Soccer Team Preview
By: Jeff Huss, Intern
3/11/13 - The 2013 soccer season at Penn State Wilkes-Barre will be very exciting. Several upperclassmen will be returning to the team, which will be led by a new head coach. Head Coach James Bell will be focusing on teamwork rather than individual success. Bell said, “My strategy is and has always been to have my team play as a team because one person can’t take on the eleven others.” The team will also be more challenged this season by being required to come to practice and given a difficult preseason workout schedule in order to be ready for the regular season. It will be important for the upperclassmen to use their leadership roles in order to show recruits good work ethics.
This season, winning will be the main goal but the idea is to have fun as well. Bell wants to also teach students lessons that can be used in real-world situations. James Bell said, “At this age, like so many of us know, we are caught between being a kid and being an adult. I’m going to do my best to bridge the gap between the two.” Bell wants to learn from his players as well as have them learn from him. This spring the team will be having a mini preseason in order to get used to the new coaching style. After this school semester the team will be given summer strength and conditioning schedules.
Despite the inconsistencies last season, the team performed well most games, only losing by a goal or two. Bell is very confident that the team will be extremely competitive within the conference this season. Coach Bell believes the team may even be in the running with Penn College for the conference title. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work from the players as well as from me to get to that point but I do believe that it is possible,” said Bell. There is no doubt that this upcoming season is something to be very optimistic about. The soccer program at Penn State Wilkes-Barre is moving in the right direction.
Penn State Wilkes-Barre Names James Bell Head Soccer Coach
1/23/13 – Penn State Wilkes-Barre Director of Athletics Brian D. Stanchak named James Bell as the Mountain Lions new Head Soccer Coach. Bell, 25, a former soccer student-athlete at both Penn State Worthington Scranton and Keystone College, brings a wealth of knowledge and playing experience to the Penn State Wilkes-Barre soccer team. Bell served as an Assistant Coach for the University of Scranton men’s soccer team last year and has had several years of coaching at both the intramural and club team levels. His club team, Black Thunder, was one of the top club teams participating in numerous indoor and outdoor leagues in the area, along with various state cups and college show case tournaments.
“I am very excited to announce James Bell as our new Head Soccer Coach here at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. James brings a tremendous amount of energy and knowledge to this position, and I am confident that he will lead our soccer program to a high level of success. Having played in the PSUAC, James understands the culture of this conference and can assist our student-athletes in achieving their goals athletically and academically. In addition, James knows Northeastern Pennsylvania, which will help with recruiting this area to keep local talent at home.”
Bell had a very extensive playing career which began at the intramural level and grew all the way up to the professional level. He played for high-level club teams in three different states as a youth development player, working his way up through the ranks. His most recent accomplishment was participating in the National Premier Soccer League as a member of the Pocono Snow Soccer Club team, based out of Stroudsburg, PA, for the last three years. His professional playing experience ranges from participating in the Toronto FC open tryouts, in the MLS, to training with the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL in 2007, and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds also of the USL in 2011.
Graduating from Pittston Area High School, Bell was a four-year letter winner and was named to the First Team, Second Team, and Honorable Mention lists. James was also a member of the 2006-2008 PSU Worthington Scranton soccer team, as well as the 2009-2011 men’s soccer team at Keystone College. At Worthington Scranton, he was the leading scorer his freshman year, with a total of 16 goals on the season, and was the leading point holder during his sophomore year with 13 goals and 15 assists playing the center midfield position. On the field he started every game, played nearly every minute, and helped lead his team to two consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since 2005. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Sport and Recreation Management focusing on Business and Marketing from Keystone College in 2012.
- Intercollegiate Sports