The Endicott football team officially announced the newest member of its program on Monday as 11-year-old Erik Bell of Lynnfield, Mass. joined the Gulls as part of his Team IMPACT Draft Day. Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges Together) is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.
Erik's draft day consisted of signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI) during a press conference with local media, a photoshoot with Endicott's captains and a team practice at Hempstead Stadium.
"We are excited to officially welcome Erik and his family with open arms into our football family," said Endicott football head coach Paul McGonagle. "After having Erik attend a practice earlier this spring, we knew Erik would be the perfect addition to our family here at Endicott because Erik embodies all the characteristics we want our student-athletes to embrace. Lastly, I expect this relationship with Erik and Team IMPACT to blossom into lifelong friendships for everyone involved."
By signing his Letter of Intent, Erik agreed to the following as a member of the Endicott football program: As an integral member of the program, Erik is expected to carry himself with pride, honor, respect, sportsmanship, and integrity while wearing the Blue and Green. Erik should always remember to perform to the best of his ability in life, in the classroom, and in the community. Lastly, as a Gulls' athlete, Erik is responsible for participating in team activities, cheering for his fellow Gulls, and most importantly, have fun as a member of the football program.
Erik lives in Lynnfield, Mass. with his parents and 12-year-old sister Emilie. Erik was diagnosed with Lymphoma in October of 2017 and has completed his seventh round of chemotherapy. Erik is a very active and fun guy who loves sports. Through all that he has seen in his young life, he continues to prove time and time again that every obstacle can be hurdled.
Through Team IMPACT, a child joins an athletic team and the student-athletes join the child's support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie, and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can't learn in a classroom.
As a team member, Erik will attend Gulls practices, games, team dinners, events, and more. He is excited to join the Gulls football family and can’t wait to join his teammates out on the field!
See the original story on ECGulls.com.