New coach, same winning attitude for defending Division II champion Woodbridge

Wide receiver Trey Haynes will be one of the key players in Woodbridge’s offense. Delaware State News file photo

BRIDGEVILLE — Jed Bell isn’t here to reinvent the wheel.

The new Woodbridge High football coach just wants to keep the Blue Raiders on the same path.

Bell was promoted from one of Woodbridge’s top assistants to head coach this offseason when Ed Manlove retired. Bell will officially make his coaching debut Friday, Sept. 6 as the Blue Raiders host Caravel Academy (7:30 p.m.).

Woodbridge, the defending Division II state champion, has won two state titles in the last three seasons.

“We’re just going to continue to do things the way they’ve been done,” Bell said. “Ed obviously was a great mentor for not just myself but for all coaches on the staff and the kids. It’s not broken, so we’re not going to try to fix anything.”

Jed Bell

The Blue Raiders lost most of their skill players from last year’s championship squad due to graduation. They graduated 17 players and six of them earned All-State honors in 2018.

They return the most experience on both the offensive and defensive lines, led by linemen senior V.J. Singh, senior TaeShaun Ford-Jackson, junior Josh Benedict, junior Derek Cannon, junior Aiden Timmons, junior Isaiah Ross and junior Dylan Yocum.

“You try to build from the inside out and we’ve got a lot of veteran leadership up front,” Bell said. “We’re losing a lot of our skill guys so we’ll be young at those spots. We got a couple of veteran guys sprinkled in there out wide and in the backfield. It’s nice to know we’ve got an anchor up front and we can build around that to get better every single day.”

Senior running back Jayquon Massey and senior wide receiver Trey Haynes are the two players who saw the most action at the skill positions a year ago.

Woodbridge will have a new quarterback in senior Dalton Perdue, who transferred from Laurel High.

Other newcomers who will be a part of the lineup include juniors Edward Massey, Michael Plummer and Tyrez Cannon. Sophomores Jaden Bacon, Colin Hastings, Kenny Newton, Jordan Evans, Wyatt Wright, Noah Matthews, Rasheed Stones and Or’mon Sanders also could be in line for increased roles.

With the success of the program in recent years, Bell thinks the new players will want to live up to those expectations.

“They’ve been waiting,” Bell said of his newcomers. “They’ve been stuck behind guys that were really, really good. This is what they’ve looked forward to and they’re going to take advantage of the opportunity.”

“It’s nice because you create a tradition and you create expectations,” Bell added. “These guys know what the expectations are. I think at times it creates some pressure, especially for younger guys to keep this thing rolling but that’s why we do what we do every single day.”

The 30-year-old Bell was Woodbridge’s defensive coordinator for the last three seasons. The 2007 Milford High grad has been an assistant coach for the last eight years — seven of which were at Woodbridge.

He said he always knew he was going to get into coaching as soon as he had the chance.

“When I was coming up my coaches were my father figures,” Bell said. “This was something I’ve always wanted to get into to repay what they did for me, I want to do that for our kids.”

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