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Collected wisdom: Former Oklahoma running back Roy Bell

Former Clinton standout played on two state championship teams.
by Ed Godfrey Published: December 22, 2012

Former Clinton, OU running back

Age: 63

Hometown: Clinton

Running back Roy Bell played on two state championship football teams at Clinton, including the unbeaten 1967 team that one national publication called the best high school team in the country that year.

Bell rushed for more than 6,000 yards in his prep career and twice led the state in scoring in rushing.

He went to the University of Oklahoma, where he played from 1969 to 1971 and was part of the Sooners' first wishbone backfield with Greg Pruitt, Jack Mildren and Leon Crosswhite.

Bell was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the ninth round of the 1972 National Football League draft but opted to play for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Bell was named to two CFL All-star teams in his five-year professional career. His best season was in 1973 when he rushed for 1,455 yards.

Where I grew up, the Lincoln addition on the east side of Clinton, everybody raised you. It was a tight-knit community. Everybody had kids. If they seen you do something, they would either whip you or they would call your mom and you would get a whipping when you got home.

I was the fastest kid growing up in Clinton. I outran everybody most of the time. I think I got my speed from running from my mother.

My two older brothers played sports, Melvin and Carlos. Melvin played football and basketball in high school and played basketball at the University of Houston. Carlos and I were on Clinton's first state football title team in 1965.

Carlos was pretty good. He was a fullback. I started at safety and the regular running back got hurt and I ended up as the tailback. We ran out of the I.

My brother would take me around the corner on the power sweep. He would be waving to me, ‘Come on, Come on.' We just kept going through the playoffs and beating everybody.

The '67 team, we had been playing ball together since we were in the sixth grade, those same guys. It was wonderful playing on that team. In practice, we would go out and work hard. We didn't mind doing it.

We had a bunch of seniors on the team. We would go out and play teams and about the second quarter the coach would take us all out, we would have teams down so much. We wouldn't just rub it in.

My favorite play was the power sweep. I had a young man named James Williams playing fullback and I knew I was going to get to the corner. James also took out his guy.

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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