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Life without arena football: Terrance Sanders writes new chapters in journey after football

Spokane’s Terrance Sanders celebrates with fans after his interception return for a touchdown against Tampa Bay in July, 2014. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane’s Terrance Sanders celebrates with fans after his interception return for a touchdown against Tampa Bay in July, 2014. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Terrance Sanders experienced numerous ups and downs during his lengthy arena football career.

That’s continued in his life after football.

Sanders was a fan favorite during his four seasons with the Spokane Shock, making momentum-changing plays as a defensive back and elite kick returner. He set the single-season record for return yardage in 2013 while earning first-team All-Arena Football League honors.

Sanders played a few games for AFL Cleveland in 2015 before his career reach the finish line.

“I miss playing,” Sanders said. “Those were the good days. I’m just trying to find better days.”

Sanders stayed in Spokane to be with his girlfriend and young daughter. He took on a variety of jobs, including selling cars, factory work and driving for an ice company.

His latest endeavor is writing. Sanders has authored two self-help books he believes have relevance for everybody, including himself.

“I had a run-in with the law and lost my freedom,” Sanders said. “So I had to make some changes in my life, and as I was making changes I thought there were changes that would help others.”

Sanders addressed his situation in one of his books.

“I just explain what was the reason I wrote it. I just tell them I was in a domestic dispute,” he said. “I’m trying to give positivety. I had to get back up. I can’t stay down.”

Sanders works the night shift at a hotel to help pay the bills. His books can be found on Amazon.com by searching Terrance R. Sanders. He’s planning a third book.

Sanders has fond memories of his playing days, particularly with the Shock.

“Spokane was a small market but kind of like the (NBA) Spurs,” he said. “It was the best of the small markets and that allure attracted a lot of players.”

The last few years haven’t gone as planned, but he’s a work in progress.

“It’s a lot different than the normal course,” Sanders said. “It’s been a little bit rugged, but I’m still trending upward and trying to get up to the top again.”


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Life without arena football: Faithful fans root for return of high-flying sport to Spokane

The season is winding down in arena football leagues across the country but not in Spokane. The franchise – known as the Shock for the first 10 seasons in arenafootball2 and the Arena Football League and the Empire for two seasons in the Indoor Football League – shuttered last July for financial reasons. The organization’s 12-year run was long by most arena franchise standards, but not long enough for its diehard fans.