The world was already in the middle of a global pandemic and Kecia was worried about his health when he left to attend the mass gatherings. Some of them had turned violent when news outlets showed persistent police reactions from coast to coast. The protests erupted primarily in response to police brutality that resulted in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. There was talk on social media about militia groups getting involved.
“I was scared,” said Kecia Fells. “I was scared. So I didn’t want him [to go]
“He couldn’t sleep. He was very restless. He couldn’t think of schoolwork. He said, “I just can’t sit here and do nothing. I have to be part of a movement that I know is in the best interests of people who look like me and the whole world. ‘So it was like this was another civil rights movement and I want to be part of it. “
The thing is, 2020 has been tumultuous for Myles Fells and millions of others trying to deal with the pandemic. He had high hopes for his senior season but spring and summer training was canceled and the players were stuck at home. The Midshipmen’s last two games have been postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks before Memphis was due to play at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on December 5 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Tulsa.
Fells is from Little Rock, Ark., But the family moved to the small town of Bigelow, 38 miles away when they were 5 years old. He grew up on four-wheelers, shot bow and arrow and fished, but remained connected to Little Rock. His father owned a couple of maisonettes in town that Myles ran and attended high school in town.
Fells lost four friends from Little Rock – named No. 8 Most Dangerous City in the Country by USA Today in 2019 – to gun violence within two weeks of the summer. The police died in one of the shootings and a fifth friend died of an opioid overdose. Moments like these are why Fells so insisted on attending the protests and why he has political aspirations in Washington DC one day.
“He’s very proud of where he’s from and what his life experiences are,” said Navy trainer Ken Niumatalolo. “I think that pride in where he is hugs him where he’s from. He would like to use these life experiences for others. Things don’t bring him down because he realizes it’s difficult here [in Annapolis], but he has dealt with many of the things that he came from. “
Niumatalolo recalled a summer video conference with the team where many players expressed their frustrations. They were forced to stay away from teammates and friends, training options were limited, and the lives of a group of young men had been interrupted at a defining period in their lives and careers. Then Fells spoke.
“He kind of mentioned that some of his friends were shot and it just brought about something completely different [perspective]”Said Niumatalolo.” Guys complain that they can’t go out and he talks about these things, some real, tough experiences.
“He’s so popular on our team. Everyone loves Myles. He’s one of the best people I’ve ever met. Just a really good person. He is who he is. Wears his feelings on his sleeve. Know where he is with things. He only has a pure heart. Just a great person. “
Fells spent election night in Cameron Kinley’s room while the two political scientists watched with a keen eye. The two are teammates, but they also bonded through their interest in the political process and weren’t afraid to talk about their big plans. Both speak openly of their aspirations at the White House and envision a Kinley Fells presidential ticket. Kinley is the president of the senior class.
Fells wants to start locally in his home state of Arkansas and focus on education as Kecia has been an educator since 1988. Kecia wonders why she forced Myles to attend Arkansas Boys State as junior high school – a week-long civic education program. Although Fells refused to attend, he was elected governor of his class. Alumni of the program include former President Bill Clinton, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
“It’s crazy because as the more we think about it, we’ve put ourselves in a position where we can,” Kinley said of her White House dreams. “We’re not going to force anything, but just the way we talk about our different paths and what we plan to do when we graduate wouldn’t make sense for us not to work together. It is almost as if we can build that force to be reckoned with. So it’s not something we force, but it’s definitely something we keep in mind. For example, “Hey, you go your way and I’ll go mine and when you’re ready and I’m ready, let’s try this thing.”
“I can definitely see us get up together again down the street to run at the White House. That wouldn’t surprise me at all. And I would definitely love that. That would be an amazing story, especially given the background we have. “
All of this growth brought Fells to the streets in the summer. When asked to speak at a demonstration in the state capital in Little Rock, he went completely out of his head, a trait that drives Kecia a little bit crazy.
In the meantime, Fells and the seniors are excited about the opportunity to play one last home game when it looked like there wasn’t a Seniors Day due to the postponements.
“It was just an honor,” said Fells, “because I felt it was one of those moments in my personal story when I made a difference that I could go back and look at.” I’ve done something good. I spoke out for people. And that’s all I ever really want to do, to stand up for people who feel that their voices cannot be heard.
“I’m not the type to sit on the sidelines. I don’t want to look back and say that I played it safe by staying home or anything. How can I sit here and tell people to stand up for what they believe in if I don’t do the same? “
Note: Navy reopened quarterback competition during hiatus after Senior Dalen Morris continued to struggle with losses to Houston and SMU. Junior Tyger Goslin finished the SMU game and Niumatalolo said newcomer Xavier Arline was also in the mix as of Monday. Morris started five games while both Goslin and Arline started one. The Mids lost their last two games by a total of 30 points.