Bell's steady showing in '15 bodes well for rising Jamestown senior golfer next season

Contact Reporterkholtzman@vagazette.com

Some prospective college athletes can be coy about their next-level intentions.

Not rising Jamestown senior William Bell, the 2016 Virginia Gazette golfer of the Year.

He wants to play for what he called the "greatest golf school of all-time," Oklahoma State, and is not shy about it.

"… A long shot to say the least," Bell admitted. "Everyone who knows me would say I'm a walking advertisement for OSU on and off the course. Go Pokes."

Whether or not it's in the Big 12 will soon be sorted out, but Bell is likely to be playing somewhere next year after a solid junior season last fall in which he had a shooting average of 78.48, third-best in the Bay Rivers District behind a pair of New Kent golfers.

After finishing third in the Conference 18 tournament behind Lafayette's Tawni Hatcher and Jacob Smethurst, respectively, he had a good remainder of the postseason for C-18-champion Jamestown.

Bell shot a 78 in the 4A East Regional on the Tom Cat Course at Naval Air Station Oceana before carding a 75 and 85 at states in Abingdon.

"He had a very steady season," Jamestown coach Doug Meredith said. "I think he wanted more out of it. His scoring average during the regular season was about 78. And that was a steady 78… From a coaching standpoint, I'll take steady any day."

Bell, who describes his game as "long," took a week-long trip to a top course in Ireland this month with an opportunity to be mentored by Ivy League coaches.

When he returns to high school play in the fall, Bell said he expects to score under par with a season putting average under 2 while leading the Eagles to what would be his third team state title with Jamestown.

"This offseason, I concentrated on making more greens in regulation," Bell said. "I take the most pride in keeping a great attitude on the course. I'm mindful I'm representing myself, family and Jamestown High."

Bell said former Jamestown golfer Trevor Times, who died tragically in 2012, taught him that "not only in golf, but in life. 'Your greatest rounds can start with a double bogey.'"

Meredith said Bell's play toward the end of the fall gives him reason to expect an improved 2016 campaign.

"I think that's really what's most impressive," Meredith said, "and what will lay the groundwork for a great senior year."

Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.

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