PD Preps Insider: NFL players to visit Windsor Middle School


The football playing Bell brothers will be back at Windsor Middle School with encouraging words for students Thursday.

Both Kahlil Bell, an NFL veteran, and Darius Bell, out of UCLA, graduated from Windsor Middle School and went on to stand out in high school and college.

The brothers will meet with students throughout the morning, discussing how youths can make the most of their ambitions.

Kahlil Bell was an All-Empire running back at Montgomery High before finishing at Marin Catholic. He played at UCLA and just completed a sixth season in the NFL, with the Green Bay Packers.

Darius Bell prepped at Riordan High School in San Francisco and played at City College of San Francisco one season. He was a receiver at UCLA for three seasons, through the 2013 campaign.

Glorious weekend

Last weekend was one Analy’s Ja’Narrick James will never forget. On Saturday night, he was the defensive star as the Tigers basketball team clinched the Sonoma County League title and then on Sunday, he learned The Press Democrat had selected him for the large school football All-Empire first team offensive unit.

Playing running back, the junior rushed for 1,176 yards and 25 touchdowns. He was playing his fifth basketball game of the season Saturday,averaging 1.5 points per game. Coach Brett Page has three other football players on his roster: T.J. Acheson, Kerr Johnson Jr. and Sky Van Weele.

Planting the seeds

The North Coast Section basketball playoffs are still a couple of weeks away — the seeding meeting is Feb. 23 — but it’s high time to start looking at the projections. Here are the local teams currently ranked highest by MaxPreps, which is an admittedly imperfect guide.

Teams ranked No. 1:

Santa Rosa girls (Div. 1)

Montgomery boys (Div. 2)

Teams ranked No. 2:

Windsor girls (Div. 2)

Rincon Valley Christian boys (Div. 6)

Teams ranked No. 4:

Archbishop Hanna boys (Div. 6)

Teams ranked No. 5:

Maria Carrillo boys (Div. 2)

Summerfield Waldorf girls (Div. 6)

Teams ranked No. 6:

Cardinal Newman girls (Div. 4)

St. Vincent girls (Div. 5)

Tomales boys (Div. 6)

Round Valley girls (Div. 6)

Bonfigli: Beware trap

Cardinal Newman boys basketball coach Tom Bonfigli felt his team played one of its best games of the season in a 64-60 loss to powerhouse Montgomery on Monday — which makes him a little worried about tonight’s game against Windsor.

“After a big game like this, we cannot come out flat on Wednesday,” Bonfigli said after the Monty game. “We need to come out and play at the level we’ve been playing.”

The Cardinals are ending the season with a flurry of activity. Because of a quirk in the North Bay League schedule, they have three games slated for this week (the third being at Santa Rosa on Friday). And Monday, when the NBL regular season is supposed to be done, Newman will be hosting Ukiah in a makeup game.

Phil Barber, Michael Coit, Ted Sillanpaa and Howard Senzell contributed to this report.

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