There is a bet at the Bell house.
While nothing other than pride and bragging rights is at stake, it's still a lofty bet for the Little Falls soccer family.
It goes like this.
"The bet is whether or not I can break my brother Eric's record for most goals in a single season, which is 19," said Grant Bell.
The sophomore has 14 goals this season after knocking in five last week and one Tuesday.
Bell opened the week with a first-half goal on a penalty kick in a 2-1 Central Lakes Conference loss to Alexandria Sept. 21. The loss dropped Little Falls to 0-6 in the conference, 1-9 overall.
Since then, however, the Flyers have been roaring.
Little Falls defeated Sauk Rapids 2-1 Sept. 22. In that game, Bell recorded an assist and a goal. On Sept. 24, Bell netted two second-half goals, helping the Flyers to a 3-0 win over St. Cloud Apollo. Two days later Bell registered a goal and assist in the Flyers' 5-1 blowout of East Grand Forks. That win, along with another against Sartell Monday, has the Flyers sitting at 3-6 in the conference, 5-9 overall.
"I think we've come together more as a team and are playing more as a team than individuals," said Bell. "That's really helped us in every aspect of the game. We're getting everything together. We have other people scoring, which is a bonus."
Bell has five assists this season moving his point total to 19.
Eric Bell finished his career with 82 points. In three varsity seasons Grant Bell has 51 points. Eric Bell finished with 53 career goals and Grant has 34 goals so far.
"He sees the field well, anticipates, he's got great ball skills and he's very quick," said Flyers head coach and Grant's mother, Julie Bell. "He runs track and he's pretty quick. So with his speed and ballhandling skills, and the ability to see the field, he's a very good player."
Grant's oldest brother, Christopher, only played one year of Flyers soccer in the program's first year. A younger brother Thomas is in seventh grade. Four boys' playing soccer in the backyard made for ultra-competitive family fun time.
"We play in our space that we have," said Julie Bell. "We have an old little goal and a kettle tank that we push over on its side - those are our goals. Then we have a playground for obstacles and it's always competitive."
When Bell isn't playing for the Flyers, or against his brothers, he's a member of the St. Croix Red Devils, a junior team that is ranked 16th in the nation. He also plays on Minnesota's Olympic Development Team, which won its regional tournament in Illinois to advance to the national tournament next March in Texas.
His vast exposure to soccer has given him a pool of insight into how the game should be played.
"That's one thing you can't teach," said Julie Bell. "You can teach skills and set plays, but a kid has to grow into the understanding of soccer. The same goes for other sports. When you understand the game you know where people are going to be and you can anticipate their moves. It helps defensively and offensively. Plus, he has the skills to complement that."
Other notable performances:
Cross country: Silas Lydeen, Pequot Lakes won the Pillager Invite in 18:12.
Football: Amos Schmidt, Verndale, rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown against Bertha-Hewitt.
Colby Schmidt, Verndale, rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns against Bertha-Hewitt.
Jordan Hunstad, Pillager, rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown and threw for 38 yards and a score against Parkers Prairie.
John Omann, Pierz, rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns against Rockford.
Zach Horejsi, Little Falls, rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns against Willmar.
Alex Scott, Little Falls, threw for 123 yards and rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown against Willmar.
Matthew Hudrlik, Crosby-Ironton, rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown against Hinckley-Finlayson.
Matt Michaelson, Pequot Lakes, rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns and caught a TD pass against Crookston.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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