Athlete of the Week: Andover Central's Xavier Bell

Posted: Updated:

If you’ve made it out to an Andover Central game recently, chances are you’ve seen number 7 find the end zone.

“Sometimes he’ll make catches where we didn’t think the quarterback should be throwing the ball to him but then he throws it and they grab it and you’re like ‘hey that’s a great play,” said head coach Derek Tuttle. “It’s a lot of fun to watch him.”

Senior Xavier Bell has scored a touchdown in 6 of the Jaguars 7 games this season. The wideout also ranks among the best in the state in receiving yards with 566.

“I just feel like even if there’s two guys on me if we need a first down or a long ball then I can just go up and make that play,” Bell told KAKE.

“He sometimes bails me out every once in a while but sometimes I make him look good too so it works both ways,” quarterback Shomari Parnell says with a laugh.

A big part of Xavier’s success can be traced to Parnell. The duo have formed a bond which goes far beyond the gridiron.

“We’ve grown up knowing each other, he’s like my brother almost,” Parnell explained. “We’ve been playing together since we first started playing football.”

“I feel like us connecting back in high school is just the bread and butter of everything because I feel like we have that chemistry since we were young,” Bell added.

Other teams have taken notice of his big play ability and have even geared their game plan toward keeping the ball out of his hands.

“He’s going to get a lot of coverage or some star coverage every week so we have to be a little creative with what we do with him,” Tuttle explained. “Sometimes we use him in motion, sometimes we move him around our formations a little bit to try and keep the other team guessing.”

Bell’s high school career doesn’t end with football. He also plans on another big year on the hardwood.

“I feel like we can go really deep in the playoffs more than people expect,” Bell said. “In basketball people kind of sleep on us now that Brayden and Easton are gone. With the guys that we have and the returning seniors who were all on the state team last year we’ll be real experienced and a great basketball team as well.”