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Speedy Bell finds game

Daily Pilot High School Football Player of the Week

Senior, who had been into motocross, has made plays in the four games he's been in for Costa Mesa High.

November 07, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Don Leach / Daily…)

Quinton Bell used to rely on a dirt bike to generate speed. In two years, he's learned how to use his own set of wheels to break away in a different sport.

Bell is the fastest football player at Costa Mesa High. When he arrived last year as a junior, Bell says he felt awkward when he moved. No longer could he just straddle a bike and apply the throttle as he did when he competed in motocross.

Bell strapped on a different helmet, one with bars. He began his second year of playing tackle football.

The first year, while a sophomore at powerhouse Long Beach Poly, Bell says it didn't go so well. Hard to imagine, since his uncle, Nick Bell, played in the NFL.

Nevertheless, football wasn't the young Bell's top sport growing up.

"I went in clueless, not knowing the game," says Bell, who knew more about motocross, a sport his father, Aaron Bell, introduced him to at age 9 by buying dirt bikes one Christmas. "It was tough because [at Long Beach Poly], you know, a lot of kids, you know, have played football for years. Those are the kids that played Pop Warner and everything. I didn't play Pop Warner and all that. That was my first year."

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That first year playing tackle football led to Bell moving to try the sport at a different school.

Nick Bell played a role in getting his nephew to Costa Mesa. He volunteered as an assistant coach two years ago.

"My uncle was coaching here and he was telling me how good the program is, you know, how [there are] great opportunities to come here and play," Bell says. "Where I was, I was playing football and I was running track, but, you know, I wasn't really doing as good as, you know, I should've been doing."

Bell says he and his family decided to move to Costa Mesa before his junior year. All the tools, Coach Wally Grant says, were there for Bell to develop into a major player. The tall and fast teenager just looked very raw to Grant.

In Bell's second season with the Mustangs, he had to wait some time, because of two injuries, before unveiling how far he has come. He has turned into a force as a senior with his 6-foot-3, 205-pound athletic frame and his 11-second 100-meter track speed.

Last week, Bell played in only his fourth game of the year. Each time he has made it onto the field, Costa Mesa has prevailed.

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