Bowling Green's Bell Signs With LoyolaBy JOHNNIE DANIEL,
Bowling Green School's Cameron Bell has signed a baseball scholarship to play for Loyola University in New Orleans. While playing for BGS head coach Justin Garcia, he was a regular in centerfield while batting leadoff for the Buccaneers. Cam will likely continue as an outfielder on the collegiate level. He graduated from Bowling Green with a 3.4 GPA.
A two sport standout for the Buccaneers, Cam was named to the All-District baseball team as a freshman and junior before earning the Offensive Player of the Year award in District 4-AAA as a senior. He was also selected to play in the MAIS Class AAA-Class AAAA baseball All-Star game. On the gridiron, Cam earned All-District honors at quarterback during his sophomore and junior seasons. As a senior, he made the switch to wide receiver where he was named to the All-District team. Cam was also selected to play in the MAIS All-Star football game.
The senior centerfielder batted .326 from his leadoff position where he had 15 singles, 10 doubles, 2 triples and a home run with 36 runs scored and 16 RBI. He hit .348 with runners in scoring position and stole 24 bases in 26 attempts. Defensively, Cam had a .951 fielding percentage from his center field position.
Cam's unselfishness gave Coach Boomer Nunez's Bowling Green football team more flexibility when he moved from quarterback to wide receiver as a senior.
"I knew moving from quarterback to receiver wouldn't be an easy transition, but I figured it out," he said. "I figured moving to receiver would be best for the team and I'd do anything to help the team be more successful."
Cam helped lead the Buccaneers to the playoffs in both football and baseball in his final year of high school and believes it will help both programs in years to come.
"Making the playoffs in both sports will build a foundation for the future of both programs," he said. "Especially for baseball, being the first time in 10 years to make the playoffs. It will help get other kids to Bowling Green to play for a good program. "
"Playing for Coach Garcia was the best thing that could've happened for me in baseball. He pushed me to be the best player I could be and always held me to a high standard. My most memorable moment in baseball was playing 6 playoff games. There's nothing like a feeling before a playoff game and getting to spend it with my best friends."
Coach Garcia, a former pitcher in the Kansas City Royals organization, had nothing but praise for one of his team's biggest leaders.
"I always felt with him in the lineup we had a chance to win because if he got on base he scored; the numbers proved it," said Coach Garcia. "He could steal second, he could steal third, he could score from first on the ball in the gap; he could score so many different ways. We led him off for two years and he did a really good job in that spot. He could drive the ball in the gap and hit the ball over the fence. You knew the first at-bat of every game was going to be a tough out. "
"The mindset he would put us in when he got on base and the pressure he put on other teams is probably the most important thing he brought to us. His speed and athleticism is something you really can't teach."
"He got better in centerfield. We started to polish that up a little bit. He could throw guys out, his assists went up just with footwork and learning how to attack baseballs and how to turn his body, how to get rid of the ball. A guy like Cam, for me, gives a program hope. Everybody in the dugout thinks we're going to win when he's in the lineup. That's such an important thing as a player to get your teammates and coaches to believe in you."
Cam has fond memories of his time at Bowling Green, but is also ready to see what the future holds for him.
"I will always remember the friendships I've made throughout the years (at BGS)," said Cam. "I'm looking forward to getting out of Franklinton, seeing the world and meeting new people."
Cam is the son of Ronnie and Laurie Bell of Franklinton and he has two brothers; Zack and Grayson. He is the grandson of Gay and Jimmy Lea from Lafayette, Sue and Bill Shearman from Lake Charles and Ronnie and Donna Bell from Oakdale.