PICKENS — The Pickens High School Blue Flame had their moment in the football spotlight on National Signing Day with the announcement that standout defensive end Ridge Clark would become a member of the St. Olaf Lions beginning in the fall of 2016.
For Clark, the selection of St. Olaf was an easy one when everything was taken into consideration.
“I figured out the goal was to get a good education and that’s why I selected St. Olaf,” Clark said Wednesday. “The tuition is $60,000 a year and they are going to pay three-fourths of that. Besides that I will get the opportunity to start right away at my position (DE). I visited the campus and loved everything about it and the town too.”
Located in Northfield, Minn., home of the famous Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, it may be a long way from Pickens County, but after having lived in Montana for six years before returning to the Upstate, Clark and mom Cynthia Linkenhooker weren’t concerned about the distance.
“My family is just excited I am getting to go to college,” Clark said with a laugh. “They were the first school to recruit me and we visited with the coaches and loved the local atmosphere.”
Mom Cynthia is just as excited and looking forward to Clark continuing his career.
“We’re just blown away and can’t believe it yet. It’s been a long time coming and we’re looking forward to it,” Linkenhooker said. “I didn’t know they were recruiting Ridge until I saw an email from the coach in his inbox. I called to find out if they were serious and they were.”
Not only will Clark be a member of the football team but will also compete as a member of the track and field program in the shotput and discus.
Clark said he will miss one thing: “You know, I think I’m going to miss the small town atmosphere and the fact you know everybody.”
Reach D. C. Moody at 864-855-0355.