By Shae Brophy
Meet wide receiver Ryan Bell. Originally from Howard City, Michigan, Bell is currently leading the Hawks in touchdowns, with two receiving touchdowns through three games. He has been involved with football since his days in high school, where he won numerous awards. Some of those awards included a four-year player award, a captain’s award, as well as the Hammer Award, for the hardest hit of the season. Bell is a veteran in the league, having played for the Grand Rapids Thunder last season. He holds the league record for most tackles in a season, with 103 total tackles last year—a year in which he was also chosen as the third overall draft selection in the league all star game.
Some of Ryan’s hobbies other than football include going to church and carpentry. Bell also dedicates a significant amount of free time to the Grand Rapids Recovery Committee, which is an organization designed to help those with drug addictions. A few of Bell’s idols include Tim Tebow, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and author James Patterson’s fictional character Dr. Alex Cross.
When asked why he chose to be a member of the Hawks, Bell had a very specific answer. “2014 was a rough rookie year (with the Thunder) having not won a game all year, and not to mention never being given a real chance to show my versatility and play offense, despite accumulating 110 yards and a touchdown in the final two games of the season. The Hawks gave me a fresh start and a chance to be an integral part in building a successful franchise from the ground up.”
Owner/head coach David Lange had this to say about Bell: “Ryan is a leader, point blank. He knows the game and does an awesome job with making sure everyone is on the same page. Ryan is what I consider our possession receiver. Though he may not be the fastest, he is definitely one that can always find a way to come down with the ball when it is sent his way.”
Shae Brophy is the Media/Public Relations Director for the West Michigan Hawks.