Mother’s Day with all the bells and whistles

Spotlight on Sherry Bell

Written by Julie Hying

May is filled with beautiful celebrations. Some of those flourish in the springtime sunshine on lush lawns where many gather to celebrate moments and milestones of the ones they love. Others may be small and intimate with focus on a special person who plays a supportive role in our lives — our mothers.

From childhood on, moms are the heartbeat of our lives. They are cheerleaders taking us to countless practices and games. They are chefs preparing our favorite meals. They read stories to inspire imagination and hold our hands through life’s many joyful as well as challenging moments. They encourage us to dream, to follow our passions and interests, to grow as unique and valuable individuals and to reach toward personal and professional goals. Mother’s Day may fall on one Sunday in the spring, but the women honored can be celebrated every day of the year.

One special mother from the Wichita area, Sherry Bell, is being celebrated by her two successful sons, Brock and Blake Bell. Both boys have been involved with sports most of their lives. Sherry shares experiences from their growing years: “Raising two boys in a sports family was always busy but so fun. We have great memories of the connections and friendships we made with other sports families. Although we traveled a lot, the time spent together was positive and always a good time.” This, along with owning and operating Bell Carpet and Floors, a fourth-generation family business, have kept Sherry and her husband Mark, busy and engaged in family life.

Sherry’s relationship with her children has always been a close one. They’ve relied on her support in so many ways and refer to her as their biggest cheerleader. Even as adults, she visits with them both at least once a day. At ages 31 and 29, that may not be typical, but it is a testament to how they value Sherry and to the relationships she has worked to build with each of them. When the boys were asked what they love about their mom, their answers were similar. They both spoke of her loving and caring personality and the way she has stood by them. They also shared that she is an amazing chef, and they absolutely love when she cooks for them. Mark also played an integral role in raising their sons and helped teach the boys accountability, structure and a dedicated and disciplined approach to their athletic pursuits.

Although the rewards in striving for lives largely centered on sports are many, the challenges are present as well. Injury, disappointment and heartache can be a very real part of that package. But the positivity of the Bell family is evident to all who know them. They are all so warm and personable, and their love and appreciation for one another is easily felt.

Their family history in sports may have inspired Blake and his brother to invest time and energy in football. Their uncle, Mike Bell, played as a Chiefs’ defensive end from 1979 to 1991. Their dad, Mark Bell, played in the NFL for six years, traveling from Seattle to Baltimore and then to Indianapolis. Sherry recalls Blake and Brock being welcomed onto NFL fields and into locker rooms in those impressionable and formative years.

Blake and Brock both attended Bishop Carroll High School and played football and basketball throughout high school. Brock played college football for Emporia State University, then graduated from The University of Oklahoma and has been in IT sales and consulting for the past eight and a half years. He and his wife, Lauren, moved back to Wichita a year ago and are now proud parents of Brooklyn Bell, a beautiful 7-month-old daughter.

Along with football, Blake excelled in baseball and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2010. Yet football was always his primary focus; he committed to playing for The University of Oklahoma where his position shifted between college years four and five from quarterback, the spot he had always known, to a new challenge as a tight end. He was an important part of the Sooners’ offense, known as the “Belldozer,” and Blake soon realized that this change gave him a better shot of playing football at a professional level.

Blake began his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers, moved on to Minnesota, then Jacksonville, before playing with the Kansas City Chiefs team to win Super Bowl LIV. The following year he spent in Dallas, Texas, with the Cowboys. At the end of the year as a free agent, the Chiefs organization reached out to Blake's agent to let him know that they wanted Blake back.

And now Blake, along with his new wife, Lyndsay, have returned “home” to Kansas City and the Chiefs kingdom. Previously, Lyndsay was part of the Chiefs Women’s Organization and looks forward to future involvement with them as they plan and host many charitable events. Blake says he is looking forward to working again with this organization and returning to his friends on the team. He shares that he loves “playing close to home. I value the friendships I’ve made, and it’s great to be back.”

The Chiefs have been a good fit for Blake in the past. His mom describes him as “humble, sweet, dedicated, and kind-hearted. He’s such a team player in every aspect of his life.” These incredible qualities have undoubtedly been nurtured by his own mother, Sherry.

These characteristics coalesce beautifully with many Chiefs’ players and the team they have worked so hard to become. When asked what he loves about the game, Blake imparted this. “Football is the ultimate team sport, eleven guys working together and giving everything they have, every play. That’s what makes it special.”

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