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Bell signs letter with Wolves in Monmouth

Oak Harbor’s senior wide receiver Michael Bell has signed a letter of intent to play football for Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore., next fall.

During the 2007 WesCo North season, Bell caught 41 passes for 551 yards, and was rated a so-called “white chip” player by the Seattle Times.

Bell averaged 13.4 yards per catch and 68.9 yards per game during his senior year, and caught at least one touchdown pass for the Wildcats in every regular season game.

He had also scheduled a visit to a college in San Diego, but said was so impressed with the Monmouth campus and the courtesy he received from the Wolves’ coaching staff, he canceled his California trip and signed a letter of intent on Jan. 21.

“I went down there for a visit last Saturday and I really liked the school, and signed the letter on Monday,” he said.

Western Oregon plays in the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference against teams from Central Washington and Western Washington, Dixie State in St. George, Utah, and Humboldt State from Arcata, Calif.

The Wolves have an unusual schedule and play all teams in the GNAC twice in a home-and-home format.

Western also will play non-league games this season against Southern Oregon and Linfield, and open the season against Portland State at PGE Park.

Because of the limited number of teams in the GNAC, the league winner doesn’t automatically receive a bid to play in the Division II playoffs. If the league champion doesn’t get an invitation, they play in the Dixie Rotary Bowl in St. George, Utah.

Led by senior quarterback Mike Thorson, who was a finalist for the Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year award, the Wolves were league champions last season and defeated Colorado School of Mines 26-12 in the Dixie Rotary Bowl to finish with a 9-2 record.

Bell should be a great asset as a freshman to the football program in Monmouth.

Recent WOU graduate Kevin Boss will be playing for the New York Giants in Sunday’s Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.

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