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Where are they Now? - Tyson Bell

A starter at three positions, Bell was pivotal in Sandy's only football playoff victory


THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Bell was the starting quarterback, defensive back and punter on Sandys 1998 playoff-winning team. Now 34-years old, he continues to play golf and basketball. Tyson Bell's senior season at Sandy High was all about taking care of business, and now, almost 20 years later he is helping others do the same.

Bell was one of those rare four-year varsity football players for the Pioneers, earning his stripes as a rookie and by his final season head coach Don McCarty couldn't keep him off the field. Bell earned all-state honors as a defensive back and as a punter, while also directing the offense as the starting quarterback.

Those Sandy teams enjoyed plenty of success built around a bunch of players who were together from the pee-wee level on up.

“We were a close-knit group — we all grew up together — it wasn't a bunch of individuals,” Bell said.

That resulted in a series of playoff appearances, including a league title, but three straight postseason defeats made the focus crystal clear for the 1998 season.

“The year before we were excited to get to the playoffs and we traveled to Ashland and lost big,” Bell said. “Heading into our senior year, we wanted to get to the playoffs and do something.”

The Pioneers raced through the regular season with only one setback, earning a rare home game for the playoffs. The stadium was packed, blankets set out to reserve spots in the bleachers early on game-day morning and lines of classmates several lanes thick surrounding the field by kickoff.

“More than anything I remember being out there on Friday nights,” Bell said. “There was nothing like playing in front of our community. It's something we all looked forward to.”

Sandy used its dominant ground game to roll out a 24-6 win over Bend — it remains the only football playoff win in Pioneers' history.

“I don't remember much from the actual game, I just remember it being a relief when we finally got that win,” Bell said.

That was not the end of his highlights as a senior in red and black.

Over the winter, the basketball team surprised No. 1-ranked Barlow in a Mount Hood Conference showdown. Bell continues to play basketball, as a regular in an adult league out of Corbett where he puts up shots over familiar rivals from his high school days.

After spending a semester at Linfield College, he transferred to Oregon State University where he earned a business degree.

Shortly after graduation, Bell moved into the family business with Begin Right Employment Services — a company started by his mother Joanne back in 1986. The group serves as a job-finder in the Northwest.

“People come in after getting laid off or moving here new to the area, and they are struggling,” Bell said. “But we are able to connect them with companies. We're helping folks find careers — it's gratifying.”

Bell lives Gresham with Heather, his wife of 11 years, and their two daughters 7-year-old Alexa and 5-year-old Natalie.

Email: dball@theoutlookonline.com

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