By MARK F. GRAY, Particular to the AFRO

Bell Excessive Faculty has answered each query the DCIAA stripes division has requested this common season.  They capped an ideal common season and can take the momentum of 4 consecutive shutouts with them as they open the playoffs in opposition to Anacostia.

Common season success is nothing new to the Griffins who’ve been the elite group in D.C.’s perceived weaker division for a number of years. This yr, nevertheless, Bell might have its finest probability to erase the stigma no group ever needs to be identified for in the case of competing for championships.

Bell Excessive Faculty hopes to win the Gravy Bowl after being defeated the previous couple of years within the massive recreation. (Courtesy Photograph)

They’ll’t win the massive one!

Bell has dominated its stripes division however has but to win the Gravy Bowl recreation.  For the final 4 years they’ve watched as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson win and advance from the District’s junior circuit to the Stars division – residence of the heavyweights of town league.

The celebrities and stripes divisions within the DCIAA are tiered to create a aggressive steadiness.  After the Gravy Bowl, the champions instantly transfer as much as the Stars division and out of relegation as they do in European soccer. The celebrities are historically essentially the most profitable applications whose groups not often drop under .500 with dropping information so they continue to be within the harder division.

The stripes are a division filled with groups looking for respect.  Most aren’t a risk to the District’s contenders, but they play a full schedule in opposition to in-town rivals whereas creating new rivalries contained in the D.C. boundaries.

But regardless of being referred to as a “perennial powerhouse” by some publications they continue to be relegated to the junior circuit as a result of they’ll’t get past the Gravy Bowl which is the stripes division championship. The Griffins have mastered the artwork of the crushing defeat which has led to a resilient group that will have sufficient to lastly break via this yr.

They’ve distinctive group pace on either side of the ball and could be explosive offensively and defensively.  When Bell met Ron Brown two weeks in the past it was clear they had been on one other stage.  Senior operating again Rashaad Harris set the tone with a 59 yard landing run which was one in all his three scores in monsoon situations.  It was the second time this season that Harris scored three touchdowns whereas the protection was pitching one other shutout.

This yr the Griffins look like geared up with a group that’s constructed for the playoffs.  Through the common season they displayed a championship caliber protection which was suffocating at occasions.  Bell’s defensive unit personifies the frustration of the veteran gamers and coaches who nonetheless put on the agony of final yr’s loss to McKinley like an emotional chip that drives them after the heartbreak.

Some coaches across the District have labelled them the Buffalo Payments of D.C. highschool soccer.  There’s a wholesome respect for what they’ve completed however no person is intimidated by the considered enjoying them both. Bell has impressed a number of the DCIAA’s finest applications.  Nonetheless, regardless of dominating their division, they don’t strike worry round D.C.

Friendship Collegiate stays the usual by which all applications are judged- what the celebrities division makes use of to judge themselves.  No one is able to put Bell into Friendship’s league however their dominance throughout this yr’s common season bears watching as the only elimination match begins.

Bell would love a shot a competing with the DCIAA’s heavyweights for a whole season and with two extra wins this yr it could come true in 2019.  They really feel they’ll play with the District’s finest however now should show they’ll win twice within the playoffs to earn that shot.



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