Jackson senior Connor Clark has a simple explanation for his passion for his favorite sport.
“The thing I love most about soccer,” he said, “is winning.”
The Timberwolves have done a lot of winning this season (they have a 6-3-1 record entering their game Tuesday against Cascade), and their success is due in no small part to Clark’s play.
“He’s incredible with the ball,” Jackson coach Brett Norton said. “He can take anybody on one-on-one and beat him. He’s the most dynamic center-midfielder in the league. He’s also become more of a team player. Before he would rarely look to pass, but now he’s a one-touch, two-touch player who looks to distribute (the ball). He’s not outspoken, but leads by example.”
Here are five things to know about Clark:
1. He has a pass-first mentality. “I like getting the ball and creating goal-scoring opportunities, whether it be an assist or making a good pass that helps to create a goal,” said Clark, who spent seven years with the Bothell-based Tynecastle Football Club and played for the Seattle-based Puget Sound Premier League Surf Academy two years ago. “I find my strong suit is assisting (on goals) rather than shooting.”
2. His best soccer memories involve team trips. “I enjoyed going to Camp Casey (on Whidbey Island) and Camp Brotherhood with the (Jackson) team,” he said. “There were a lot of fun moments and funny experiences. We did a lot of bonding — playing games, doing fun activities. We had a lot of wrestling matches and rap battles and that kind of stuff. We got to be around each other a lot.”
3. He has an identical twin. Clark is four minutes younger than his brother Brenden, who is also a midfielder for the Timberwolves. “He’s always played on my teams,” Clark said. “It’s definitely fun to play with him. It’s normal. I don’t know how to play without him. We understand how each other plays. We have similar playing styles, but he’s faster than I am and better at shooting and putting the ball in the back of the net. We connect on quick passes a lot of the time.”
4. He’s a big fan of the “Fortnite Battle Royale” video game. “I’m addicted. I’m playing a lot, mostly with friends,” Clark said of the popular survival game, which he plays on XBox One. “It’s a battle royale — 100 people are dropped on an island and the last one who survives wins. One of the things that makes the game interesting is that you have the ability to build things. It’s kind of illogical, but it’s really fun.”
5. He’s considering attending Western Washington University or Gonzaga University. “I’m not really getting recruited, but whatever school I go to, I’ll try to walk on (to the soccer team), and if I don’t make it, I’ll play intramural,” he said. “I’ve considered (studying) something science related, like biotechnology, but I’m not decisive on it. I’m pretty decent in science (classes). I enjoy working on lab experiments, trying to figure things out, using the scientific method. Usually the experiments work, but now and then I’ll have a failure. Whenever something goes wrong, I try to learn from my mistake and improve.”