James Bell graduated from PHS in the Class of 1922.
He lettered in football from 1918-1921. Bell lettered in basketball from 1918-1922 and lettered in baseball from 1919-1922. He also lettered in track from 1919-1922.
James was known for many years as the fastest person in Purcell as he would race anyone who came to town and challenge him. This included a sprinter from back East who was traveling the country from town-to-town by train and would race the fastest person in each community. Bell was one of the few to defeat him.
As a junior, Bell was a star running back on Coach Gene Ward’s 1920 PHS football team that scored an amazing 49.43 points per game during their 6-1 season.
In the 145-7 PHS victory over Sulphur in 1920, which is the most points ever scored by a Dragon Football Team in a single game, James drop-kicked a phenomenal 19 out of 21 PATs. That is still a PHS school record for most extra points kicked (and attempted) in one game by either a drop-kick or placekick.
Recognized even years later by his peers and the Purcell citizens of that time period for his great speed and his overall superior athletic ability in any sport but especially in football and baseball.
Bell was named as a running back on the 1895-1934 All-Decade(s) football team, selected by Purcell High School Alumni.