The area scored well with the Chicago Bears this week.
Each week during the high school regular season, the NFL organization selects a state Coach of the Week and a state Player of the Week.
This week’s honorees are from Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Cerro Gordo/DeLand-Weldon/Bement.
The Bears picked PBL football coach Jeff Graham as Coach of the Week after he directed the Panthers to their first 4-0 start in more than a decade. Two years ago, he left a position as principal in the district for less money as an assistant principal, a move that enabled him to return to coaching at his alma mater.
Bement’s Steve Isbell is in his second season with the football cooperative based in Cerro Gordo. Last week as the unbeaten Broncos raced past an unbeaten opponent, Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman, Isbell amassed 407 all-purpose yards totaling rushing, receiving, interception and fumble returns. He scored at least one touchdown in each manner.
Graham and Isbell will be guests of the Bears for a Dec. 29 home game against Green Bay. They will be recognized in an on-field ceremony. The Bears will donate $1,500 to PBL’s football program and will make a $1,000 contribution to the youth program of Isbell’s choice.
This is the18th year the Bears have recognized coaches. In all, the Bears have donated more than $220,000 in support of various high school football programs.