Sometimes newspapers make mistakes. I know, I know, inconceivable right?
In this past week’s Prep Athlete of the Week, a Missoulian weekly staple among the sports pages, we nominated Tristen Clark of Deer Lodge football for the boys’ honor. He had thrown for two touchdowns, run for two more, caught a TD pass and also intercepted a pass on defense and returned that to the end zone for a touchdown.
Or so we thought.
It turns out that the stats we received from the game last Friday, the ones we use to make our nominations for the week’s top prep athlete, were slightly skewed. The game had been played in St. Ignatius and it was the Bulldogs coach on the phone that night relaying the scoring plays and the highlights to our reporters.
He mistakened Ethan Johnston, the Deer Lodge quarterback, for Clark on, apparently, more than one occasion.
Now I’m writing this post not to condemn an area coach for a mistake or to clear the Missoulian of any guilt in the situation. On the contrary, I’m writing to uphold Clark’s place as an athlete of the week. Not for what he did on the field that night, which was still noteworthy mind you, but for the phone call he made to the Missoulian office early this week after the prep athlete poll went online Monday.
Clark spoke with Missoulian sports editor Bob Meseroll and asked that he be removed from the balloting because the accomplishments for which he was being judged were not his. He wouldn’t want to stand in the way of someone who was more deserving, he said.
Tristen Clark, a senior at Powell County High School, garnered 15 votes in the online poll this week before Keir Sanzano of Clark Fork football was ultimately selected.
Here’s one more vote for Tristen, as honorable a mention as there can be.
-AJ Mazzolini, Missoulian sports