Photo by Steven Silva of Max Preps. Greg Bell breaks a tackle against Helix High School on Nov. 2.
By Katherine Neuner
Through being awarded the Play of the Week by KUSI on Nov. 2 and with the addition of fan votes, senior varsity running back Greg Bell was nominated for the Silver Pigskin Award. This award is given by KUSI News for the year’s best high school football player in San Diego.
“It feels good to know that all my hard work is paying off. [Now] I know what I can do on the field and I know where my talent can take me,” Bell said.
Bell was considered for the award but did not become a finalist because he was not among the six players to receive the most fan votes.
“He should have been one of the six finalists; I think he’s the best player in San Diego, but unfortunately it went up to a fan vote and he was out-voted by some other guys,” head coach Chris Thompson said.
Thompson attributes Bell’s success this season to a combination of talent and determination. This season Bell carried the ball 199 times, averaging over 157 yards per game. In addition, he ran approximately 1600 yards and averaged nearly 8 yards per carry. Having coached for 28 years, with 11 players who made it to the NFL, Thompson knows what it takes to be successful.
“He’s definitely been blessed with some God-given ability, and then he’s worked at his craft. It’s a combination of blessings and hard work; they go hand-in-hand,” Thompson said.
In addition to Bell’s talents, his success was aided by a talented offensive line which opened the running lanes for him.
“If the offensive line isn’t very good, then the team is not going to perform very well. The offensive line sets the tone. [Bell’s] success is related definitely to the offensive line,” running back coach Elan Hiller said.
Another factor to Bell’s success was the support from his coaches. Through taking his coach’s advice and heeding their criticism, Bell has built skills to improve upon his talent over his past season.
“There’s a great relationship between all the coaches. They’re like friends, not coaches, and we can honestly talk about anything. They just let me know what I need to do when I’m not going hard or I do something wrong; they let me know that I need to fix it,” Bell said.
Although Bell did not win the Silver Pigskin, his success was noticed by San Diego State University, who offered him admission in order to play collegiate football.
“It’s a dream that he’s been working on to make reality. He has a goal to be a college football player and hopefully a pro football player, and that motivates him to achieve,” Thompson said.