Mount Si Wildcats defensive lineman RJ Bell anchors a stingy defense that has dominated throughout the 2018 football season.
The Wildcats, who have surrendered just 105 points in 10 games, currently have an overall record of 9-1. The Wildcats will host Mount Vernon in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 in Snoqualmie.
“It all starts up front,” Mount Si head football coach Charlie Kinnune said of the defense. “RJ does a lot of the unsung work that people really don’t see but when you have a trained eye like coaches and when you watch the film like we (coaching staff) do, we know just really how important he is to us,” Kinnune said. “It has been a delight to have RJ in our program for all four years. He is a four-year letterman and is one of only three four-year letterman in our program. Slater Macko and Reed Paradissis are the two others.”
Bell faces multiple double and triple teams from opposing team’s offenses but doesn’t let that frustrate him in the least bit.
“I know that I’m helping out our defense tremendously just by plugging up gaps. I want to do anything I can to help the defense stop the other team from scoring a touchdown,” Bell said.
Kinnune said Bell’s ability to occupy two or more blockers creates opportunities for the Wildcats linebacking corps.
“RJ is a dominating inside presence for us. He frees up our linebackers because he eats up two offensive linemen on every single play,” Kinnune said. “Our linebackers Cody (Frederick) and Murphy (McDowell) would tell you they get to run free because of RJ.”
Bell said his teammates recognize his ability to take the pressure off of them.
“They love it. It would be nice if I got more tackles but it’s all about them. They’re the teeth of our defense,” Bell said of Mount Si’s linebackers. “Our defense is definitely something special.”
Bell, who stands 6-feet, 2-inches tall and 285 pounds, is a huge fan of Kinnune’s coaching style. Kinnune has coached the Wildcats since the 1992 season.
“He is a really good role model. I’ve known him ever since I was 7 years old. He is a really special guy and is really someone I look up to,” Bell said.
Recently the Snoqualmie Valley Record asked Bell a few questions about his life away from the football field.
Snoqualmie Valley Record: What is your favorite restaurant in the Snoqualmie/North Bend area?
RJ Bell: It would have to be Ana’s Mexican Restaurant. I love Mexican food. I can eat that every day of my life.
SVR: What is your biggest pet peeve?
RB: My biggest peeve is when people don’t try. When people don’t put in the effort with things. You just need to give it your all. Even if you do fail.
SVR: Where do you see yourself in five years?
RB: I see myself playing college football or be in the NFL. If not, I will be working really hard and will probably go into the Army.
SVR: Who was your idol growing up?
RB: Michael Jordan. I like basketball. Basically, what he did and how he strived for greatness. He is the greatest of all time in basketball.
SVR: What is your dream vacation spot?
RB: Los Angeles, California. I like it down there. There is a lot of cool places to go.
SVR: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?
RB: I like shoes. I’m a very big sneaker head.