As we start to reopen to the planet, I hope everyone remains safe. High school hockey season is right around the corner.
TODAY, for our last senior spotlight we have Palm Harbor senior, Liam Clark. Liam has been ahead of the curve (pun intended). “Oh man. Most people are new to this whole doing schools from home not me. At the beginning of the year I took advantage of my school Tarpon Springs, offering me the opportunity to take three of my academic classes in class and then the rest online. Then around winter break time they offered me the opportunity to take even more of my classes online. So, before we all ended up being sent home, I had three gym classes and then the rest on a computer. I really enjoy doing school on a computer and I feel like I learn more efficiently. It teaches you how to balance time and your assignments way better. Plus, there is no distractions whereas in the classroom, you are surrounded by all your friends. What is most crazy is that pretty soon here, my dad and I are going have diplomas from the same high school. I have personally lived in Tarpon my whole life and my dad graduated from Tarpon Springs High School. It is wild to think how the style of instruction has changed. Back when he was in high school nobody would ever have thought that you could get an education by using a computer and now, the whole country is doing school virtually.”
So, fun fact. The other day I tried to drive to Walgreens because I needed essential items, gummy bears, and red bull. Spoiler alert, that did not happen. My transmission decided to social distance itself from my engine. An attempt to make a six-dollar purchase turned into a thousand-dollar bill rather swiftly hahaha. My gut instinct was who do I know who has any experience with cars. The answer is about 50% of all the kids I interview for spotlights including Liam. Although I did not reach out to any of the kids, because that would be SafeSport violation. You can bet once some of these guys get through trade school, they will become my go to mechanic. “For next year, I really don’t know yet. I’m looking to continue to play hockey, but I like the idea of going the trade school route. I love cars. I love auto-mechanics. It just makes sense. My dream is to be able to build my own car. A lot of my friends work on cars. I learned a lot from them over the years. People are always going to need a good mechanic.
Liam Clark started playing hockey at the age of nine over at TBSA. Fast-forward roughly ten years later he played in the Lightning High School Hockey League his freshman and senior year. He had himself a good year too. Twenty-two games played. Nine goals and seven assists. He aspires of continuing to play after high school is over as well. “In ninth grade I played for palm harbor. My mom was not to thrilled with the coaching back then so I didn’t play the following two years, but Palm Harbor has Frank (La Greca) now. Frank is the man. He is the GOAT. I couldn’t have asked for a better coach in my senior year.” Frank had this to say about his graduating forward, “Having Liam on the team was great. He wants to win and he came to play every game. If I needed him to play a different position, he would no questions asked. He was definitely a team player. Not to mention he was fun to watch. He has some of the best hands I have seen. He would make moves that would have the whole bench shaking their heads wondering how he was able to do what he just did. He apologized to me at the end of the season for not being able to play the year before. I wish he was coming back next year. He's one of those players that when he's in the line up, you feel better about your chances.”
Any guesses what Liam does predominantly to pass the time in quarantine? “I’m gaming a lot right now. Mostly NBA 2k. I started a MyPlayer from the beginning. I’m a slashing play maker on the Lakers with Bron and AD. I know people don’t like the Lakers, but my philosophy is, if you can’t beat them join them. Obviously, Warzone too. How can you not play a free game? Gaming has been a good way to stay in touch with the boys during all of this. Normally my friends and I fish a good amount. Deep sea and fresh water. Before all this of this started and everyone had to stay home, my buddy and I who also plays in the LHSHL went deep sea fishing all day. We caught a bunch of fish and when we got back, we filleted them, fed the throw away parts to the birds and had a great meal. I probably miss going fishing the most so when this is all over, it’s going to be the first thing I do with the boys.”
Liam was a fun interview, and did you read that quote from Palm Harbor head coach, Frank La Greca? That’s just something you love to see. Frank is a fine coach and it’s a great feeling when a player and a coach have such respect for one another.
Have a good week folks. Stay safe.