Chester’s Bell strives for positive reinforcement during pandemic, protests

Posted on June 4, 2020 in Newspaper.

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Chester football coach, Ladontay Bell, is concerned that the long layoff due to coronavirus could adversely effect the upcoming season, if there is one.

By Matt Smith

While the coronavirus pandemic spoiled every high school athlete’s spring sports season, football teams such as Chester High were in the midst of an intense off-season workout regimen. 

And now everyone is behind the curve. 

When the PIAA gives football the green light, how do coaches and players make up for the lost time? Is it even possible at this point? Chester coach Ladontay Bell has questions and concerns about how the sport can proceed this fall.

“Coaching to me is not a distance relationship; what I need is to be around my players,” Bell said in a phone conversation Wednesday. “It’s unfortunate that we can’t do what we want. For the most part my assistant coaches have their Zoom meetings with their position players and I have my Zoom meetings with the entire team, both players and coaches. The coaches, we’re in contact every day and we contact the players throughout the week. But it’s not enough.”

Bell has never warmed to the concept of stay-at-home coaching. He’s built to lead young men, and it’s been a struggle for him, personally, even though he’s maintaining a positive outlook on things. There’s so much uncertainty concerning high schools sports in 2020. At this stage Bell is simply hoping that soon he will get answers. Soon, he thinks, he’ll be together again with his team, anticipating a 2020 season that today seems so far away.

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