The pediatrician looked at the strong, muscular 11-year old boy and asked Terri Clark, the boy’s mother, a question. You’re not letting him lift weights already, are you?

No, she said. Her son, Alec Clark, works on the family farm. He bails hay. He lugs around milking equipment. He’s just strong.

“He has natural farm boy strength,” Terri Clark said. “He was strong when he was 9.”

For the last four years, opponents of Winslow High School’s football team got to know how strong Clark can be. As a linebacker and a guard on the offensive line, Clark was a key player on a team that went to four straight state championship games, winning the last two.

“He’s put in the offseason time. His motor is unbelievable,” longtime Winslow head coach Mike Siviski said of Clark. “He has one of the best motors I’ve ever had.”

A four-year starter on defense and a three-year starter on Winslow’s offensive line, Clark was the best player on the best defense in the region, leading the Black Raiders to seven shutouts in 11 games.

For his role on a team that has won 22 consecutive games and two straight Class C state championships, Alec Clark is the Morning Sentinel Football Player of the Year. Also considered were: Messalonskee running back/safety Jack Bernatchez, Skowhegan quarterback Garrett McSweeney and Maine Central Institute fullback/linebacker Alex Bertrand.

“I feel like I bring a lot of heart to the game,” the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Clark said. As the middle linebacker in Winslow’s 4-3 alignment, Clark made 85 tackles and had four sacks in the regular season, despite playing only the first half in many of the Black Raiders’ lopsided wins. Clark was able to stuff the run, drop into coverage, and play his position from sideline to sideline. Winslow allowed just 67 points this season, around a touchdown per game.

“He runs to the football exceptionally well,” Siviski said. “He’s such a hard worker. He always comes to play. If you were the opposition, you knew you were going to be hit.”

As an offensive lineman, Clark helped the Black Raiders average 45 points and nearly 400 yards per game.

As a freshman, Clark’s first start for the Black Raiders came on the defensive line. He was nervous, but that was a good thing.

“I was always told if you’re nervous, you’re ready,” Clark said. “You’re 14 years old and you’re going up against 18 year olds? Of course you’re nervous.”

Clark was helped that season by his older brother, Mike, who was a junior on the team. Mike introduced Alec to the upperclassmen, who made him feel at ease.

Clark loves the reputation he’s earned as a big hitter.

“You might be having a bad day at home or school, then you get to go out there and play for Winslow High School. I wouldn’t take any day of it back,” Clark said.

Football is just one of Clark’s interests. The farm boy strong senior shows horses and cows, and has had a successful pumpkin growing business since he was 11. He received a $5,000 youth farming loan from the USDA to get started, and he’s close to paying the loan off.

“I’m coming up on my last payment. It’s the final stretch. It feels good,” Clark said.

When he was a sophomore, Clark joined the Winslow cheerleading squad for the winter when a couple of friends asked him to try out.

“It’s a great all-around body workout. It puts your mind to a task, and I like being challenged,” Clark said.

Working with trainer Wes Littlefield, who also is an assistant coach with Winslow’s football team, Clark has become a champion power lifter. He holds national records for his age group in bench press and dead lift and was state champion in the Maine Games last May.

Football is Clark’s passion. Clark is unsure about his college plans, but he hopes they include playing the game.

“I love football. I hope it’s in my future,” Clark said.

Siviski thinks Clark would be an asset to a college football program.

“He just has this innate toughness, and he’s a big hitter,” Siviski said. “He’s been a pleasure to coach.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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