Postseason in the high school sports world is usually a time that creates memories, but you don’t often hear of too many that involve marriage proposals.
Colin Bell will always remember his first victory in sectionals as Silver Creek boys’ soccer coach, an 8-0 result against Rock Creek Academy, for more than one reason.
It also was the night he proposed to his sweetheart, Morgan Young, during the halftime break at the Providence-hosted event.
With his side up 4-0, Bell made his way over to the bleachers with his players, each one carrying a rose.
There sat Pioneer graduate Young, who had been asked to bring a “forgotten” polo top of Bell’s to the game.
“The first guy put the vase down in front of her and the rest set their roses in the vase,” recalled Bell. “I can remember seeing her in complete shock, and all the parents pulling out their phones and cameras. I had this whole thing prepared, comparing soccer to love, but I froze up. All I said was, ‘I love you with all my heart. Will you marry me?’”
Luckily, Young responded in the affirmative, to the roaring approval of the crowd.
“Colin completely caught me off-guard,” said Young, a labor and delivery nurse at University of Louisville Hospital. “I thought the roses were for all the guys’ parents.”
Sounds like a snap, but a lot of organizing and reorganizing went into the eventual proposal.
“Honestly, I had this whole other plan to ask her,” revealed Bell. “However, I knew I wanted to ask her very shortly and sectionals just happened to be around the time.”
Bell said he had originally planned to ask for Young’s hand in marriage later in the week.
“I thought sectionals were on that Tuesday and Thursday, so I was planning on during the Providence game so I could embarrass her, if we made it that far,” he explained. “Once I realized that the sectional games were Monday and Wednesday, it had to change because she worked that Wednesday. So that left Monday.”
To make sure Young actually made it to the game, Bell left his Silver Creek polo top at his house and asked her if she could bring it to the game as he had to ride the bus.
With her arrival practically assured, the next step was to include the Silver Creek players.
“While brainstorming with my mom (Carol) three hours before, it came to me to have the kids each bring her a rose and have me at the back,” said Bell.
In what could be described as a novel method of motivation, he told his team he did not want to be proposing if they were behind, so they duly did their part by putting four goals in the back of the net.
Colin and Morgan met while in high school in January 2006 at a house gathering with friends, and started dating in November during their senior years.
“Someone came up with the bright idea of jumping into the lake,” said Bell. “Everyone did except her and I.”
After four years, they’re now ready to take the plunge and have set a date — August 18 of next year — just ahead of high school soccer season.
It’s a season Bell, a graduate of New Albany and Franklin College, is very much looking forward to.
He describes his first year at the helm of the fledgling Dragons program — one that kicked off in 2007 — as a “great success.”
Because of his hectic work schedule, he brought in Eric Stackhouse, a former teammate at Southern Indiana United but a rival when he played at Providence, to help him co-coach the team. It’s a combination that seems to be working well.
“We finished 8-11 with one win in sectionals and scored in the first minute of the game against Providence,” he said. “My preseason expectations were not extremely high because this was my first time coaching. A lot of games were very competitive and many came down to one critical play. We also had a lot of kids who were inexperienced with many playing soccer for the first time.”
Bell added that he can see the team improving greatly next year with everyone gaining experience and team chemistry growing, while also benefiting from the return of eight starters.
“We bring back some strong core players which I am excited for,” he said.