Editor’s note: This is the latest installment of our series, “Catching Up With,” in which we catch up with some people we’ve covered over the last few decades.

Dallas Clark had a solid athletic career at Cony High School. But about seven years ago, during Clark’s senior year in 2012-2013, he had an especially memorable year, particularly on the ice.

A two-way forward, Clark led the Cony boys hockey team with 43 points (23 goals, 20 assists) that season, and was named a semifinalist for the Travis Roy Award, given to the top senior player in Class A.

“He became the complete player for us,” said former Cony coach Chad Foye to the Kennebec Journal in 2013. Foye is now the athletic director at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. “He stepped up his game and it really showed. He was our top player. He just really stood out. We expected a lot out of him, and he delivered.”

Clark gave credit for his improved play to Foye and the Cony coaching staff.

“A lot of it starts with the coaching staff. Foye just had the bring-your-lunch pail attitude of leave your ego at the door, come to practice, work hard. That’s just the type of guy he is. I had him as a teacher in high school, and I was lucky to have him for two years, junior and senior year for hockey. I think he really helped me develop my game… I think it all scales back to the coaching staff, honestly.”

Thanks in part to Clark’s play, the Rams finished the season with an 11-5-3 record.

“We had a lot of strong players,” Clark said. “We had a young goalie, Tommy Small, he might have been a freshman or sophomore. He was a smaller guy, but he played every game, he was awesome in net… We had a solid group of guys, we just weren’t incredibly deep. You had some of these teams, like Lewiston and Bangor, that had about 80 kids showing up for tryouts. Cony, you just don’t really have the numbers for that. You show up to try out, you’re probably going to make (junior varsity) at least, there’s not really any cuts.”

A game that stands out in Clark’s memory is, unfortunately, his final game. Cony entered the 2013 Eastern Class A playoffs as the No. 4 seed, and faced No. 5 Brunswick in the quarterfinals on the Rams’ home ice, the Bank of Maine Ice Vault in Hallowell. The Rams and Dragons had met twice during the regular season, with Cony suffering a loss and fighting to a tie.

Cony’s Dallas Clark, left, shoots and scores on MHW goalie Tyler Plante during a 2012 game at the Bonnefond Ice Arena at Kents Hill School in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file photo

“We played Brunswick in the first round of the playoffs, and we were shorthanded,” Clark said. “We lost a couple of guys for some off-ice stuff on our team (three players were ineligible for the game for violating team rules), and we ended up losing in double-overtime, 3-2. That was a real heartbreaker, because you know your career is over for high school, and it’s something that you’ll never get back. That was tough to go through mentally, I’d say.”

Clark’s play on the ice was noticed, as he was named a semifinalist for the Travis Roy Award. The award would eventually go to Bangor’s Parker Sanderson.

“It’s a huge honor,” Clark said. “It’s terrible to hear about Travis’ passing. I know he was such an influential person, not only for hockey players, but for people in general. His story is just so moving. But as far as being nominated for the award, it really wasn’t something that was on my radar whatsoever. I was really just kind of focusing on the playoffs and what we could do to win as a team. But it was incredible to be nominated. I know a couple of the guys that were up for the award as well, guys that were good dudes. It meant a lot. I think it’s something that the coaches vote on, if I’m not mistaken. I know Coach Foye probably went to bat for me on that.”

Clark’s athletic success wouldn’t be tied down to just the ice that year, it would move on to the tennis court as well. A sport that he didn’t pick up until the start of his high school career, Clark improved each season with Cony. By the spring of 2013, Clark earned himself a spot in the state singles tournament.

Dallas Clark graduated from the University of Maine in 2017. He currently lives in Biddeford and works as an in-store sales partner for The Kraft Heinz Company. Contributed photo/Dallas Clark

“During that singles tournament, I got past the semi-qualifier to get into the next round, and I went against the No. 6 (ranked) guy,” Clark said. “I believe his name was Peter Higgins from Cape Elizabeth. He kind of put me in my place there. He broke my strings when we were just warming up, because his pace was just so fast. He was a much higher skill level than I was. He beat me 6-0, 6-0. So, he put me back in my place, but I think I surprised myself a little bit. I had never really played before (high school), and just over time, got better and better at it, just playing with my buddies.

“I love tennis,” Clark said. “It’s such a different game than hockey. It’s much more calming. It’s interesting, I had never really played a sport that was very individualistic. I played singles, so you don’t have a partner there. You’re just completely relying on your reactions and your game. I love tennis, I’m so glad I got into it.”

Clark went to college at the University of Maine in Orono, where he double-majored in business management and marketing. He also managed to stay on the ice, thanks to the school’s club hockey program.

“It was awesome,” Clark said. “We didn’t really have a coach, it was kind of laid back. It was a figure-it-out-yourself kind of thing. It was awesome. I tried to get into club tennis as well, but it was one or the other, because hockey took up a good amount of the time.”

Clark graduated from UMaine in 2017. He recently moved to Biddeford, and is currently an in-store sales partner with the Kraft Heinz Company. Clark says he still tries to get on the ice, when he has time.

“I still play hockey, just in a men’s league,” Clark said. “My family lives in Augusta, so I’m there a decent amount. I’ll play in Augusta here and there, and I also play in Auburn as well sometimes. I’ve got some buddies that play in the league in Auburn. So I try to get onto the ice as much as I can.”

 

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

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Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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