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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Feven Getachew
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Michael Lozada
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Spotlight: Andrew Clark

On Saturday, Nov. 16, Grinnell’s football team ended their season against Cornell College, finishing with a 2-7 record in Midwest Conference play. Andrew Clark ’14 tied Matt Johnston ’01 for the Grinnell College football program record for career interceptions, with 14. Clark also finished the game with 13 tackles, a game high for the Pioneers. After graduation, Clark plans on working at Koch Industries after his successful internship last summer.

Andrew Clark. Photograph by Parker Van Nostrand.

When did you start playing football?

I started all the way back in fourth grade. My parents saw my interest in the sport and they signed me up for it. I wasn’t exactly willing but it grew on me, and here I am now.

What of football grew on you?

Originally I didn’t like it, I wasn’t used to all the physical activity and contact of it. But watching TV and watching the NFL all the time, I was one of those kids that wanted to be there. I changed my mind and I was like, ‘I love this, I want to keep on going.’

Do you have future plans for football?

I have looked at the possibility of coaching. I have taken a lot of classes over at the Bear [like] Coaching Methods and getting certified and [am] working on doing an independent study with Coach Martinez where we are going to look at a lot of defense philosophies.

What is the best part of the Grinnell College football team?

It might sound a little cliché. I like the brotherhood about it, I have been a part of teams that weren’t really a team, it was just a bunch of individuals, but I felt like here the guys have always been close with each other. Sophomores and juniors and seniors getting along, everyone getting along, first-years coming in and getting right along with everything with no issue. It really has been a tight-knit group, no matter who’s there.

Have you always wanted to play corner?

Primarily I used to be a running back; I saw myself as more of an offensive guy but when I got recruited here they were kind of like, “Hey, we need some defensive backs to play” and I was like, “Sure I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do.” So I went from there, played corner all four years and loved every minute of it.

What is your secret to your interceptions?

I don’t know if I really have a ‘secret’. I just show up, I go to work every day, practice, get lifts in and get myself in the proper position to make those plays every chance I get.

Do you have a favorite pre-game ritual?

Pre-game, I try and remain as calm as I can. There is a stereo in the locker room but I’ll normally have my own music going on my mp3 player because I don’t like to listen to most of the music the guys do, to get me pumped up. I’m normally over, in front of my locker, headphones in, getting my stuff together until it is time to go out on the field.

Do you have a favorite post-game ritual?

Post-game, I usually go and see if there is anyone out in the stands that came out, thank them for coming to the game, any family or friends that came out, shake some hands. Maybe go find the receivers if they played well and tell them good game. Head into the locker room and relax for a minute, with my stuff still on before I start taking everything off. Catch my breath and head out.

What are you going to miss about Grinnell College football?

I’m going to miss all the friendships I have made here, with all the guys and across all the years. Especially when this senior class graduates. We have been a tight group: we came in and things started changing with us. We put in a new offense and a new defense so we were kind of at the forefront of what the team is becoming and changing their image. We have grown really close together as a group.

Do you have a favorite game from your four years?

There is a favorite game: Monmouth my freshman year here. They have always been a big powerhouse. [The coaches] told us this history, that the last three or four games [before then] … Monmouth had outscored Grinnell 30-0 and rolled them every time. A lot of us first-years started on defense. Some of it might have been ignorance, but we went out there, played and came out with a very close win. 17-15 over Monmouth, probably one of the biggest wins we have ever had.

If you united the seven [Dragon Ball Z] dragon balls, what would you wish for?

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of teleportation, so maybe I would go along those lines, or time-control, [Prince of Persia: Sands of Time] sort of thing. Maybe I would go that route. Or the powers of Goku. I can’t really say.

What are your plans for after college?

I interned at Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas, this summer and I did well enough in the internship that they gave me a job offer. So that’s where I am going for now.

Andrew Clark ’14 tying the school record for career interceptions. Photograph by Alysia Horcher

Do you have a favorite interception?

My first interception of my sophomore year, in Macalester. The quarterback threw up a jump ball in the corner of the end zone and it was our first game of the year. I just went up and got it and I feel that kicked things off for us being a little more successful that year, it got things rolling.

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