Jr. Eagle places second in catch contestBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Parker Clayton’s favorite receiver is Jerry Rice, the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions, yards and touchdown catches.
Through his 20-year, Rice made several outstanding catches and Clayton would like to follow in his footsteps. Though it’s early in his career, Clayton, 12, already has shown the ability to make the difficult catch.
Playing for the Vista Jr. Eagle Peewee football team last fall, Clayton, a sixth-grader at Folsom Middle School, made a diving, one-handed catch in a game against Oakmont that made him a second-place winner in the ReceiverTech Great Catch of the Year competition. For placing second in the national competition, Clayton won a ReceiverTech T-shirt, a pair of receiver gloves and a $200 donation to the school/youth football program of his choice.
The pass from quarterback Matt Jenner was a bit long, forcing Clayton to dive and reach out with his right arm. Clayton got a hand on it and pulled it and maintained possession of the ball as he hit the ground.
“I remember the coach calling the play and I knew the ball was coming to me,” Clayton said. “I was really excited to have caught the ball. Matt has a great arm and put it out there.”
Excited as he was to catch the pass, Clayton didn’t celebrate the play.
“I landed on the ball so I had the wind knocked out of me,” Clayton said.
Clayton is in his third year of playing football and has been a receiver since he started playing the sport. He said he likes catches passes and his admiration for Jerry Rice, Clayton said, comes because he caught everything and ran good routes.
Clayton, who attended a pair of ReceiverTech camps last year, credits the skills he learned there for helping him make the catch.
“ReceiverTech held a camp for receivers before the season and another one after and I learned a lot of fundamental skills there,” Clayton said. “I credit them for teaching me the skills that allowed me to get off the line of scrimmage faster. I’m kind of overwhelmed and can’t believe I got this award. I’m honored to place second.”
Clayton said he plans to continue to play youth football and later in high school at Vista del Lago. He aspires to be one of the best receivers of all time.
“I’d like to get in the NFL and make the Hall of Fame some day,” Clayton said.
To see the catch and for more information on ReceiverTech, go to http://receivertech.com/rt-greatest-catch-2012-winner/.