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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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We know you miss them!

Alumni Ja’Marion Wayne, Tre Bell and Seth Young start the next chapter of their football careers
Before beginning their college football journey, alumni Ja’Marion Wayne and Tre Bell smile after one of their final rides together. The athletes kept in contact and encouraged and inspired each other along their new paths. “I miss everything about high school football. I wish I had another year to play with [alumni] Ja’marion Wayne, Seth Young, Tyree Simms and [senior] Phillip Jordan and [junior] Trent Livingston. I miss all of my guys and playing in front of a student section where you know every kid. It isn’t something you get in college,” Bell said.
Floyd Bell
Before beginning their college football journey, alumni Ja’Marion Wayne and Tre Bell smile after one of their final rides together. The athletes kept in contact and encouraged and inspired each other along their new paths. “I miss everything about high school football. I wish I had another year to play with [alumni] Ja’marion Wayne, Seth Young, Tyree Simms and [senior] Phillip Jordan and [junior] Trent Livingston. I miss all of my guys and playing in front of a student section where you know every kid. It isn’t something you get in college,” Bell said.

Blinding lights, packed stadiums and screaming students, alumni Ja’Marion Wayne, Tre Bell and Seth Young enter a new era of their lives. After retiring their red, white and Columbia blue West uniforms, the athletes went through pre-season training, increased practice difficulty and a new level of play — all while adapting to the college atmosphere. Former wide receiver and cornerback Bell began training as a redshirted cornerback for Lindenwood University on May 28. 

“At first, [training] was difficult [having to] adjust to the speed and physicality of the game at this level, but I’ve gotten used to it. It’s more of a mental game in college, so you need to know your technique and playbook to succeed,” Bell said. “[Weight training with my team] was the first time in my life that I have lifted, so it was hard adjusting my body to that, but once I adjusted to it, it felt natural… It’s all day, every day, and if you think you know it all: you don’t. You have to always be studying your playbook.”

Former running-back, wide-receiver, slot-receiver and safety Wayne believes the transition from high school to college athletics was simple. Wayne is a safety at the University of Missouri – Columbia and has used lessons he learned from Longhorn football to motivate him.

“The hardest part was fall camp and staying up [for] hours, but other than that, it was easy. [There was] a lot of running and remembering plays,” Wayne said. “It was rough because our season didn’t start too good, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. [Longhorn football] taught me that even though times get hard, it’s about how you bounce back.”

Tennessee State University safety Young had a similar start to his season and appreciates the enjoyment of playing the sport. 

Practicing with the Lindenwood Lions, freshman Tre Bell kneels on the turf as he receives instructions for a drill. Bell’s average day in the season consists of rising at 6 a.m. for lifts or meetings and staying at facilities until 8:30 p.m. to watch film. “I am proud of my development on and off the field. I honestly feel like a new person. I’m more mature, and I’ve seen my body and mental transformation so much just from summer workouts to now; college football builds men and prepares you for so much more in life. My knowledge of the game has also grown so much I think about everything on a different level than I ever have before,” Bell said. (Tyler Edwards)

“I had to be mentally prepared for it all. West taught me to always have fun while playing, so even though it was hard getting up extra early at 6 a.m. for workouts, it was fun being able to meet the upperclassmen and bond,” Young said. “We started 0-4, but [it was important to] have hope.” 

While the former Longhorns have experienced the physical transition to college ball, they agree team bonding has been a highlight of their seasons. 

“[It’s fun] being around the guys, especially in my position when we huddle to talk when someone messes up, [we discuss] important stuff, but still can [lighten the mood],” Bell said.  “On film, we’re serious, but we can also laugh and have fun.”

With a new team comes new responsibilities and opportunities. Bell was voted by all Lindenwood freshman football players to be a member of the Unity Council: a corporation that aims to promote social equity and improve quality of life by building vibrant communities. As a member, Bell will contribute to the goal of this program by enhancing his self-management and dedication to his team. 

“On top of [my commitment to my team,] I have to still get my school work done. I have to always be on top of my stuff because the coaches are relying on me to be a leader,” Bell said. “The coaches have said [to me that] out of all of the freshmen, I’ve developed the most since coming in this summer, so I just need to keep that up and not get a big head, and I’ll head in the same direction that the coaches see me going.”

During his senior season, alumni Seth Young poses with his teammates after winning the annual Mayor’s Cup game versus Parkway Central. His performance, leadership and optimism as a safety carried into his college athletics. “I feel alright with the season, [but] we could do much better. I’m most proud of making the team,” Young said. (CiJi Wayne)

The players believe their continued careers have allowed them to experience college and interpersonal relationships in unique ways.

“Everyone’s story is different, and everyone is interested in knowing where people come from and what similarities people have, [for example] a player on my team was coached by Coach [Mario] Patton in high school, just like me,” Bell said. 

After a season of adapting, connecting and prospering, Wayne looks forward to the off-season. 

“While I’m proud of making travel and keeping my head straight, I’m happy to take some time to get my body back, knowing I’m not playing another sport after this. I’m also pretty happy about weights on the off-season to get bigger and stronger for next year,” Wayne said.

Receiving an honor for his academics and athletics, Mizzou freshman Ja’Marion Wayne stands with head varsity football coach Jeff Duncan and Bell. As Missouri’s second 4-star commit in the 2022 class, Wayne has received numerous honors from his college, such as wearing jersey number 25, carrying on Aaron O’Neal’s legacy, and thanks his coaches for their support. “I am humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to stay close to home and play in the SEC. I thank my coaches for believing in me,” Wayne said. (Floyd Bell)

Young intends to use his aspired psychology degree to become an adolescent therapist, while Wayne’s goals are something that most football athletes aspire to complete. To make it into the NFL.

“I always tell myself that one man can make a difference. I think it reflects that if you have the determination and the commitment to something, you can make yourself better,” Wayne said.

Bell is majoring in sports management with a minor in finance and plans to be a Sports Agent if his intentions to play professionally change. Bell picked up alternative sports and veered his focus toward basketball near the end of sophomore year, and after a collarbone injury, rarely played football. 

“I ended up playing half a junior year and one full senior year, and now I’m at college playing. I’ve learned that life isn’t always gonna go as you plan for it to go sometimes, it’s just best to see where it takes you.”

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Makinsey Drake, Staff Writer
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 12 Years on staff: 4 What was your favorite childhood TV show? Jessie What is your favorite book? Where the Crawdads Sing What motivates you? My passion, purpose and pride
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  • M

    Ms. PerezNov 23, 2022 at 5:29 am

    Great article! Miss these ‘22 grads but so proud to see them all excelling! #foreveralonghorn

    Reply
  • D

    Dr. PiffelNov 22, 2022 at 10:20 am

    I know I miss them! Thanks for writing this article on three of the best from 2022! Dr. Piffel

    Reply
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