Jason Clarke set to join Carter County Sports Hall of Fame

Published 10:14 am Friday, April 19, 2024

BY C.Y. Peters

Cloudland High School legend Jason Clarke, known for his remarkable expertise in baseball, football, and basketball, is poised to be inducted into the prestigious Carter County Sports Hall of Fame this May 18th at Milligan University.

Clarke’s journey to sports stardom began at Cloudland High, where he showcased his versatile athleticism across multiple disciplines. As a standout baseball player, he excelled both on the mound as a pitcher and in the outfield as a center fielder. Clarke’s dominance on the diamond earned him accolades as a four-time All-Smoky Mountain Conference player. His junior and senior years saw him awarded the coveted title of Cloudland’s Mr. Baseball, a testament to his unrivaled skill and dedication to the sport.

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During his final season in 1988, Clarke dazzled spectators with his pitching talent, averaging an impressive 12-strikeouts per game and recording a staggering 17-strikeouts in a single game. His outstanding performance on the baseball field earned him a coveted scholarship from Tusculum College, where he continued to leave an indelible mark on the sport.

In addition to his baseball accolades, Clarke made waves on the gridiron as a formidable force in football. With over 100 career receptions, Clarke emerged as a key player for the Cloudland Highlanders, earning recognition as a three-time All-Smoky Mountain Conference player and a two-time All-East Tennessee selection by the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Clarke’s senior year in 1987 showcased his exceptional talent, as he amassed 987 receiving yards, including four 100-yard games, and secured 11-touchdown receptions. His skills wasn’t confined to offense alone; Clarke also made his mark on the defensive end, earning accolades as an All-State defensive back and being named the most outstanding defensive back in the Smoky Mountain Conference.

One of the defining moments of Clarke’s football career came during Cloudland’s historic playoff victory against Oneida, where he single-handedly propelled his team to victory with two touchdown receptions and a crucial two-point conversion catch, securing a 14-12 win.

Beyond the baseball diamond and football field, Clarke also showcased his talents on the basketball court. In the 1987-88 season, he contributed 165 points in 28 games, culminating in a season-high 20 points in his final game against Oakdale in the Region 1-A quarterfinals. Clarke’s stellar performance earned him recognition as a District 1-A all-tournament and Region 1-A all-tournament player, further solidifying his status as one of Cloudland’s most celebrated athletes.

As Clarke prepares to be inducted into the Carter County Sports Hall of Fame, his legacy serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes across the region. His remarkable achievements across multiple sports stand as a testament to his unparalleled talent, dedication, and passion for athletics. The induction ceremony, set to take place at Milligan University on May 18th, will honor Clarke’s extraordinary contributions to the sporting community and cement his rightful place among the pantheon of Carter County’s athletic greats.