Lacrosse season is in full swing as the Junior B Red Deer Rampage have hit the ground running. One of the major weapons in the Rampages’ arsenal is 20-year-old and first year player Dustin Bell.
Actually referring to Bell as a Rampage rookie may be considered a misconception as he had been called up to play for them in the past. Bell is currently leading the team in points in his first ever year as a permanent member of the team, in his first five games he has managed to rack up a total of 17 points and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Since falling in love with the sport Bell has bounced back and forth between playing for a variety of teams but has never faced the level of competition as with playing for the Rampage. Bell said his lack of super competitive experience has proven to be a benefit because having played lower levels of lacrosse he brings a different level of respect for both the sport and his team.
“I haven’t really played for a competitive team like this so I think I just have a lot more respect for the team than a lot of players who have played for teams like this their whole life,” said Bell.
Alongside the respect that he brings to the team, Bell has also proven himself to a leader as well. Despite his naturally quiet personality Bell’s leadership ability has been proven to the Rampage coaching staff as has been awarded the team’s assistant captain role. Bell said with his current role on the team he is trying his best to be a leader and take more responsibility.
“My coach gave me assistant this year but I’m not really used to being more of a leader because I’m generally a pretty quiet guy, but I’m stepping up to the plate and am ready to be more in charge.”
Trey Christensen is the Rampage’s head coach said that Bell’s calm and laid-back personality is what makes him a perfect leader for the team. He clarified by saying that Bell’s ability to approach teammates and give recommendations and assurance is extremely instrumental towards the team’s development.
“Although he doesn’t talk much in groups he talks well one on one so he’s pulling people aside all the time and sharing thoughts and people listen so it always pays off,” said Christensen.
Bell said the ability to have close relationships with the players on team is easier then expected because of their demanding schedule. He explained that by spending so much time with his teammates for lacrosse, the team usually ends up hanging out outside of the arena setting as well.
“We are with each other five to six days a week for lacrosse so even when we’re not at lacrosse we can usually just hang out, go paintballing together, drink together, and basically do everything together.”
Adding onto the close relationships and respect that Bell has for his teammates, Christensen explained another reason Bell is crucial towards the Rampage’s success is through his innate ability to make the best out of even the worst situations.
“He doesn’t play afraid and I think that’s a big, big thing, he tries his best to always stay within our system. He’s still learning but by staying in the system and doing what he needs to do when everything breaks down he has no fear whatsoever to take the ball himself and make things happen.”
Bell’s ability to think on his feet has proven to be successful for the Rampage as the they won three games, tied one against the Edmonton Warriors, and just came up short against the Calgary Shamrocks with a hard fought 9-7 loss in their first five games of the season.