When Billy Clark thinks of his senior season playing football at Skowhegan Area High School, he thinks of his friends, and the goals the achieved.

“I think mostly about my teammates and the camaraderie we had. We pretty much had the same team since second grade,” Clark, 29, said. “My goal was to get where we wanted as a team, and any positive individual stuff came off that.”

Where do you start with the positive individual stuff Clark accomplished that senior season, 2008? Clark ran for close to 2,200 yards in a dozen games, scoring 28 touchdowns as Skowhegan won the Pine Tree Conference for the first time in 19 years. Clark was the conference Player of the Year, averaging just under 8 yards per carry. He was a finalist for the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, presented annually to the top football-playing senior in the state.

Skowhegan’s Billy Clark (22) tries to cut around Cony’s Shane Hazzard, bottom right, during a 2008 game at Alumni Field in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

“I loved blocking for Billy. I only had to hold a block for a second or two and he was gone,” Cody Vigue, Clark’s teammate in Skowhegan’s backfield, said. “He’ll never tell you he’s the greatest. He’s always been humble.”

In 2016, both Clark and Vigue were inducted into the Skowhegan Area High School Football Hall of Fame.

These days, Skowhegan runs one of the more potent spread offenses in the PTC. A dozen years ago, Skowhegan’s offense was all about power football. Under then-head coach Mike Marston, Skowhegan enjoyed success with the double wing, the run-heavy offense that relies on tight offensive formations and backs finding the right angle and block to gain yards. When Clark was a senior, Skowhegan switched things up a bit, often running out of the Power-I formation, with Vigue the fullback leading the way for Clark.


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“(Vigue) put his body on the line every time. No fear. He was a super unselfish teammate. I don’t think he took 10 plays off that whole year,” Clark said.

Skowhegan’s Billy Clark evades diving Edward Little linebacker Derek Therrien during the a 2008 playoff game in Auburn. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Playing at 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, Clark wasn’t built like a prototypical Power-I halfback. It didn’t matter.

“He wasn’t very big, but he was very fast,” Marston said of Clark. “He was very quiet, very humble, and a great competitor.”

Clark felt the Power-I suited him. The results bear that out. In a 50-7 win over Mt. Ararat in Week 2, Clark ran for 235 yards on 19 carries, including a 67 yard touchdown run on Skowhegan’s first offensive play of the game. In a 44-20 win over Bangor, Clark ran for 189 yards and four touchdowns.

“We usually tried to switch it up with the double wing, but once we went to the I formation, everything clicked,” said Clark, who now lives in Norridgewock and works for the Maine State Housing Authority. “Running downhill is a little bit better.”

Clark was born into Skowhegan football. The team’s home field is named for his great uncle Reggie Clark. His cousins Josh and Ben Clark were standout players. His grandfather, Bill Clark, is in the team’s Hall of Fame, along with cousin Jared Thebarge, and Clayton Clark, grandfather to Josh and Ben. Clark felt like he was missing a few, but the point was made. His family has contributed a lot to Skowhegan football, and he is proud to be a part of that history.


Skowhegan’s Billy Clark pulls Cony’s Ben Rhoten on a running play during a 2008 game at Alumni Field in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

“Growing up, it was watching guys like Jared Walker, B.J. Dunlap, Zach Davis and Aaron Chambers,” Clark said. “When I got called up to varsity near the end of my freshman season, the older guys really made me feel comfortable and part of the team.”

Skowhegan went 7-1 in the regular season, the lone loss a 35-6 loss to undefeated Lawrence. The rivals met again in the second round of the playoffs. Clark remembers his team’s attitude going into that game vividly. The Bulldogs were the top seed, and coming off back-to-back state game appearances, winning the title in 2006.

“We knew that was going to be our last chance (against Lawrence). We had to take it right at them. In the game in the regular season, we were trying to throw some trickery at them,” Clark said.

In the rematch, Skowhegan stuck to the smashmouth football, and it worked in the form of a 30-22 upset win. A 20-0 win over Edward Little in the conference championship game sent Skowhegan to the Class A state championship game, where it lost 26-6 to defending champ Bonny Eagle on a cold night at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“I think I still might be cold from that game,” Clark said.

Clark’s strong season did not go unnoticed statewide. He was a finalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy, along with winner Nate Doehler of Bonny Eagle and Mountain Valley’s Justin Staires.


“Still, I don’t really put myself in the same category as those guys,” Clark said.

Now living in Norridgewock, Clark follows Skowhegan football. The style is different from the power football he perfected.

“I go to a few games. It’s weird seeing them run the spread,” he said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242


Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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