September 11, 2013 - The Wolves have faced tough teams the first few weeks of the season and seniors Jared D'Autremont, Mitch McCord and Jack O'Rilley have helped out in each challenge.
The competition may be tough but Clarkston's senior leaders in defense are tougher. From left, Jack O'Rilley, Mitch McCord and Jared D'Autremont. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
"They are our senior anchors in defense," said Clarkston Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Curtis Payment.
"Brother Rice pushed us to our limits," said McCord about one of the challenges in the 2-1 win. "We had a great team effort.
"It made us come out really strong," D'Autremont added. "It helped us grow a lot as a team especially since we managed to end up winning in the last 20 seconds of the game. It was a big confidence boost."
O'Rilley and D'Autremont joined the varsity team two years ago and McCord joined last year.
For their final year on soccer they have been working on new techniques and plays in the back of defense.
D'Autremont explained it is important to build off the back of defense and to organize.
"Mistakes in the back are a lot more crucial," O'Rilley said. "If you mess up on top you might lose the ball but you still have people in the back."
"If we have a breakdown in the back it hurts you bad," D'Autremont continued. "Giving up one goal can mean winning or losing."
They are also lending their experience and knowledge to the younger athletes to prepare them.
"They are picking up really well," said O'Rilley. "They have been working hard like we have all year."
"The sophomores have really stepped up and filled a big role on the team," D'Autremont added. "Alec Jones in the back has been playing really well on the outside back and so has Ben Seicinski. They have helped a lot on the outside."
McCord added as the season continues they expect to get better as they plan to make a longer run in the playoffs.
The boys ended their junior year in the district playoffs against Lake Orion and it boosted in their motivation to get stronger during the off season. They added their new coach, Payment, also helped.
"He has really pushed us to go further," said McCord. "He has pushed us to our limits with off season weight training and better conditioning sessions."
"He always talks about with us how it is our last chance for everything and give it our all," O'Rilley added.
The boys have been playing soccer since Kiddy Kickers with most of their teammates.
"It makes our bond stronger," McCord added.
If an opportunity comes up they would consider continuing to play in college.
"It is definitely a possibility," McCord said. "It would be great to play a sport in college."
"It is a huge commitment," D'Autremont considered. "Obviously it would be fun. If the opportunity came up it would be something to think about."
O'Rilley agreed it was a huge commitment, "I don't know if I want to put aside that time in college. Plus at that point you are trying to move on in your life and get a job."
Since they have played since they were young they shared advice for aspiring athletes.
O'Rilley noted to do what you love.
"If you are not going to enjoy what you are doing there is no point going out for it," he said.
"Like coach was saying, you have to commit to it no matter what you do," McCord added.
"If you have aspirations to play at a higher level or play in college than you will want to commit everything you have to it."
D'Autremont pointed out to put in the effort.
"It is all about effort," he said. "You get what you put in and you have to be ready to sacrifice yourself and your individual goals for the team."
See D'Autremont, McCord and O'Rilley lead the defense players when the Wolves host Goodrich on Friday and on Tuesday when they host Troy Athens.
Clarkston hosts Youth Soccer Night on Sept. 19 when they play Holly High School.
For home games JV begins at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.