Former Clinton, OU running back
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.
Almost everybody was recruiting me. I was an Oklahoma fan growing up. I used to love watching them play Texas and Notre Dame, watching those running backs like Joe Don Looney dominate the defense. They would just beat them up.
Barry Switzer recruited me. I liked him. He was a real good coach. He liked hard work and he would get the best out of you.
We worked hard in practice. He (Switzer) would always say out loud at me, ‘There's a guy that wants to play.' He would yell it. It made me feel good.
We were still running the power I (at OU) then transitioned to the wishbone when I was there. It was kind of difficult at first but it was something the backs really liked because we could use our speed and quickness.
At that time, you could do that roll block on the corner. That's something we perfected, me, (Leon) Crosswhite and (Greg) Pruitt. It wouldn't make any difference how big the guy was on the corner, we could get him. And Jack Mildren could run with all of us. We all had speed.
I loved the wishbone because you could get one on one on the outside. We would isolate people. We would score about every 2 and a half minutes it seemed. It didn't take long.
The money is why I went to the Canadian Football League. We started in August and we were finished with our season by November.
About September it gets really cold in Canada. The coldest game I played in, in Calgary, it was 13 degrees below zero.
We were pretty good in Edmonton. We got beat in the Grey Cup twice and won it that third time. I got hurt in the Grey Cup game. I got my knee tore up. I was never the same after that. I tried to play one more year but I couldn't do it.
I moved back to Clinton. It's home. I started working at 3M over in Weatherford. I went out to the fire department then got a job at PSO (Public Service Company of Oklahoma). I worked for them about 29 and a half years. I retired a couple of years ago.
I've got into blacksmithing. I make knives, roses out of metal, all kinds of stuff.
I had the most fun playing football with the guys I grew up with in Clinton. We kind of started the Clinton dynasty. A lot of the young guys here ask me now, ‘Just how old are you?'
About every Friday night I am at the Clinton home games. They got a young kid out here now, Marquiz Simpkins. I see a lot of me in him, some of the moves he makes and some of the things he is doing. I think next year he is going to be a whole lot better.
There is a football tradition here that I hope will never end. When you come to Clinton, you are in Tornado country.