KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BVM) — At an early age, Park Hill senior quarterback Kendrick Bell didn’t have the affection he currently has for football. His dad would help him find that.
“I really started playing because my dad gave me the chance to play,” Bell said. “In fourth grade, I was playing receiver, and I really liked it, and I played with my twin brother Marqueas and [we] were the best players. We just continued to play, and I always loved watching the NFL. Randy Moss was my favorite guy to watch.”
With his passion for football in full bloom, Bell has recently begun to look back on what his dad’s introduction to football meant for their relationship.
“It made my dad and I closer,” Kendrick said. “He and I share our knowledge of what we see, and we’ll watch football together. Even if we’re not talking about football, we’re talking about something.”
Alongside his father, his older brother, University of Michigan senior receiver Ronnie Bell, has been a mentor Kendrick has always looked to during his football journey.
“Whenever I reached middle school, Ronnie was the best player on his high school team,” Kendrick said. “Watching him play, I felt like I was watching a Randy Moss. It felt really cool, too, because he was my brother. I felt like I could see myself being that great.”
It wasn’t long before Kendrick’s visualization of greatness became a reality, and he was a star for the Park Hill Trojans. As the starting QB, Kendrick passed for 2,267 yards, rushed for 313 yards and scored 30 total touchdowns.
This was in part to the new head coach Andrew Sims joining the staff. Sims had coached for seven seasons at Blue Valley North High School and helped produce one of Kansas’ best QBs: Wisconsin Badger junior Graham Mertz.
“His offensive mind is really great,” Kendrick said. “Being in his offense was great because I get to show my athletic abilities. Coach Sims coming over to Park Hill was a great addition for Park Hill, me and for the future of other kids.”
With a new head coach, Kendrick and his teammates were eager to get their senior season underway and go out on top. With that emotion and excitement for the season, Kendrick carried the same mentality he’s always had with him to the football field.
“Go kill,” Kendrick said. “Go be the best player on the field because I’ve shown it, and I know I can be the best player on the field.”
Despite finishing 3-8, Kendrick passed for a school record 3,228 yards, scored 45 total TDs (35 passing, 10 rushing) and added 680 rushing yards on 127 attempts, showing that mentality paid off.
Couldn’t have asked for a better group to play with!
3,165 passing yards (school record) 247 (school record)/339 72% completion rate (school record) 35 TD’s | 670 rushing yards 10 TD’s | 3,812 TOT yards | 45 TOT td’s @PHTrojansFB @qbquest17 https://t.co/lBHequpo6u
— Kendrick Bell (@kendrixkb8) November 6, 2022
However, Kendrick brings that mentality to not only the gridiron but also other sports, including basketball and track and field.
“When you play multiple sports, you get so many different experiences,” Sims said. “Different coaches, different players [and] different scenarios that require you to achieve in different methods. All of that makes an athlete so much better.”
Great meet today at districts!!
2nd in long jump 6.65 PR | 3rd place in high jump | 4th place in triple jump 13.19 PR
(advancing to sectionals in all three events) pic.twitter.com/27SiHgk0iX
— Kendrick Bell (@kendrixkb8) May 14, 2022
Alongside his mentality, Kendrick has another person giving him motivation to succeed: his mother.
“My mom is mostly like my dad,” Kendrick said. “If I’m playing bad, she’ll get on me. If I’m playing good, she won’t say much. But if I’m playing bad, she’ll get on me about it. If I’m missing reads, she’ll tell me I’m missing reads.”
With the drive to compete in different sports, Kendrick has become accustomed to finding other ways to keep his motivation going.
“I would say continue to work hard and respect others,” Kendrick said. “You don’t know how far you can go, especially if you respect others. Even when eyes aren’t on you, you have to work hard, especially if you have to play at the level Michigan is at.”
Nonetheless, Kendrick is in the early stages of his athletic journey. There are many roads that he can take to continue that journey too. One optional route he could take is joining forces with Ronnie and forming a dynamic duo on the gridiron.
“It would be great,” Kendrick said. “We’ve had that little brother and big brother moment a lot. Having it on the football field would be even better.”
He will, in fact, be following in his brother’s footsteps after committing to the Wolverine football team.
— Kendrick Bell (@kendrixkb8) October 17, 2022
Given his brother’s success with the program, this is an exciting time for both the Bell family and the Michigan fans.
Unequivocally, Kendrick has shown he is capable of being a high-caliber DI athlete, and being a dual-threat QB will only help his chances of making those dreams come true.
“[The] sky is the limit for him offensively,” Sims said. “He is a dual-threat QB that can bring a different dynamic to the Michigan offense. If there is a reason why he does not start at QB, he could easily switch to wide receiver. At 6-foot-4 and [with a] 34-inch vertical and his knowledge of defensive coverages, he would definitely be a threat at wide receiver.
Kendrick has done a lot to improve himself on and off the gridiron, and many people have helped Kendrick along the way. However, if there is only one thing he’ll remember in his life, it’ll be that no one should ever lose faith in what they’re doing.
“Everybody’s timing is different,” Kendrick said. “Everybody will have their offense, but God has a plan for you. Continue to work hard and trust the process. And trust God because God has a plan. When things get hard, don’t give up. Continue to work hard and never lose faith.”