The Fairview football program has produced teams that have put together undefeated campaigns in three of the past six regular seasons.
On Thursday, alumni from all three of those squads got together for a reunion 7-on-7 battle at Fairview, with the college-and-pro-level graduates taking on current Knights players in a spirited scrimmage.
Tops among those alums was Kenny Bell, who was selected in the fifth round of this spring’s NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following a stellar collegiate career at Nebraska.
While Bell was the only representative from the 2009 Fairview squad that had its undefeated run end in the state semifinals against Pomona, he was far from the only distinguished Fairview football graduate on display Thursday. Among the other Knights were 2013 all-state quarterback Anders Hill, who will vie for the starting job at Columbia this fall, and receiver Sam Martin, who caught 22 passes for 321 yards and five touchdowns last fall as a freshman at Miami (Ohio).
“I just got a call last night saying Kenny Bell was going to be in town,” Fairview coach Tom McCartney said. “I said, ‘That’s great. Come on out because we’re working out on Thursday.'”
In addition to seeing first hand an athlete who may be playing on Sundays this fall — Bell signed a four-year contract with Tampa shortly after getting drafted — McCartney always relishes the opportunities when his more decorated alums make time to impart their wisdom upon the current crop of Knights. Bell in particular had some words of advice for senior Carlo Kemp, who is sorting through a wealth of Division I scholarship offers.
“What was cool is that after practice, all those guys spoke to the players,” McCartney said. “Kenny, for instance, is rooming with Jameis Winston, so he got a lot of questions about that.
“They all tell our guys that when they don the jersey of the Knights every Friday, they’re out there checking the scores. Obviously as a coach it’s such a positive thing to see guys like that who still care about their schools.”
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