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Ricky Bell worked for free Saturday. ‘ Susie Morris, meanwhile, welcomed the chilled morning in front of warm living room fireplace before she started to wrap Christmas presents. Big Bend Preps is losing two trusted, familiar faces to retirement. “I have been blessed to have the chance to work with and connect with so many good people over 43 years,” Bell said. “I worked in three different counties – Leon, Wakulla and Gadsden – and have so many friends in all of those places.” The veteran Leon County athletics administrator is officially retired. His last paid day in the office – make that at Doak Campbell Stadium – was Friday at the FHSAA football championships. Bell’s prep alma mater – Rickards High – made its first appearance in the state championships Friday night, losing to nationally-ranked Plantation American Heritage 24-6 in Class 5A. In a neat gesture, Bell – himself a former head football coach at Rickards – invited other former Rickards head football coaches for the pregame coin toss. Also, in the been-around-forever category, Bell also coached the Raiders’ current football coach Quintin Lewis when Lewis played football at Rickards High. Heck, Bell’ first victory as a head football coach at Quincy Shanks in 1983 came against legendary Leon coach Gene Cox. Cox hired Bell the following season. The FHSAA finals ends Saturday with the Class 7A and 8A title games, so Bell will serve in his administrative role a final time before he waves so long. But […]