Clark High football coach Ricky Pickens brought his players together before Friday’s game at Spring Valley for his typical pregame speech. But this week the focus wasn’t only on what they needed to do to beat the opposition.
Rather, he explained this game had special meaning: They were dedicating the evening to Charger coaching icon Larry Barnson, who died last week at age 85. Barnson is one of the city’s all-time greats, winning two football and five track championships with Clark, where the field is named in his honor.
“Though most of us never met him or got the chance to know him, we wanted to honor his legacy,” Pickens said.
Clark would have made Barnson proud in their 21-14 win, the Chargers’ fourth-straight victory. My’quel Johnson threw a 35-yard touchdown to Kenneth Cason with 1:20 to play for the winning points, cuing a nice celebration for one of the city’s most improved teams.
Clark last year snapped a 15-game losing streak. Now, they are 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Southwest League. Or, as Pickens says, “just amazing.”
Johnson scored Clark’s other offensive touchdown on a quarterback sneak. The Chargers also scored defensively on a 75-yard fumble return by Roman Pickens late in the first half.