Friday, October 8th, 2021 Mount Vernon vs Maquoketa (Homecoming)
Ladies and Gentlemen, this past December, longtime Mount Vernon Head Football Coach James Bellamy passed away at the age of 84. Tonight, homecoming night, we would like to honor the man and the hall of fame coach who served our district from 1970 through 2006:
“Just do your job, Son!” This regular Jim Bellamy quote epitomized Mount Vernon football for 37 years here. Since this time, “Just do your job, Son!” has been a common local phrase used by countless players’ parents and now countless players who have become parents. “Just do your job, Son!” brings back many other thoughts and memories, such as: discipline, fundamental excellence in blocking and tackling, toughness, the off tackle plunge, special teams punt returns, and accountability to yourself and your team. You see, if we each did our jobs, he had the rest of the game plan covered, and we were well on our way to victory. The young men of Mount Vernon did just that for the better part of 37 seasons and forever put our community on the Iowa football map.
Bellamy came to us from an all-state career at Des Moines Roosevelt High School, an All America performance at Cornell College, and winning records at Schaller, Perry, and West Liberty. Bellamy’s career here since 1970 saw the formation & expansion of the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IAHSAA) playoffs, the rise & fall of the competitive Eastern Iowa Hawkeye Conference, and the conversion to statewide district football. All the while, his teams played their home football games right here at the historic First Street/uptown stadium.
Coach Bellamy Career By The Numbers:
*320 coaching victories (268-93-1 at Mount Vernon, 74% win-loss ratio)
*Three (3) IAHSAA State Championships (1974, 1993, & 1994)
*Five (5) IAHSAA Runner-up finishes (1973, 1978, 1989, 2002, & 2003)
*Twenty (20) State football playoff qualifiers and sixteen (16) conference/district titles *Inducted into the Iowa Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1985 (21 years before retirement)
The late Mount Vernon High School teacher and assistant football coach Dick Peters communicated Coach Bellamy’s career this way: “Perhaps the greatest quality of Mr. James Bellamy was his impeccable fairness. There is no way to explain the feelings in the heart of parents when it comes to being fair. Parents were always guaranteed that their sons would be treated fairly in everyway and they were. Every starting player could be assured that his place on the team was safe until a teammate could out play the starter. Every coach in America should be this good.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me with your cowbells in standing and celebrating the life of a great high school football coach. Mr. James Bellamy.
-David M. Ryan (MVHS Class of 1985)