Spotlight-Clayton SIbley

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 26, 2012

Sibley thrives on pressure that comes with the job

By Angie Ledbetter

Most players on a football team are individually coached every day except the kicker. South Panola senior Clayton Sibley happens to be one of those exceptional players who started kicking during the middle of the 2010 football season.

 “A lot of it is just trial and error,” said the 17 year old.   “You have to get out there every single day and just work hard at everything you do. You have to know what works right and what works wrong.”
Sibley has contributed 44 points to the team this season with 26 PAT’s and six field goals of 17, 20, 24, 25, 27 and 33. He’s missed only five PAT’s in nine games.

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A lot of games are decided by an extra point or field goal and Sibley saw that first hand when he kicked four field goals to win the very first game of the season against West point. He said the pressure is huge.

“It’s an amazing amount of pressure especially here at South Panola where it’s not only a winning tradition but a tradition—with special teams is really nonexistent.

“I think here more than anywhere else not only in the state but in the nation special team is such an important part of this team because the last few years we’ve had games that we’ve lost by an extra point or a field goal.”

 Sibley likes the pressure that comes with his position.

“I like the pressure of being able to change the game with just kicking the ball,” said Sibley. “I’ve enjoyed it a lot and probably something I’ll never forget.”

When Sibley gets ready to kick things are going through his mind.

“I usually say a prayer out loud just to calm or relax myself and try to give God all my faith that whatever happens I’ll trust in Him because He has a first for everything. I just take a deep breath and go at it then.”

When missing one Sibley says it’s disheartening at the moment but it’s just something you have to put past you and go on toward the next one.

Coach Matt Mock said Sibley is a great student and should be an Academic All-American in his opinion.

“He works hard on the field every day and has gotten extremely stronger since I met him. He’s struggled at times throughout his career but I think his senior year he’s really brought it on and it’s shown with the results.”

Sibley has the support of his parents Andy and Susan Berryhill and his sister Andrea is his biggest fan.