Football is back! Texas High School Football opened this past weekend in the 1A-4A divisions, with 5A and 6A starting in a couple of weeks.
I dropped by to catch up with Clarendon Head Coach (and AD) Clint Conkin for his thoughts on this coming season. As usual coach was all smiles. That comes from doing something you love and having talented players, a combination that makes coaching a lot of fun. He's in his 4th year here at Clarendon.
In the recent realignment Clarendon will compete in Region 1, Class 2A Division 2, District 4. There will be tough competition from within the District from Wheeler, Shamrock and Wellington in particular. Make no doubt about it though that Clarendon will be in the mix for a District Title, with their eyes on a much bigger prize.
This past Friday evening the Broncos went on the road, about 150 miles south to Seymour, Texas and delivered a 45-14 thumping to the Panthers. If you're going to travel 3 hours each way in a bus you may as well make it worth your while.
At the 2A level, depth is always a question mark. Clarendon only has 17 players on it's varsity. With most of the guys playing both ways every carry and every tackle adds wear and tear to their bodies. Every game where you can really divvy up your carries etc does two things. It gives the young guys extra reps and it keeps your bell cows ready to perform when it really counts and you're in a dog fight.
Clarendon is still a young team with only 4 seniors on the roster. Most of the players at the skill positions are Sophomores or Juniors that logged plenty of time last season. The Broncos will be thin at the line positions this season with 5 dedicated O Line "hogs" in the trenches. Depending on injury or fatigue look for a couple of the big backs like full back Antwan Bassett to provide some relief there.
What Clarendon does have is a riches of speed in the backfield. They'll be led under center by Junior QB Brock Hatley who'll be running Coach Conkin's I formation with an offset slotback. Hatley is a capable short to mid range passer. He will have great success in the 70/30 run pass offense.
The featured tailback will be Sophomore Sylvester Ballard who carried the rock 11 times for 96 yards and took it to the house twice. Senior Antwan Bassett carried 9 times for 55 yard. Sophomore Jmaury Davis found the end zone, as did Juniors Jordan Evans and Lamarcus Penigar (all on the ground). Junior Brock Hatley went 5-7 through the air with two TD passes and 144 yards. Penigar and Davis added their second TD of the game on the receiving end of Hatley's throws.
On the defensive side of the ball Coach Conkin expects leadership to come from line man Robert "Squeaky" McGuire who had 5 tackles. Ballard led with 12 tackles and their were 9 additonal players with at least four stops, so the D sure spread it around. They held Seymour to 230 yards as they went to 1-0 on the season. The Broncos will play at home on September 5th vs Ralls Jackrabbits at home.