an LMA Coaching License-Culture of Excellence Key Performance Indicators, a USSF F license, and an NFHS national certification.
Here’s what he has to say about joining the BMS family, “I’m looking forward to and excited about helping student athletes gain from the experience of athletics with a Christian perspective and give back to a program that I benefited and grew so much through!”
 Michael and his wife, Becky, reside in Belleville with their four children and attend Allensville Mennonite Church.

"For physical training is of some value, but Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.1 Timothy 4:8
Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Assocation: District 6

Athletic Mission Statement
The Belleville Mennonite School athletic program is an extension of the family, school, and church. It is desired that the athletic program will bring honor and glory to God in the realm of interscholastic competition, both as spectators and players. We trust that the discipline developed in doing this will carry over into other areas of life.
Contact AD, Michael Armstrong, by emailing:


"As a student athlete at BMS I was challenged both on and off the field to grow in faith and character.  Now as coach, it is my desire that our student athletes continue to receive coaching that applies to the game of soccer, but also coaching in character and faith development for the challenges our young men will face as they walk this road we call life."

Brian Renno
Head Varsity Soccer Coach