MILFORD – Senior Greggory Clark is a two-sport start at Milford High School. He has played football and baseball with the Buccaneers since his freshman year.
But this spring he’ll be sitting out baseball season. He has something bigger in mind.
Clark, a three-year starter along the offensive and defensive line for the Bucs’ football squad, is taking his football career a step further. He’ll be playing at Wesley College next fall while studying exercise science.
Clark made the Wesley commitment official last week with his parents, Jerel and Dawne Chamberlayne, Milford head football coach Shaun Strickland, Milford principal Shawn Snyder and Superintendent Kevin Dickerson present in the MHS cafeteria.
“Their football program is one of the best in Division III, and their academics are pretty good too,” Clark said of his Wesley decision. “So I just thought it would be a good fit for me.”
Clark isn’t a stranger to Wesley’s program, especially considering coach Strickland coached at Wesley prior to arriving at Milford a couple of years ago.
“It’s a great fit for him. With our offense [at Milford] there are things that I picked up from coach Knapp [Wesley offensive coordinator] during my time at Wesley. Even some our defensive set-ups are from things I picked up at Wesley. So there are things he should already be comfortable with,” Strickland said.
“We send those guys to Wesley camp in the summer, so he already knows the line coach there. I think the comfortability level with those guys played a role in the decision, on top of the fact they play an excellent brand of football. So he’s going to fit right in.”
In four years with the Milford football program, Clark experienced both the lows and the highs in terms of team success.
During his freshman and sophomore seasons, the Bucs turned in back-to-back 1-9 campaigns.
During the summer between Clark’s sophomore and junior year, coach Strickland came in and took over the reins as head coach. It didn’t take long for him to change the culture and turn Milford into winners.
During Clark’s junior year, Milford went 6-4 and had shown the potential to be an eight or nine-win team and possibly even compete in the playoffs.
As a senior and leader in the locker room this past fall, Clark helped guide Strickland’s Buccaneers to a 9-1 record and a DIAA playoff berth.
“We have a good bond. All through high school we’ve all felt like family. When coach Strickland came in he just brought that to a whole new level. Going from 1-9 my freshman year to having coach Strickland come in and flip that, was a really good addition to our program,” Clark said.
Clark’s parents feel strongly in believing athletics are a great way for kids to stay out of trouble and keep busy outside of school. Gregg has been playing both sports since he was about six or seven years of age, and he is finally seeing his hard work pay off.
“It’s been a long journey. Gregg has always had a love for football,” Mr. Chamberlayne said. “Since ninth grade he’s been going to Wesley for football camps during the summer, so I think that pretty much led him to being comfortable with the decision to go to Wesley.”
With Salisbury University and Delaware Valley also on his radar, Wesley’s locality and campus helped play a role in the decision as well.
“I like their campus,” Gregg said. “It isn’t hard to navigate around the campus, and I think the dorms are comfortable to live in.”
Sitting out baseball season this spring, Gregg would like to stay healthy and be ready to go once he begins practicing with the Wesley program.
Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.