Today we have Kenneth Cluley, quarterback for Waco Reicher. Over the past three seasons, Kenneth threw for more than 4,800 yds and 39 TDs, while rushing for more than 2,700 yds and 49 TDs. He was twice selected as first team All-State, and was Dave Campbell Texas Football's player of the year for TAPPs after his junior season. Waco Reicher won the state title in 2007, and hopes were high coming into last season, but in week two Kenneth suffered a broken leg. Reicher struggled, losing 3 of the next 5 games, but once again hit their stride with the return of Cluley. They finished the season as state champions once again, beating Austin Regents by a 49-17 margin.
Kenneth, you accomplished a great deal at Waco Reicher, both individually and as a team. Can you pick out one thing (or a couple) that stand out the most from your high school football career?
KC - One thing that sticks out the most is winning back-to-back state championships. That's every kids dream. And I got to experience it twice. Another is being the MVP of both those state games. But the last would have to be beating Grapevine Faith in '07 41-7 to win state after they beat us 28-6 at homecoming.
You suffered a broken leg in week 2 last year, and the team went 2-3 over the next 5 weeks. How hard was it for you to sit out and see your teammates struggle? Were you tempted to rush the rehabilitation process?
KC - Watching your own team lose is worse than anything I have ever experienced. Coach Wagonner, my head coach, told me seconds after a close loss to Cedar Hill that he believes its almost worse to coach a team who lost than play for one. Because during that game you are helpless on the sidelines. Ironically I did rush the rehabilitation process. I ended up playing the 7 remaining games with a fibula that had some calcium built up around it but was still cracked.
How did it feel walking off the field after that last game? Did you have mixed emotions?
KC - Walking off the field after my last game was definitely different. I spent 4 years around those coaches and even longer around my teammates. That's my brother-hood and I have to leave it. Its for sure a sad thought. But boy did we make some good. memories together .
What is it about you that will make you successful on the next level?
KC - I believe that I can make a difference at the next level. I have a competitiveness that sets me apart from others. I've been told that by many and I've come to believe it. I hate losing or being beat. I do everything in my power to be the one on top, the last one standing.
Have you decided on what you would like to major in? How big of a role does a university's academics have on your decision for the future?
KC - My dad was a coach for about 20 years. My brother is currently a coach at Lago Vista HS in Austin. I plan to study Kinesiology and become a coach to follow in the big footsteps my family has set for me. Academics is very important to me. I want to get a good solid education where ever I go.
How is recruiting going? What schools are you interested in, and who has shown an interest in you?
KC - Recruiting is going well. I have an over from Army and Navy. Air Force, North Texas, Georgia Tech, and Tulsa have all shown interest in me. Air Force more than the others.
Are any LSC schools in the mix? Do you have a favorite?
KC - West Texas A&m was in my house earlier yesterday. Coach Carthel and Coach Best were talking to me. Other than WT no other schools have shown interest from the LSC.
Do you have any advice for guys that will be going through this process next season?
KC - My advice I would give to next years class and so on is to start early! Make a highlight video now and start sending it out. Call schools you want to go to and don't stop calling them until they tell you to. Don't be shy. And also to attend summer camps. I went to 11 this summer. It really helps you get noticed and you get to meet the coaches of that school and see how they are.
Thanks Kenneth. Best of luck to you in the future.