This was supposed to be the spring they took their backyard game to the Baldwin varsity field. This was supposed to be the first time the three Bell brothers would take all those lacrosse memories from Eastern Boulevard to the turf fields across Nassau County.
The Bell boys of Baldwin Harbor — Isaiah, Elijah and Aaron — are excited to play together this spring. But the opportunity may never come.
“It is our dream to play together,” said Isaiah Bell, a junior defender. “We can’t wait to play together for Coach [Tim] Clancy on the varsity. It’s so exciting just to have my brothers with me on the team. There’s nothing better than family.”
The spring high school season has been delayed during the coronavirus outbreak and many athletes are worried it could be canceled.
“It would be crushing if the season is canceled,” Isaiah said. “I’ve been taking the possibility of no season really hard because this is my season — the one to shine and get college opportunities.”
Bell, a 5-11, 165-pound lockdown defender, was looking at this season as a key for his college recruitment. It also is a chance to finally play with Elijah, a 5-10, 150-pound sophomore goalkeeper, and Aaron, a 5-9, 140-pound eighth-grade attackman.
The oldest of the four brothers — Malcolm Bell II, a sophomore defender at the University of Hartford who also played for Baldwin — is home training with his younger brothers.
Their parents — mother, Kimberly, a social worker, and father Malcolm, an NYPD detective for 27 years — said their children are very close and have remained upbeat through the uncertainity.
“We’re blessed in that our boys truly care for one another and were really looking forward to the spring and playing together,” Kimberly Bell said. “It’s been really hard, very challenging. It’s a totally different world right now. I went up to get my [eldest] son Malcolm from college in Hartford. It’s good we’re all under the same roof.
"This is important family time," she added, "and we encourage each other. I’m thankful my boys are generous to each other and share their knowledge and love. We are a family of faith and ultimately we trust in God.”
The Bell brothers hope to join talented juniors Nick Metzguer-Schiro and Juan Ventura and begin a rebirth of Baldwin lacrosse, which finished 2-12 last season.
“We’re rebuilding Baldwin lacrosse from the bottom up, starting with our youth program,” Clancy said. “We had a tough schedule for the talent level here last year. We learned, we grew as a team and we’re young. Our best is right in front of us. And now we wait.”
Clancy, a second-year coach, pointed to Metzguer-Schiro, a midfielder who was injured in mid-February during winter workouts, as a player who could have had a breakout season. Metzguer-Schiro tore his right anterior cruciate ligament and had surgery a month ago.
Despite the injury, Metzguer-Schiro is optimistic for a full recovery. His diversion from the COVID-19 outbreak is to concentrate on his rehabilitation.
“There are better days ahead for Nick Metzguer-Schiro and better days for everyone,” he said. “I have to stay positive in my situation. But everyone is in a difficult situation now with the coronavirus.”
Ventura, a righthanded shooter who is expected to lead the Bruins' offense, said everyone is adjusting to the situation, including taking classes from home.
"Online schooling is much harder than being in person and face-to-face with teachers," Ventura said. "There’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of discipline to do your schoolwork on your own, not be distracted, and keep on track."