Cadet Returns Home for Hoco Football Game


Ms. Klock

Elijah Klock and former Campo student Matai Bell pose together during the Homecoming game.

Campolindo varsity football lost against Benicia High School with a score of 0-35 on October 8. While the loss was devastating for Campo’s homecoming game, 1 positive aspect of the game was the visit of Campo Alum Matai Bell, who was a previous varsity football tackle and current U.S. Army cadet attending West Point.

Bell said, “I’ve been missing this field ever since I left it, so just as soon as they gave me the chance to leave, that was the 1st thing I wanted to do: just come back here. I knew it was a home game. I just knew I had to come back here. Regardless of the score, I just wanted to see the people I played with ball out.”

Bell described his transition to military life, “So, [at] Campo, we always have this SEAL Fit training every summer and it’s basically like that every day going into the army. I knew it was gonna be hard but my expectations for it definitely were exceeded. I didn’t know it was gonna be this hard. Leaving this field, I never thought I’d miss it so much until I actually was in the area so coming back here was definitely a blessing for me.”

Former teammate Defensive Tackle Elijah Klock was surprised by Bell’s return. “He’s my best friend [and] I miss being beside him. We became so close and it meant the world seeing him. I didn’t know he was coming, so I saw him and I’m like ‘It’s Matai!’,” said Klock.

Bell said, “Seeing [teammates’] smiles on their faces was all I wanted to see, regardless of [the game] score, I just wanted to see them 1 more time.”

When asked if Bell wished he could’ve played in the game, he responded, “You have no idea. You have no idea. If I could put my pads on for this game, I promise you it would have been different.”