Athlete of the Week


Nate Clark Photo by: Kate Zadell

Kate Zadell, Sports Editor

Student Athlete: Nate Clark (Sophomore)

Sport: Football (Linebacker #43)

High School: Triad High School; earned all academic state honors.

Leisure Sports: Fishing and hunting (deer)

Fun Fact: On bass fishing team in high school; placed highest in school history.

KZ: What has been your biggest victory in life?

NC: Overcoming obstacles, like my injuries. When life throws a lot at you, overcoming doubt and negativity is (important). I have been sad and down, but you can get through anything in life.

KZ: What are some of the biggest obstacles you have overcome?

NC: I tore my ACL 8th grade year. That was the only season I ever missed; it was really hard on me. I am so thankful it happened, because life was changing in a good way. Before I tore my ACL, I was mean, selfish and I didn’t treat people well. I didn’t realize what football really meant. When I tore my ACL, it was a world of awakening, and I was like, ‘Wow, I don’t have football. This is crazy.’ I couldn’t play. It was even before the first big game. I was shook. It was heartbreaking, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I had never had something like that happen to me. I cried for weeks. The recovery was  awful. It set the tone for my work ethic, and it excelled me forward. I had to work harder than everybody else to get back to where I was before.

I (became) a whole new person and entered sophomore year a different person. I started cherishing things more, and (I no longer took things for granted.) I knew that if I worked hard and stayed focused that it would pay off. My goal was always to play Division I football, and I set that goal for myself. When you are stuck, and you can’t even tie your own shoes, it’s very life changing.

KZ: How have your coaches helped you?

NC: Coach Dan Davis has helped me a lot. He is my linebacker coach. As a player, he has gotten me to look at myself and how I can be better. Coach Matt Foster has really been one of the first people I have ever heard say, “Do you want to be average, or do you want to be great?” He always talks about being great, not only in football but also in life.

KZ: How does the team contribute back to the community?

NC: Every monday night, our team helps a group of people with special needs maintain their fitness at our gym. I have really enjoyed this throughout my time here.


KZ: What’s the best decision you ever made, and how did you arrive at making it?

NC: Going to College of DuPage. It really changed my life for the better. After last season, it opened my eyes. I realized a lot about myself, like my strengths and weaknesses. Now, I am the most motivated I have ever been. No matter where you are in life you can always change.


KZ: Do you have any favorite classes here at COD that you recommend?

NC: Ethics of philosophy. I think everyone should take a philosophy class. It opens your mind, and people should try to expand a little bit. My favorite part was that everybody spoke their own ideas, and (the professor) presented conspiracies and theories and different ethical issues. I think it’s neat to hear different concepts of the world and different opinions.

KZ: What do you want to do with your education?

NC: I’m either going to get my degree in social education (or) a minor in business. If I end up teaching, I might still end up doing (pursuing) my business ideas.

KZ: What’s your favorite film and why?

NC: “When The Game Stands Tall”. It’s a football movie about the longest winning streak in football history. I liked it because the head coach had a good philosophy that hard work pays off.

KZ: What’s your favorite meal?

NC: Chicken and dumplings, but if I really wanted to treat myself it would be pepperoni pizza. The best pizza I ever had was at Pinstripes downtown.

KZ: Who are some of your favorite musicians?

NC: Luke Combs and Juice WRLD. (I like) “Moon Over Mexico” by Luke Combs.

KZ: Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?

NC: When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” – Eric Thomas