King’s fork in the road

Published 10:20pm Thursday, September 12, 2013

King’s Fork High School graduates Chuck Clark and Davon Grayson became household names to local football fans, and now they have produced memorable beginnings for their respective schools at the highest level of college football.

This Saturday, they may even get the opportunity to face-off against each other when East Carolina University hosts Virginia Tech.

Clark
Clark

In the ECU Pirates’ season opener, Grayson, a wide receiver, caught four passes for 28 yards, and three of those catches were for touchdowns. He described what the first touchdown catch was like: “It seemed like it took forever for the ball to get to my hands.”

After scoring, he said, “I didn’t know whether to throw the ball in the stands or just drop down and take a knee and thank God.”

Grayson says he surpassed his own expectations.

“I expected to do well, but to be honest with you, my first game I was hoping to catch a (single) pass,” he said.

That game ended in a 52-38 win over Old Dominion University, and then Grayson added two more catches, including an 18-yard touchdown reception, in a 31-13 win over Florida Atlantic University.

These games have built his confidence, and he gave credit to junior quarterback Shane Carden for helping him to get comfortable in the offense.

“The success obviously comes through my teammates and everything that I had to go through to get here,” Grayson said.

Hokies free safety Charles “Chuck” Clark made his college debut against the two-time defending national champion and No. 1-ranked University of Alabama. While the Hokies lost to the formidable opponent, Clark participated in 13 special-teams plays and accrued four tackles, two solo and two assisted.

Grayson
Grayson

“I just went out there and tried to show what I could do and show them that I could play,” he said. “I did for the most part. I just didn’t let the excitement of the game overwhelm me.”

Clark thought he would be redshirting this year, particularly after having a surgery to deal with a bruised kidney just two weeks before he arrived at school. He was pleasantly surprised, however, to be able to play, and also contributed two tackles in a 45-3 win over Western Carolina University.

He would not say he was satisfied with his play, though, always looking to improve.

“I feel like there’s something I could probably do better, whether it be trying to strip a ball out or get a forced fumble, or something like that,” he said.

When asked about Grayson’s performance thus far, Clark said, “All I can say is I’m proud. “

“That’s my best friend, right there,” Clark said of Grayson.

Grayson said the two talk a lot. “We’ve already texted this week, but to be honest we don’t even talk about football,” he said. They talk more about school and the other things going on in each other’s lives.

But their lives will intersect on the gridiron Saturday. Grayson said Virginia Tech is a faceless opponent for him, but then he broke from that line of thought when he said, “This face is a more familiar face, though. It’s exciting, because I get to play against my old teammate.”

If the two should line up against each other, Clark said he does not expect either one of them to play nice.

“For that play or that series or however much it is, we’re coming for each other’s head,” he said.

Grayson said he would love to get a photograph of them playing against one another, saying he would have it up on his wall. But it would represent more than just one epic showdown to him.

“I would just love to get a picture of it because I know how hard we’ve worked to get here,” he said.

The game is scheduled for a noon kickoff at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C.

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