1st and 10 Camp Tour: Parry McCluer returns with familiar face as interim coach

‘We love him, he’s like one of the best teachers and coaches and he’s been there since we were little.’

BUENA VISTA, Va. – “To keep continuity they asked me if I’d do it.”

Troy Clark has enjoyed his role throughout the years serving as an assistant and coordinator for the Parry McCluer football program. But when he was needed for a bigger role this fall, he didn’t hesitate to step up.

Troy Clark will serve as interim head coach this fall for the Fighting Blues (WSLS)

“I know originally they probably didn’t want to do that because I am an administrator but I felt like I had to do that,” Clark said. “I love these kids and the program so it seemed like the right thing to do.”

And in turn, the players appreciate his commitment to the program.

“We love him, he’s like one of the best teachers and coaches and he’s been there since we were little. So, it’s nice to have him here,” said offensive and defensive lineman Dax Patterson.

The hope is that Clark’s familiarity with the program and the players will lead to on field success, especially with the talent the Fighting Blues have returning. A core of skill players will suit up yet again with the likes of quarterback Brenan Schley, running back John Snider and the dynamic Evan Cook.

“It feels the same,” Snider said. “I just take every practice like it’s my last with a new coach the mindset doesn’t really change. I want to be back where I was last year and he’s here to help.”

The biggest void to fill will be up front as Parry McCluer lost all but one starter to the 2021 graduating class. But Dax Patterson is ready to step into a leadership role and help get the younger players up to speed.

“I think we still have one of the best defensive and offensive lines in the state even though everyone did graduate. I think we’ll still be fine,” Patterson said.

Time will tell when the Fighting Blues season opener commences on August 26 against rival Rockbridge County.

About the Author

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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