LaDontay Bell focused on putting Exit 6 on the map

The Chester community has rallied around the Clippers football team, filling the stands every week, but for Coach Bell, the game of football means more than scoring.

“We have created such momentum and culture for the football program. It is truly a blessing to the community. We get so many text messages, emails and phone calls saying how much they appreciate the fact that we were able to turn the program around,” Coach Bell continued. “I couldn’t do it alone. With the booster program, with the coaching staff, even with the community members, we have so many people pushing us to do more.”

“Coach Bell is someone who draws talent from our youth,” said Mayor Kirkland. “Coach Bell has been successful in bringing our young people together and filling that void in their lives. Pure teamwork and brotherhood.”

The Chester Clippers pride themselves on being a family, it’s a one-of-a-kind atmosphere when you walk into their locker room. As much as his players matter to him, Coach Bell matters even more to his athletes.

“Coach Bell is the heartbeat of the team, without him our program wouldn’t have been able to do what we did,” Clippers senior Makel Martin said. “He guided and encouraged me in every way, no matter what was happening around us.”

“Coach Bell is everything and more. He is the glue of our masterpiece,” said fellow senior Isaiah Freeman.

Although winning is a great advantage in football, Coach Bell forced his players to focus on their studies. It emphasizes the “student” in the student-athlete.

“Some young men love football and if they could play they would, but there’s an academic component to it. Football really pushes young men to come to school and stay on their books,” he said. Coach Bell. “What we’re doing is we’re cheering them on. I’ll say to them, ‘You want to play this game you love, get your academics together first, then let’s play football. “”

“Coach Bell has never let me fail to reach my potential and that goes for all of us,” Freeman said. “He knows your potential and he won’t let you do anything less than you can do, whether in the classroom or on the pitch.”

“Coach Bell instills in our youth the importance of being in the classroom and not just being in the classroom, but asking great and necessary questions. Participate in these courses and excel in these courses,” said Mayor Kirkland. “These youngsters, their eyes are open. Their minds are always racing and they are focused on the good things with the academics.”

The 2021 Chester Clippers have set a new standard for the football program, thanks in large part to Coach Bell. Proud of what they have achieved this season, hoping to build on it over the next two years.

“The goal is to make the playoffs, says, but we want to make sure the overall program is really flourishing,” explained coach Bell. “It’s both academically and on the pitch.”

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