DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) — Derby football is led by two Clarks this season: One on the headset and the other in the pocket. Coach Brandon Clark and his son Braxton Clark are enjoying an experience neither will forget.
“I hope to just keep creating memories with him and his teammates and just enjoying life,” said Coach Clark.
Now, the quarterback and coach are working to make this season together one to remember.
“I feel like we’re on a good path to win state as a team. I feel like we’ve gotten better since week one,” said Braxton.
It’s not the first time the two have shared the field.
“I’ve coached Braxton since the second grade, so he’s been used to me coaching him up and kind of had to take a break for middle school because I was doing high school but got him back his freshman year, and it’s been a lot of fun,” explained Coach Clark.
“I learn a lot from him on and off the field. He’s mostly dad off the field, and I get a lot of coach on the field,” added Braxton.
Coach Clark keeps separation from being a father and coaching up the quarterback.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t use the opportunity to tell him I love him and be dad and all that stuff,” said Brandon.
“We go over the script like every day before practice. As a coach, I’d probably say he’s a lot harder on me than the rest of the kids, but he’s a really good dad at home,” explained Braxton.
The pressure has helped the Panther athlete step up into the starting position in his senior season. His first opportunity came in the 6A semifinal game against Manhattan.
Braxton threw for nearly 200 yards in the first half but ended up breaking his hip in the second.
“It was tough against Manhattan going down like that. It motivated me a lot to step up and take that quarterback position and lead this team,” said Braxton.
Now, he’s back healthy and enjoying the thrill of his final season.
“He started the season out with confidence, and he’s only gotten better,” said Coach Clark.
“It’s exciting and also sad at the same time. I mean, I’ve got a lot of buddies that I’ve been playing with since second grade, and my dad’s been coaching me since second grade, too,” said Braxton.
The moment is extra special for the entire Clark family.
“It’s been a great year too because I also have a freshman son Blade of the football team too, so it’s been fun being able to coach them both,” said Coach Clark.