Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL - RANDY MOSS AWARD ; Park's Bell Hauls in Honor

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL - RANDY MOSS AWARD ; Park's Bell Hauls in Honor

Article excerpt

WHEELING - The thing about the really good ones is they aspire to be more and know where to go to find a map for success - the great ones. The night before the West Virginia Class AAA championship earlier this month, Wheeling Park receiver Elijah Bell sat down in front of his television and turned on a show about one of the all- time best at his position, who also happens to be from the Mountain State.

"I just watched his [ESPN Films] 30-for-30,' Bell said of former DuPont, Marshall and NFL star Randy Moss. "He was a kid from West Virginia growing up and fighting adversity just like I do.

Now the two all-staters will be forever linked, as Bell has been selected as the second recipient of the Randy Moss Award, given annually by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association to the state's best prep receiver.

"To have my name up there with his means a lot, Bell said after the Patriots beat Capital 23-15 to win the school's first state football championship.

Jefferson's Christian Johnson, the inaugural winner, finished second. Capital's Miguel "Crunchy Bays was third, followed by Fairmont Senior's Nick Davisson.

Prior to this season, Bell was more known for his exploits as a basketball player, both at Wheeling Park and on the AAU circuit. But it was a choice he made last spring that has paid handsome dividends.

"The really big factor is track, and I want to think Coach [Drew] Biehl for telling me to come out and do that, Bell said. "Last year I wasn't able to make the big runs, but because of [track] I was this year. Also our quarterback Cross [Wilkinson], the way he puts the ball where defenders can't get it and I can make moves after the catch, that helps a lot too.

Once an accomplished leader of the school's track program, Wheeling Park football coach Chris Daugherty saw the change in Bell's game and agreed with what that third sport enabled him to do. …

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