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The Roanoke Times | File 2012
Radford quarterback Hunter Marshall has been invited to walk on at VMI.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Rockbridge County sophomore offensive tackle Austin Clark has picked up a football scholarship offer from Virginia.
Rockbridge head coach Jason White said the 6-foot-6, 275-pound Clark becomes the first sophomore in school history to land a Division I offer.
"That one was out of the blue," White said. "I didn't know they were working on evaluating sophomores yet.
"They called on Thursday. They said they evaluated his film and liked it. I said, 'If you liked his film, he's 10 times the kid and the student than he is a player.'"
Clark, who was named to the All-Timesland Sizzlin' Sophomore team, was the MVP among offensive linemen in March at the Schuman National Underclassman Combine in Richmond, where he ran a 5.3-second 40-yard dash in wet conditions.
White expects more Division I schools to get on board Clark's recruiting train. Clark has squatted 500 pounds, cleaned 285 and has a 275-pound bench press.
"That's pretty impressive for a sophomore," White said. "I told him, 'You might as well plan on the next month or so being pretty hectic.' He's a tough kid and a great student. And he's got the two things they look for most. He's 6-foot-6 and he's got good feet."
White said it is premature to gauge Clark's interest in UVa.
"He really liked it, but it's way too early to figure out if that's the right fit," the Rockbridge coach said.
Clark is the second sophomore lineman in the Blue Ridge District to pick up a Division I scholarship offer. Northside defensive lineman Chance Hall was offered by Maryland shortly after the 2012 season ended.
Junior center Coleman Thomas of Fort Chiswell committed last month to Tennessee.
Conference 24 to have two divisions in 2013-14
The eight Class 4A schools that will comprise Conference 24 under the VHSL's six-classification system that will debut in 2013-14 will be divided into two four-team divisions.
The East Division of Conference 24 will include George Washington, E.C. Glass, Jefferson Forest and Bassett. The West Division will include Pulaski County, William Fleming, Salem and Carroll County.
Under the new VHSL system, conferences will be the starting point for postseason play in all sports other than football.
Conference 24 athletic directors hope to have the four schools in each division play each other on a home-and-home basis during the regular season.
Seeding for the conference tournament in sports that currently determine a regular-season champion will be based on standings within each division, rather than a weighted points system that some conferences plan on using.
First-round games would be No. 1 vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in each Conference 24 division. Then the higher remaining seed in one division would cross over and play the lower remaining seed in the other division.
The two surviving teams would meet in the final and advance to Class 4A North regional play along with two representatives from three other conferences.
Splitting Conference 24 in half, which was proposed by Pulaski County AD Mark Hanks, should allow for equitable postseason seeding and cut down on first-round travel.
Football playoff berths for all VHSL teams will be determined by the VHSL Rating Scale. The format for all six divisions will be the same as the one used for the past two years in Group A.
Sixteeen teams in each half of the state will make the playoffs in each of the six classes. Seeding will be No. 1 vs. No. 16, No. 2 vs. No. 15, etc.
Byrd to sponsor games honoring vets, alumni
William Byrd will hold an alumni baseball game Saturday at Terrier Field, beginning with a home run contest at 2 p.m.
Also, Byrd will have a military appreciation day in conjunction with its April 27 home game against Hidden Valley.
Byrd coach Chris Carr said the school will recognize three former Terriers players who are on active duty - Todd Adams (Army), Cody Trevillian (Army) and Billy Stickney (Marine Corps).
Military veterans will be admitted to the 5 p.m. game free of charge.
Hunter Marshall of Radford has accepted an offer to join VMI's football program as an invited walk-on.
Marshall played quarterback and linebacker at Radford and also snapped for punts and place-kicks for the Bobcats. Marshall passed for 1,306 yards and rushed for 651, making second-team All-Region C at a utility position.
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