Clark captures All-County POY for footballPublished 12:05pm Friday, January 31, 2014
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
In a county chock full of football talent, one player stuck out for his display of athletic prowess, leadership on and off the field and statistical accomplishments throughout the 2013 football season.
The ability to balance school responsibilities, dedication to his chosen sport, overcoming adversity and the onslaught of media attention from being a highly touted college recruit is what makes Calera High’s Ronnie Clark the Shelby County Reporter Player of the Year for the 2013 football season.
Over the course of his career — he started as an eighth grader on the varsity squad — Clark quietly put up impressive numbers, gaining the attention of many major colleges, such as Auburn and Alabama.
His senior season, however, Clark truly put his versatility on display. Following a move from wide receiver to quarterback, he posted 1,301 passing yards and 16 passing touchdowns compared to just two interceptions in 126 attempts.
When he kept the ball on the ground, Clark ran for 1,530 yards on 165 attempts for 19 touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Clark played safety, where he recorded 49 tackles. In addition, he posted three sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and five tackles for loss.
Still, despite all the statistical accomplishments Clark had in a Calera uniform, head coach Wiley McKeller said it was an attribute that can’t be measured in numbers that set him apart.
“(Ronnie’s) a versatile kid,” he said. “He played a lot of different roles for us. Anytime you have a leader, they can lead in a positive way or a negative way. Everything he’s done has been a model for younger players.”
While Clark and the Eagles fell short of capturing the AHSAA Class 4A title, they did sit at No. 1 in the Alabama Sportswriter’s Poll for six weeks during the season.
After graduation, Clark will attend the University of Alabama on a football scholarship, where it has yet to be determined what position he will play.
2013 All-County Team
Player of the Year: Ronnie Clark
QB: Gavin Sumrall, Kingwood
RB: Dee Tolbert, Thompson
RB: Otis Harris, Spain Park
WR: Jordan Bishop, Calera
WR: Eric Reeves, Thompson
ATH: Niko Teofilo, Coosa Valley
OL: Tyler Pritchett, Calera
OL: Jacob Wade, Oak Mountain
OL: “Bunchy” Stallings, Spain Park
OL: Bryce O’Steen, Vincent
OL/TE: Daniel Hawkins, Vincent
DL: Braxton Hoyett, Pelham
DL: Daniel Scott, Briarwood
DL: Quintin Burns, Shelby County
DL / LB: Shane Siebert, Chelsea
LB: Sam Stockman, Evangel
LB: Jonathan Misso, Hope
LB: Tyler Byrd, Kingwood
DB: Taylor Martindale, Chelsea
DB: Reid Allen, Hope
DB: Mike Johnson, Spain Park
DB: Chris Johnson, Oak Mountain
K: Zach Sharp, Coosa Valley
Vincent: Jace Greene, Rodney Groce, Michael Gilham
Montevallo: Michael McKenzie
Calera: ShaKeith Tyes, Coby Mize, Tyler Harrell
Briarwood: Ethan Simmons, Brayden Housel, Victor Jerald
Shelby County: Ty Proctor, Jamerius Mayfield
Chelsea: Austin Washington, Jon Wilson
Oak Mountain: Warren Shader, Blake Miller, Justice Hammond
Pelham: Christian Davis, Devon Mines, Moregan Sharp
Spain Park: Perry Young, Thomas Taylor
Thompson: Leighton Irvin, J.T. Sanders, Akeem Manzano David Buckelew
Coosa Valley: Zach Spratlin, Bradley Carroll, Colton Pate
Cornerstone: Tim Warren, Ian Briggs
Hope: Dillon Thompson
Evangel: Nate Scott