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Keeping the dream alive: Trevon Clark has made it this far, so why stop now?

Keeping the dream alive: Trevon Clark has made it this far, so why stop now?

Sam Albillo/Staff

If you’re a die-hard sports fan, you’ve probably seen the 1993 sports classic “Rudy,” starring Sean Astin. Based on a true story, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger is introduced as an undersized but resilient high school athlete, who harbors a dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame.

When his high school embarks on a campus visit to South Bend, Rudy is stopped by his history teacher before he boards the bus, who explains that the trip is for students who have a legitimate chance of being accepted. While Rudy’s poor grade point average is his initial obstacle to reaching his dream, it’s his unrelenting drive for a seemingly unrealistic athletic goal that makes his co-workers, friends and even his family members laugh.

Dream on, kid.

But after working at a local power plant for a few years and enduring the death of his best friend, Rudy proved his doubters wrong, gaining acceptance to Notre Dame as a junior college transfer on his fourth attempt. And after successfully walking into one of the most famous football programs in all the land, the rest is history.

Cal receiver Trevon Clark doesn’t have the same claim to fame that young Rudy found, but their stories do share similar anecdotes.

“I used to sleep in the car at school just to try and get a little bit of rest in between classes and then I’d have to go to practice,” Clark said, reflecting on his junior college experience. “So it was tough, but shoot, it’s worth it being here.”

Now one of the Bears’ leading targets outside the hashes, Clark didn’t have to spend time away from football doing part-time work nor did he have to walk-on in college, as Rudy did. But the shadow of his remote hometown, his struggles in the classroom and, of course, his fair share of doubters mirror that of college football’s most famous first name.

While Rudy’s playing career ended after just three plays in a Notre Dame uniform, Clark’s is just getting started with the blue and gold. His grateful outlook is a testament to the arduous path he’s endured to this point — one that only the toughest emerge from.

When you look up Victorville, Calif., you’ll find that it is home to more than 100,000 people in San Bernardino County, which is about an hour and a half (with traffic) from downtown Los Angeles. With a large population and a Southern California setting, it appears at first glance to be an ideal situation — attraction-wise and location-wise — for an aspiring football star.

Not the case for Clark and other young athletes from Victorville, however.

“In high school, I did a lot of standout things,” Clark said. “It kind of got my name out there, but playing in Victorville, it was hard; it’s hard to be seen. So that’s why I didn’t really get any opportunities out of …read more

Source:: The Daily Californian


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