Sporting a number 18 jersey, and standing six feet tall, his eyes dart toward the brown, prolate spheroid-shaped object that quickly dashes through the diamond-shaped grassy area. Playing as a safety and linebreaker, he fends off his opponents who are rapidly dashing toward him. Having an alert mind and strength are two key abilities in this type of scenario, especially where bulky, strong men are charging towards one another.
Originally hailing from San Antonio, Kavior Clark, a freshman athlete at Pasadena City College (PCC), embarked on a journey to a new city. A city filled with glistening opportunities that represents people’s aspirations and dreams, La La land isn’t so different in terms of entertainment and culture based on Clark’s new-found perspective.
“[Pasadena] is very different, but [it is] also alike to San Antonio,” Clark said. “The first thing I tried out with my cousin was to get boba. Coming out here and getting the experience to taste a variety of food is really a blessing.”
Juggling between athletics and academics at PCC, Clark emphasizes the importance of receiving an education while being involved in football and numerous fitness-driven activities ranging from basketball to track.
“I look at it as a reason to think back where I am from,” he said. “A lot of people don’t go to school. And I think it’s a blessing to actually go to school and be involved in sports. I make sure to [focus on my academics] so that I can continue playing.”
Focusing on school work is another task to manage, whereas committing to practice for back-to-back games requires an intensive amount of time put in.
“With the team, I usually practice for three hours,” Clark said. “Outside of that, I get an extra two hours.”
Coach Steven Mojarro emphasized Clark’s hard work throughout the season and bright future in his sports endeavors, stating how it takes a person to be “very strong and courageous to play football.”
“Trying to build the PCC’s football program, we cannot find a better example of a player that it takes to do this,” Mojarro wrote in an email. “He works extremely hard and has never missed a day of practice.”
From tackling on the football field, to dribbling to the basketball court, and sprinting to the track area, the process of balancing three sports is a long-term commitment that involves great effort and a strong mentality.
“After I’m done with basketball and football, I’ll just work out with my cousins,” Clark said. “He has a gym there at Alhambra, so we’ll work out there and work on basketball. After basketball, I’d just work on sprinting or running at the school’s track.”
For his method of juggling with the daily tasks of commuting to school, focusing on academics, and going to practice while remaining fit, he embarks into his inner aura of tranquility by whipping out his favorite go-to athletic tunes and snacks to munch on.
“I need to listen to some music,” Clark said. “And I also need gummy worms… Gummy worms and M&Ms are my things.”
As Clark details the plays he made, he expressed that tackling and possibly knocking out his opponents struck out to him— figuratively and literally. Scoring a total of 21 and averaging 2.3 tackles per game during the season, he is a person that can’t be easily pushed down to the ground.
“We played Compton, and I knocked a kid out,” Clark said. “Every on-site kick, I always got those. And at San Bernardino, I knocked another guy out.”
When the Lancers won five games in a row for the first time since 2010, Clark shared his narrative of how his teammates celebrated their victories against Southwestern, Compton, West LA, Glendale, and LA Southwest. The celebration of a win consisted of the team getting together at the locker room, cranking up some music and dancing to the beat.
“We like to dance in [the locker room], and we like to dance a lot,” Clark said in a laughing manner. “One of my teammates likes to celebrate by doing a split here, and we would all go bananas.”
What would soon end a win streak for the Lancers would be the Southern California juggernauts of East Los Angeles and Santa Ana. Though they did not win the conference title, that didn’t stop Clark nor his positive outlook from becoming undefeated.
“Next season, I’m looking for a winning season,” Clark said. “Capitalizing on what we did this year and making minor adjustments can make us become more successful.”