2022 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Chartiers Valley’s Lamont Payne

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Sunday, July 10, 2022 | 12:01 AM


Editor’s note: The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 15 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

Lamont Payne entered his junior season with high expectations. Chartiers Valley was coming off a breakout football season the year before, and the Division I college interest in Payne midway through his scholastic career was growing.

“I think my junior season went well,” Payne said. “It didn’t turn out how we wanted, but overall as a player, I feel like I contributed to my team.”

For a second straight season, the 6-foot-1, 173-pound senior cornerback and wide receiver is a member of the Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team.

Payne has worked hard this offseason to improve himself mentally and physically.

“I have a good mental part to my game and don’t let the outside talk get to me,” he said. “I’m working on my footwork and just improving each craft and adding to my toolbox.”

There was a coaching change at Chartiers Valley this offseason as Dan Knause left for Trinity. Aaron Fitzpatrick was bumped up from assistant to head coach.

“I love the new coaching change, and I’m excited to see what we do this season,” Payne said.

Fitzpatrick is just as excited to watch Payne display his skills on both sides of the ball as well as his leadership on Friday nights.

“Lamont is special because of his soundness on the perimeter. He is a great cover guy, sure tackler and can make plays when needed. Physically, he is impressive on the field. Our expectations for him this year is to fit and play in the role of ‘leading by example.’ The attentiveness to detail and perfecting of his craft will help him this season and at the next level but will also help set the bar of expectation with our current younger athletes and those coming up. During the season, we expect him to perform at a high level, be a playmaker, strong and encouraging teammate and to do the little things right.”

Last September, Payne made his college choice as the offers increased. He picked Penn State over West Virginia and Rutgers among others.

“It’s hard for me to answer, but why not Penn State?” Payne said. “It’s one of the best schools in America when it comes to tradition.”

Payne will play cornerback at the next level.

“We would like to get the ball in his hands and see what he can do,” Fitzpatrick said. “We have many playmakers on offense, and Lamont is certainly an asset. From defense, offense, and to special teams, we want him to contribute and showcase his talents.”

After missing out on the district postseason a year ago, Payne and his Chartiers Valley teammates are focused on November football.

It won’t be easy, as the Colts are in the new Class 4A Parkway Conference with reigning champions Aliquippa, Central Valley and traditional powers Montour, New Castle and West Allegheny.

“As a team, we got a group chat called ‘playoffs or bust,’ and I feel like that’s what it is and that’s something me and other seniors want,” Payne said. “Personally, I want to be known as that guy, and when I leave, I want to be known as having one of the best senior seasons in the WPIAL.”

Payne and 24 others will be honored at Kennywood Park on July 15. While the senior embarks on what he hopes is his best season, he also has a couple of favorites at Kennywood.

“I like the Black Widow and probably the funnel cake.”

Lamont Payne

Chartiers Valley

Senior

6-foot-1, 173 pounds

Cornerback, wide receiver

Committed to: Penn State

Division I offers: West Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse and Kent State, among others

2021 statistics: 31 receptions, 395 yards, 7 TDs; 22 tackles, 18 solo, 2 interceptions

Highlights: Hudl

Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team

Tyree Alualu, North Allegheny

Aidan Besselman, Upper St. Clair

Brad Birch, Gateway

Bobbie Boyd, McKeesport

Jaren Brickner, Beaver Falls

Cruce Brookins, Steel Valley

Kade Capristo, Mt. Lebanon

Julian Dugger, Penn Hills

Joe Enick, Penn-Trafford

Peyton Faulkner, Avonworth

Davoun Fuse, Washington

Rodney Gallagher, Laurel Highlands

Peter Gonzalez, Central Catholic

Tiqwai Hayes, Aliquippa

Luke Lawson, Seneca Valley

Cameron Lindsey, Aliquippa

Braylan Lovelace, Leechburg

Quinton Martin, Belle Vernon

Jordan Mayer, Thomas Jefferson

Dre Miller-Ross, Sto-Rox

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