Gutsy Antorious Bell overcomes the odds on the way to Shasta

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Ray Hamill/ – Eureka’s Antorious Bell (5) will play at Shasta College this fall.

By Ray Hamill — It hasn’t been an easy path for Antorious Bell, but the Eureka senior is taking his game to Shasta College after a breakout fall season on the football field.

Bell, who missed much of his sophomore and all of his junior seasons while in continuation school, was back with a bang in 2019, playing a pivotal role on the Loggers’ offense at running back.

And now he’s headed to Shasta College, joining a talented group of Big 4 players who are moving on to play for the Redding school, including Eureka teammate and close friend Josiah Graham.

“Me and Josiah wanted to go to the same college to play together,” Bell said. “He’s helped me out a lot.”

It was Graham who helped Bell learn the offense when he came to camp last summer after missing the entire offseason program, and it was Graham who inspired him to keep going.

“He helped me out a lot. He helped me figure out the plays,” Bell said. “When I started out, I didn’t get along with most of the players. I was out of my comfort zone.”

It didn’t take Bell long to win over his teammates, and when injuries moved him up the pecking order at running back, he took advantage of his opportunity with some impressive performances midway through the season.

‘He gutted it out’

According to his head coach Jason White, Bell exceeded expectations.

“We got a lot more out of him than we thought we would,” White said. “He had a lot of catching up to do, learning the offense, learning the defense, and getting back in game shape, but he gutted it out.”

Bell is the fourth Eureka senior taking his game to the collegiate level this year, joining Graham, as well as quarterback Trevor Bell, who will play at Santa Rosa JC, and lineman Miles Meynell, who is headed to UC Davis.

And he says he is looking forward to the opportunity.

“I like how their offense is run,” said the senior playmaker who also hopes to play some slot receiver for the Knights.

Bell’s coaches at Eureka, he says, also had a big influence on him and helped prepare him for the move, in particular assistant coaches Mo Purify and Jeff Faulk.

Bell, however, knows it will be a challenge playing at the next level.

“It’s going to be a whole lot different from high school,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot harder and I’ve got to go and compete for my spot.”

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