Ridgeland’s Vonn Bell Playing in Super Bowl Sunday For the Bengals

Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) The Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams in this Sunday’s Super Bowl. Leading the charge for the Bengals’ defense is Chattanooga’s own Vonn Bell. From Ridgeland to the Big Game, News 12’s Angela Moryan has his amazing story.

Said Ridgeland head coach Craig Pritchett: “When he had the interception,(in the AFC Championship game) I started to run around. I was actually sweeping, trying to clean some stuff up, and I was running around with my broom over my head.”

Said Vonn’s father Vincent: “We were shocked for about five minutes, and then we started to recognize that we’re going to the Super Bowl.”

Vincent Bell’s dream was always to play in the Super Bowl. He might not have, but his son Vonn will — after catching the eventual game-winning interception in overtime against Kansas City.

Said former Ridgeland head coach Mark Mariakis: “My first thought was, ‘That’s Vonn!’ In big moments and games, he’s around the football.”

Said Vincent: “Every time he’s out there on the field, there’s a good chance for him to make a play. He’s somewhere close around the ball all the time.”

Bell’s been that way since he was young. In fact, because of this, his first game for Ridgeland was stellar on the stat sheet, but not great on the report card.

Said Pritchett: “It’s a funny story that us coaches kind of joke about. When he first came over, in that first game, he was out of position, just being a great player, great athlete, but not necessarily being disciplined enough to do what he was coached to do. We kind of joked and said, ‘Well, maybe he’s not as good as we thought he was going to be.’ That really made us eat our crow later.”

Said Mariakis: “I remember bringing all the kids in on Monday and saying, ‘Here’s your grade.’ And he had like a 30-something, and his eyes were just big like, ‘What in the world!?’ So we started showing him on film the small details… He really became a student of the game then.”

Said Vonn’s mother Vanessa: “When he got that score, he was not a happy camper, and just to see the difference, and being able to transition, even from high school to college… That ethic that was taught, not only the instinct but you have to do your homework, that’s why now he’s in there, first one.”

Just his first year in Cincinnati, Bell was voted captain and led the Bengals in tackles. This year, he’s a certified ‘Who Dey’


SaidPritchett: “It’s awesome to have a guy that you love and a guy that you’re proud of the man and the player that he is to be on the team that you follow. It just adds another level to it, and we’re super excited for him.”

Categories: Sports – Football, Sports – Local Sports News

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