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Oklahoma football: Blake Bell still loved in hometown of Wichita

COMMENTARY — Bob Stoops won't say it for certain, but it looks like Bell is the front-runner to be OU's quarterback in 2013.
by Berry Tramel Modified: June 20, 2013 at 2:32 pm •  Published: June 19, 2013
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/articleid/3854396/1/pictures/2137492">Photo - Mark and Cherry Bell pose for a picture in front of the University of Oklahoma mascot Welsh ponies Boomer and Sooner during the Sooner Caravan stop at the Hyatt Wichita. The Bell's son is OU quarterback Blake Bell. Blake Bell was there with head coach Bob Stoops and a few other coaches. Bell is a Wichita native and Bishop Carroll graduate. (June 19, 2013) Photo by Jaime Green, The Wichita Eagle ORG XMIT: B73183861Z.1
Mark and Cherry Bell pose for a picture in front of the University of Oklahoma mascot Welsh ponies Boomer and Sooner during the Sooner Caravan stop at the Hyatt Wichita. The Bell's son is OU quarterback Blake Bell. Blake Bell was there with head coach Bob Stoops and a few other coaches. Bell is a Wichita native and Bishop Carroll graduate. (June 19, 2013) Photo by Jaime Green, The Wichita Eagle ORG XMIT: B73183861Z.1

“There's a good amount of excitement.”

Dermid didn't attend OU, but as a boy, his father worked for the railroad, and Dermid would take the train's football special to Norman on game days. Southern Kansas has a ton of OU football fans. Chamberlin said even some of his club's board members aren't alumni.

Charles McNeil of suburban Derby grew up in the Grant County town of Lamont, just west of Tonkawa, and attended Southwestern Oklahoma State. But he's a lifelong Sooner fan and is fired up that Wichita could provide OU with its next quarterback. Bell's father, Mark Bell, is a former Kansas City Chief and a fourth-generation Wichitian.

“His dad's pretty well-known,” McNeil said. “People follow his dad, like his dad. People wish him well.”

Don Klish of Derby shook hands with Bell and said, “I've got to be careful that I don't squeeze his hand too hard.”

Such a setting as the pep rally would seem like a good time to state the obvious and proclaim Bell the 2013 quarterback. But Stoops didn't bite.

“We've never been big on doing it early,” Stoops said. “We believe the team respects who earns it over time. There's more faith in him, a little more consistency. Develops all the guys, the longer the competition is.”

So Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson shouldn't lose faith. But Bell's performance in the spring, in seasons past and Stoops' Wednesday night endorsement of Bell's leadership are enough to convince me. Wichita is going to be very pleased with the 2013 Oklahoma quarterback.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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