Cheverus senior Briley Bell, 17, is one of two goalies for the girls’ ice hockey team, a co-op program with Kennebunk. Not bad considering she never played hockey – let alone skated – until her junior year. But Bell stands out for other reasons. Before home games, she sings the national anthem, as she did last week before a 6-0 win over Brunswick. Bell will attend the University of Alabama after receiving a scholarship for qualifying for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant, as the winner of Maine’s pageant.

Q: Is it difficult to sing the anthem right after warm-ups?

A: I was still trying to catch my breath this time, but it’s OK. I was just huffing a little bit.

Q: What do you like more, the hockey or the singing?

A: I like both. I’m the ‘Singing Goalie.’ That’s actually what someone said to me – ‘Hey you’re the ‘Singing Goalie,’ right?’ I guess so.

Q: What came first, sports or singing?

A: I always played sports when I was little. I tried softball and I wasn’t very good. I played field hockey and lacrosse. But I did sports as a side thing. I focused on theater and singing.

Q: Were you always a good singer?

A: I was horrible at first. I was really out of tune all the time. I never had any confidence. When I was in the fourth grade, a friend talked me into trying out for a musical – “The Christmas Carol.” I made it in the ensemble. I got so excited. It gave me confidence. I started making connections. Once I started taking voice lessons, I started to get more parts. I got stronger and continued to take lessons.

Q: But you didn’t give up sports?

A: You make a lot of friends through sports. I just decided I wanted that connection. I will play lacrosse all four years (in high school). I didn’t play field hockey until my senior year because I was nervous about (trying out). I really wanted to and knew I would regret it if I didn’t play. I loved it.

Q: Why did you decide to play ice hockey?

A: I always loved hockey. My dad played in high school. I watched it on TV. I knew about it. I wasn’t going in completely blind. I decided I wanted to be a hockey goalie. The team needed a backup last year and I ended up really loving it. I learned how to skate and (play the position). I played in the spring, summer and fall.

Q: So, you’re a singer and athlete. How long have you been doing pageants?

A: The same friend (Madison Leslie) who got me into drama, won the Miss Maine’s Outstanding Teen in 2016. She got me involved. I thought pageants were silly at first. I wasn’t educated in it. There is just a lot more to them. You don’t just walk up, wearing a dress. You have to do interviews. You pick out a song. You have choreography. I had a pageant coach. It was my first pageant and I worked really hard at it.

Q: And you won. What does Miss Maine’s Outstanding Teen do?

A: What is really cool is that you get to create your own platform, something you can fundraise for. I chose (the Maine chapter of the American Diabetes Association) because I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since I was 10. I work with Camp P-Pods, which is for diabetic kids. Sometimes, you think you’re the only one with diabetes. But you’re not. The camp shows what they can do. You can really do anything. You just have to take care of yourself.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I’m working on some songs with (classmate) Lawrence Bossong. We have a song on iTunes and Spotify called “Die Again.” Lawrence wrote it and asked me to sing the chorus for it. Now we’re both writing more songs and will have another one coming out soon.

Q: Where do you see yourself after college?

A: I really want to be a news or sports broadcaster.

Q: And if you broadcast a game, maybe you can sing the national anthem before it?

A: That’s what I’m saying (she says while laughing). I’ll be the ‘Singing Broadcaster.’

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-7411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH