Waterford football standout commits to Marietta College

Courtesy photo Waterford senior Braden Bellville, second from the left, has committed to continuing his academic and athletic careers at Marietta College.

WATERFORD — Like most school days, Braden Bellville has to rise and shine pretty early.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday morning in the Harry Cooper Annex gym at the Waterford Elementary School, the Waterford High senior student/athlete couldn’t have started off the day any better.

There, Bellville announced his intentions in a commitment ceremony to continue his education and play football at Marietta College this upcoming fall.

Marietta is an NCAA Division III school and a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference. Last season, the Andy Waddle-coached Pioneer football squad posted a 7-3 overall record. The year before, they were 6-4.

MC will be getting a good one in Bellville, a standout on both sides of the ball at Waterford.

A hard-hitting linebacker and swift, elusive running back, Bellville was instrumental in helping lead the Eric McCutcheon-coached Wildcats to three consecutive Ohio Division VII, Region 27 playoff appearances. Last fall, the Cats finished 9-3; in 2017, 9-2; and in 2016, 11-2 (school best).

Waterford went 5-5 in his freshman year.

Before Bellville’s sophomore season, the WHS football program had competed in the postseason one other time in 2002.

A D7 All-Ohio honoree three straight years, Bellville is Waterford’s career rushing leader, surpassing Dan Doebereiner’s standard in the regular-season finale against Belpre High last season. He finished the campaign with 1,312 yards and 19 total touchdowns, and was named a second-team all-stater.

Bellville was a first-team all-stater and the D7 District Player of the Year on Offense in his junior season when he set the school’s single-season rushing mark with 1,853 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also caught four TD passes.

In Bellville’s sophomore season, he was a special mention All-Ohio honoree with 712 rushing yards on 73 carries and 13 touchdowns. He also had 250 yards and four 6-pointers.

Also a baseball player, Bellville is a hard-throwing right-hander and power-hitting third baseman for the Doug Huffman-coached Wildcats.

Last spring, Bellville batted .439 with 29 RBIs, six doubles, three triples and 22 steals. He also fanned 30 batters in 30 2-3 innings pitched with a 2.51 ERA.

Bellville also owns a 3.7 GPA in the classroom at Waterford.

Bellville is the son of Matt Bellville and Shonda Reed. He has two sisters — Olivia Patterson and Eva Reed.