FFE Week 10 Player of the Week: Josiah Bell, Jefferson Forest

The senior racked up five total touchdowns against Amherst Co. in a 42-7 Cavaliers win.
Published: Nov. 4, 2023 at 12:07 AM EDT
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FOREST, Va. (WDBJ) - As Jefferson Forest kept up its dominant march through the Seminole District, it’s no surprise the Cavaliers were feeling some of the pressure that comes with a flawless record.

“When you’re undefeated, week-to-week, pressure builds to not lose a game,” said JF quarterback Josiah Bell, “but I think just going into the game prepared, trusting our coaches, doing our assignments, doing our jobs and we’ll be fine.”

Bell was more than fine in the Week 10 road matchup against Amherst County.

The senior racked up 193 yards with two passing touchdowns, to go with 67 yards and three more scores on the ground, in a 42-7 Cavaliers win.

“I think sticking to our identity, ground-and-pounding behind the big O-linemen, all the credit goes to them. Just trusting our coaches,” said Bell.

He and his fellow seniors have helped lead this Cavaliers turnaround - from winning one game in 2021, to now competing for a district title.

“I think it’s the chemistry,” said Bell. “We’ve all been playing since B-team and now that we’re seniors, we’re all kind of molded together and just trust each other and play for each other.”

“He actually had surgery on his foot at the end of last year,” said Jefferson Forest head coach JT Crews. “Couldn’t do any lower-body exercises and he’s in the weight room with a boot on doing bench and overhead tricep and all that stuff. Didn’t miss a single day. Rehabbing through everything, he didn’t miss a single day in the weight room and that’s a testament to the work that he’s put in. And when your quarterback and when your senior leader is the hardest worker on your team, it pushes everybody else to work a little bit harder and that’s what we have in him.”

Crews took over at JF before that 1-8 season in ‘21, when Bell first took the reins as QB1.

Since then, both have contributed to changing the team’s culture.

“I’m definitely one of the leaders on the team, and I just do whatever the team needs me to do to get the W,” said Bell.

Bell’s not a man of many words. But Crews has seen Josiah’s impact firsthand.

“Josiah’s never been the most vocal guy in the world,” said Crews. “He came into it as a sophomore. That was his first time as a starting quarterback for this program, and to see his growth from his sophomore year to his junior year to his senior year and growing into that role and feeling more comfortable with being the guy and having guys on the team look to him as the guy. He’s at that point now where everybody’s looking to him as the guy.”

Bell says he learned most of that from his parents, and maybe a little from watching his favorite player.

“Probably Big Ben because I’m a Steelers fan. I fit his style of play, kind of bigger.”

And like it always was with Big Ben and the Steelers, there’s no telling where the 2023 Cavaliers would be without Josiah Bell.

“Nothing surprises me about Josiah at this point and the best thing about Josiah is he is the same dude when he’s scoring five touchdowns as he is when he’s scoring no touchdowns,” said Crews. “It truly does not matter to him. He is all about the team, and as a matter of fact, he’s telling me once we get down to the goal line, a little bit later in the game, ‘Let’s give it to this guy, let’s let him get a touchdown here.’ He is all about the team and it’s awesome. It’s awesome to have that guy as the leader of your offense and the leader of your team.”