Trib HS Insider Q&A: Kiski Area's Lincoln Clayton
Lincoln Clayton still considers himself new to the Alle-Kiski Valley, having moved from Midlothian, Va., to Vandergrift in 2009 to live with relatives after the death of his father.
But the Kiski Area freshman running back is getting more comfortable by the day and continues to make an immediate impact at the varsity level.
Always bigger than his teammates, Clayton was a lineman in youth football. But he is developing into a power runner.
He has carried the ball 15 times in both of Kiski Area's games — tallying 125 yards — for the Cavaliers (2-0), who are set to take on Gateway (2-0)on Friday night in Vandergrift, in one of the program's most anticipated games in years.
Clayton (5-foot-11, 180 pounds), whose first varsity carry went for 19 yards, has been called the program's “running back of the future.” But the 15-year-old remains humble with each carry.
Q: Kiski Area hasn't started 2-0 since 2007. What do you know about the tradition of the program?
A: Coach (Dave) Heavner brings in guest speakers from championship teams from the 1970s. I am learning about it.
Q: What was football like in Virginia?
A: Pee wee football was big there, kind of like here, but divisions had different names.
Q: Was it tough moving here at first?
A: At first I didn't like it because I left all my friends behind. Now, I have friends here. It's getting better.
Q: You lost your father at a young age, but former Kiski Area three-sport standout Greg Hutcherson has helped to mentor you. Has he been like a father figure?
A: He has. He watched out for me. He gives me rides to games.
Q: Is Kiski Area ready for Gateway this week?
A: We're getting ready for them. We know they're beatable. I'm not going to sugarcoat it; it won't be easy.
Q: You were a good wrestler but have decided to play basketball in the winter?
A: Yeah. They want me to wrestle. I know the team's good. I have been to some matches.
Q: Have you ever sparred with state champion Matt McCutcheon, just for fun?
A: No way. I watched him win the state title on TV. He's my boy. He's a big dude.