Football: Clear Springs' McClarty ready for senior season
Clear Springs all-state defensive lineman Dallas McClarty has been around — and been good — for a long, long time, and District 24-5A offenses are well aware of it.
"He's the only full-time freshman starter I've ever had at the Class 5A level," said Clear Springs coach Clint Hartman, who also coached at 5A schools in Odessa and Seguin.
McClarty came right out of the eighth grade and into the Chargers' defensive front as a freshman in Clear Springs' first varsity season in 2008.
"We went 5-5 and just missed the playoffs by a few points, and the next year (11-3), we were one game short of the state semifinals," McClarty said, "and last year, we lost in the first round in overtime, so we're even more hungry to get to the playoffs and this time go all the way.
"We want to get to state and win it all, and that's what all the work is all about."
McClarty went from 5-8, 230 as a freshman to 5-10, 280 as a senior who has verbally committed to Texas State University, which is under the direction of coach Dennis Franchione for the second time (first stint in 1990-91 when school was called Southwest Texas State).
"I liked the campus and the coaches, and playing there will allow my family and maybe my Clear Springs coaches to see my games," McClarty said. "That had a lot to do with it, and I really get along with coach Franchione and his staff, and I think I'll enjoy playing for them just like we play for coach Hartman and everyone at Clear Springs.
"I'm glad it's taken care of and I don't have to worry about it."
McClarty earned all-state honors as a sophomore and junior, and was the District 24-5A defensive most valuable player in 2010.
"There's not a harder worker out there, and he's just a great person, the kind you hope your daughter will come home with," Hartman said. "He has a tremendous family, and mom and dad are right there for him, and even though he had some offers out of state, playing close to home and being able to see his family are extremely important to him."
McClarty is also extremely important to the Clear Springs defense, and a run at a 24-5A championship and more.
"We had defensive players who went on to major (NCAA) Division I programs last year, but McClarty was still named the district's best defender as a junior, and that says a lot," Hartman said. "He has been a special player for a long time, and we're looking forward to seeing where he can help lead us as a senior."
Clear Springs is ranked No. 2 in district behind defending state champion Pearland, with Clear Creek third and Dickinson fourth, according to Texas Football Magazine.
The Chargers' only district loss was to Pearland in 2010, and they also compete with Brazoswood, Clear Brook, Clear Lake and Alvin in 24-5A.
"I was ready to be a starter as a freshman because I had trained hard and felt like I could compete against any high school kid," McClarty said. "I came to play, and I was fortunate to have a coach like coach Hartman who saw that and gave me a chance."
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