It’s been a ride for senior Clay Vick. He has grown as a player and as a person in the last year.
Vick started off the season with a bang, amassing 168 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first game against Jordan High School. The following game, he set a Leesville record for passing yards in a game. That game Vick came in second for the NCHSAA record, finishing with 652 passing yards against Panther Creek, just eight yards short of the state record.
The season was showing a lot of promise, but unfortunately he injured his kneecap in the third game of the season, sidelining him for the majority of the season. Although Vick was unable to play, he was still seen at every game for the Pride and often still a captain.
“It was pretty painful,” Vick recalled. “My motivation for coming back was making the playoffs.”
After missing 8 weeks to recover from his injury, Vick finally returned to play in the game against Wakefield. However, he suffered a concussion. The Pride did make the playoffs but were outed in the first round. Vick finished the season with over 1,400 passing yards in just 4 games.
In January, Vick committed to Hampden-Sydney. He announced his commitment via Twitter, thanking his friends, family, and teammates in the process.
“I’ve been looking [at Hampden-Sydney] since my sophomore year,” he said. “Reasons I’m looking there is because they have a good business program, and they love to pass the ball.”
Vick also considered Butler, Furman, Wake Forest, and Randolph Macon before deciding to attend Hampden-Sydney.
Hampden-Sydney is a Division III all-boys liberal arts college in Virginia. They finished 6-4 in 2015, and Vick looks to help them improve even more.
Also in January, Harrison Freeman, long snapper committed to the University of South Carolina. He has perfected his skill over the years, and now he will be a preferred walk-on at a premium SEC school.
During Freeman’s tenure at Leesville, he played three years of varsity football with three different coaches. “It wasn’t what I expected,” Freeman told, “but it’s a changing business…you just have to be able to adapt to change.”
This is true. With the importance of winning high school games at an all time high, Freeman played his sophomore year on Chad Smothers’ all-star-laden team. When Smothers left, Freeman played for Hobgood before Brad Wilson arrived prior to his senior year.
It was after his sophomore year that Freeman received an offer to play at Yale. Following his junior year, he travelled throughout the eastern United States searching for universities including North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida State, Yale, and Boston College. It was the latter that would make it possible for him to play at the University of South Carolina.
Throughout Freeman’s entire high school football career, he has attended Chris Rubio Long Snapping camps. Rubio helped Freeman hone and develop his skills by giving him one-on-one training.
“At the Boston College Camp, the special teams coordinator was like, ‘hey, keep in touch,’” Freeman recalled. Afterwards, there was a coaching change at South Carolina, and the Boston College special teams coordinator was hired onto Muschamp’s staff. Freeman then decided to walk-on at South Carolina, as he already was interested in coming.
Freeman and Vick claim that the main thing they will miss from their time with the Pride is their teammates.
“I’m close with every single person on this team,” Vick declared. There’s definitely a different level with some like Harrison Sullivan and Patrick Rice, but throughout, the team has a great relationship.
The two publically committed on Tuesday, February 9 in the library, with their teammates, families, friends and coaches present.