WINNBORO — Fairfield Central High School’s media room was the site of the 2014 National Signing Day for three student-athletes, their families and Fairfield Central coaches and administrators.
Football players DeAndre Belton (Charleston Southern), Kewaun Squirewell (Charleston Southern) and Larry J. Bell (Coffeyville Community College) all signed their national letter of intent to play football at the next level.
Fairfield Central head coach Demetrius Davis noted that National Signing Day (Feb. 5) is just the first day student-athletes can sign to go to college, but reminded those in attendance that players actually have until April 1 to declare where they want to go to college.
“We will have some more young men to go play collegiate ball after this,” Davis added. “But for these guys (Belton, Squirewell and Bell), this is a milestone and an exciting day not only for these young men but for these family members that are here as well.”
Davis pointed out coach Greg Wright as the coach who really brought the whole recruiting process together for the three seniors.
“Coach Wright is actually the guy that should be up here talking and I should back there standing,” Davis said comically. “He is the guy that sends out all the video and transcripts and is in charge of our recruiting.”
Athletic Director Terrell Roach said that he would always remember the 2014 class, because it is his first class as athletic director. As a graduate of Fairfield Centtral, Roach (S.C. State) reminisced his signing day alongside Davis (Fayetteville State).
“One thing I want kids to understand is that, in order to get to this level its all fundamental,” Roach stated. “All you have to do is put the student before the athlete and I promise you everything else will take care of itself. The stats on the field won’t mean anything without the stats inside the classroom. To be successfull all you have to do is to stay humble and stay hungry.”
Fairfield Central principal Tracie Swilley echoed the notion of the 2014 being her first class as well and wants colleges to see how successful students are that come out of Fairfield Central, so that those colleges will give other students an opportunity as well.
“One of the first things that I noticed when I met these players in practice was what a group of respectful young men they are,” Swilley said. “I attribute that to their families and I ask that they remember what they’ve been taught and represent Fairfield Central wherever they go.”
Swilley encouraged Belton, Squirewell and Bell to make the most out of their opportunity to perform at the next level.
“Use your athletic talent to get your academics,” she stated. “This is an opportunity to earn a college education and that can never be taken away from you. I’m excited for you all and I wish you nothing but the best.”
Belton completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,764 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also ran for 748 yards and eight touchdowns.
“I’d like to thank all my coaches for always reminding me to take care of the little things first,” Belton said. “I also want to thank my dad and mom because they always motivate me and everybody else who supported us.”
Squirewell finished the season with 30n receptions for 559 yards. Both were team highs. He also caught four touchdown passes.
“I’d like to thank my family, starting off with my dad,” he said. “He didn’t miss a game this season and motivated me to succeed. I’d also like to thank coach Davis for always believing in me. I’d like to thank coach Sharpe who always had my back since day one. I’d like to thank coach Wright who always pushed me even when I thought I couldn’t do something, he’d tell me I could.”
Larry J. Bell
Bell led the team in tackles, with 91. He also had three sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Davis said that Bell is a player who is all about action. Bell, a man of few words kept it short and simple.
“I just want to thank God, my family and my coaches,” he said.
Davis had one final message for his players.
“You’ve been working for a long time, so this is like your pay day,” he stated. “But don’t have this be your last pay day. Make this a day that is only the beginning, go out and make Fairfield County proud.”