Highlander Stadium is only a few football fields away from Hudson Clark’s house, so when he sees the lights on for an evening event, the senior has been known to walk over for a workout or impromptu conditioning session.
When you’re a cornerback for the Scots, often locked up in man-to-man coverage against an elite receiver, you must be prepared. Clark doesn’t want to miss a chance to refine his game.
(ABOVE: HP cornerback Hudson Clark has thrived despite often being matched up against the opponent’s top receiver. Photo: Melissa Macatee)
“I try to push myself to be the hardest worker on the team,” Clark said. “I just love a challenge.”
Clark has thrived in one of the most challenging, and sometimes thankless, roles on the team. It helps that he’s one of HP’s top athletes — with the speed of a sprinter and the leaping ability of a basketball player — but he knows that alone can’t neutralize the physical skills of Texas High’s Tevailance Hunt (now at TCU), Manvel’s Jalen Preston (now at Texas A&M), or others.
It helps to have a short memory to recover from mistakes. Clark tallied two interceptions in the first half of the season opener against Rockwall, while matched up mostly against Yellowjackets receiver Jaxon Smith. Although Smith amassed 232 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Scots, Clark’s two big plays helped HP win the game.
“He is our shutdown corner. We put him on their best receiver,” Allen said. “He’s been around the game of football his whole life. He knows what it takes to make big plays.”
Clark’s grandfather, Ronnie, is a legendary high school football coach in Arkansas.
his summer, Ronnie Clark Field was dedicated in the Ozark mountain town of Berryville, where he coached for almost 30 years and is the school’s all-time leader in wins.
Hudson Clark said that his grandfather, though still living in Arkansas, plans to attend at least one HP game later this season.
“Whenever he visits, he loves to come to my games,” Hudson Clark said. “He said it’s my turn to make a name for myself.”
Clark is doing that. His leadership skills have helped galvanize an aggressive defense that returns only a few starters from last year’s Class 5A Division I state championship squad.
“I like to be a leader through my actions,” he said. “I had to be more vocal.”