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Football: Clark players Beto Morales, Rodney Bagget putting team first

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Updated: September 21, 2013 6:30AM



After a disappointing season with only one win, it’s easy for high school players to think of themselves when sacrifice is asked of them.

It’s easy to hedge or say no when the coach wants you to change positions for the team.

But there was no hesitation when second-year Clark coach Jay Novak asked junior Rodney Bagget and senior Beto Morales to make sacrifices so the Pioneers could improve on that disappointing 2012 campaign.

Now, for the record, Bagget actually gets to move to a more glorified position — going from defensive back to running back for his main duties. But Morales is making the ultimate selfless move as a senior, going from RB to being one of the blockers for guys like Bagget on the offensive line.

“I gotta make the sacrifice for my brothers,” Morales said of his teammates.

Bagget added, “I’ll do anything for the team.”

It couldn’t make Novak happier as he tries to turn around the Pioneers. Part of any program rebounding from some tough seasons is for players to go the extra mile, and Bagget and Morales are providing a great example for current and future Pioneers.

“Rodney is small in size, but big in heart,” Novak said. “He realized he needed to get quicker and stronger, so he competed in track (in the spring) and is the first in the weight room every day.

“Beto is a tough kid. Last year he couldn’t quite get on the field as a running back, so he played defense. We were hurting at offensive line, so we decided to try him out. He never complained. He could have easily said no, but he’s stepped up for the team.”

Morales seems to have the toughest transition in learning the fundamentals and technique of offensive line blocking. But even though Bagget is moving into a coveted spot, he’s had to relearn some fundamentals, too.

“I haven’t played offense since middle school, and just a little in JV,” Bagget said.

Morales realizes that heart that his coach talks about needs to translate into each play on the line if backs like Bagget are to succeed.

“I need to have a little heart and create the contact,” he said.

If Novak can get more players to sacrifice and put the team before themselves, like Morales and Bagget, his job will be so much easier.



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