October 31, 2012 - Work on and off of the field paid off for the gridiron heroes of three teams as they made Clarkston history this season.
The 2012 Freshman, JV and Varsity football teams all celebrate an undefeated season. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
The Clarkston Freshman, JV and varsity teams finished their regular season not only all three as OAA Red Champions but undefeated - a first in Wolf history.
"It was been a lot of fun," said sophomore Matt Boczar. "We have a great group of kids and we just have fun playing together."
For the program it was testament of the dedicated players and coaching staff. Coaches said it was their pack of wolves making the difference on the field.
"They have an awful lot of desire," said long time head coach Kurt Richardson about his varsity players. "They are loosy goosy. They don't get uptight. I think that is part of it. When they got behind against Lake Orion they didn't choke or get panicky. They believe in themselves."
"We were very fortunate to have a talented and smart group of kids who love coming out every day, competing and love playing football," said Luke Denver, head coach for the JV team. "This class has played together for a long time and they have won a lot of football games. Each one plays football the way it is meant to be played."
Dan Carpenter, head coach for the freshman team, added the players understand it is about the relationships the boys develop with their teammates.
"Clarkston football is about family, play and sacrifice," he said. "They understand its not about the offense and defense. It is the relationships."
"I have said forever our coaches at the seventh, eighth and ninth grades set the standards," said Richardson, "They break the kids in and teach them what Clarkston football is all about. But the time they get to us these kids know what is expected of them. We all work together, we all sacrifice together and we are all successful together."
"It's the stability of the whole program," Carpenter added. "It's the stability that helps us and keeps us consistent."
Sophomore Jack McKillop added the coaches were a big help.
"All of the coaches work with us," he said. "I know during conditioning I would always be the last. But the coaches would work with me and encourage me. It kept me working harder."
All teams had their moments during the season both good and bad but the highlights for the season.
For JV it was playing Lake Orion and grabbing hold of the OAA Red Championship.
"It was probably one of the most exciting games we play at that grade level," said Denver about the 38-22 win.
"Our season really turned around after playing Stoney Creek," Carpenter added. "We were down at halftime and we ended up winning the ball game, 21-8. We made some changes and paid off."
Over 160 players made up the three teams to make the overall 27-0 record. The varsity team is still playing as they continue in the playoffs. They are joined by JV players helping in the post-season.
"We have a lot of kids who like to be a part of something greater than themselves," McKillop added. "They come out here every day and help the team. Everyone plays a role and I think that is why we were so successful because everyone is selfless on this team."
For more information and to view all of the teams scores, please visit www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/football.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.