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Bell makes most of offseason ahead of sophomore year at Liberty

Nate Bell practices at Liberty on Oct. 22, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Nate Bell practices at Liberty on Oct. 22, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

Despite the lingering effects the COVID-19 pandemic has created in California as high school athletics were pushed to the winter and spring, Liberty sophomore quarterback/safety Nate Bell is making the most of the opportunity at hand.

Bell is at the field every day with some of his teammates, going to the part, working on his arm strength as a quarterback and enhancing his footwork as a defensive back.

All of that work has Bell noticing the changes in his game.

“Just like maturing and learning the game better, learning the offense, learning the defense right now,” Bell said. “Just trying to put more work in.”

But Bell, ever since he was 8 years old, was bound for this type of growth and success right from the beginning of his football career.

At 10 years old, Bell remembers really taking the game in a more serious manner – and his team’s success showed special things were eventually bound to happen.

“We had a good team, so we were going some places,” Bell said.

Since then, Bell’s work ethic has lifted him into becoming a young standout player for the Liberty Lions football program – carried by the motivation to always do more and be successful for not only himself, but also for his teammates and his family.

And, over the course of this offseason, Bell has been a consistently impressive performer at various camps and showcases.

Whether it was the Best Coast Showcase, the National Preps Collegiate Showcase or the Xclusive Speed Bay Area Top 100 Showcase, Bell was there delivering accurate throw after accurate throw in front of some of the region’s top athletes.

“Definitely I’m just like a motivational person, so I like to push myself and definitely my family. Just want to help them out,” Bell said.

Entering the season, Bell is vying for a coveted starting quarterback job at Liberty that was once occupied by one of the country’s premier signal callers. Jay Butterfield, a consensus four-star recruit, won a state title at Liberty in 2018, was a Bay Valley Athletic League Co-MVP and tossed for  7,270 yards, 85 TDs and 21 interceptions in his three-year career.

Butterfield, now in Eugene, created a new era at the quarterback spot, and Bell is ready to compete for the reins to the job with Hunter Steacker – two players the coaching staff are high on heading into the season.

Bell’s focus remains on carrying on the recent success of the Liberty program, which is 34-5 over the past three seasons. 

“Definitely winning the starting job and just winning record, and I would say 25 touchdowns,” Bell said.

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