Senior, Caesar Rodney, wrestling
THE WEEK: Took seventh place at 195 pounds in the Beast of the East wrestling tournament at the University of Delaware’s Carpenter Center.
THE PODIUM: Clavier was the only Delaware wrestler to earn a coveted Beast place-finish and a spot on the awards podium. “It pays off for all the hard work you do,” he said. “That’s what I worked for.”
THE BEAST: It’s called the Beast for a reason. The 23rd annual tournament, considered the nation’s deepest and most competitive, had 779 wrestlers from 12 schools in 13 states. Many were state champs and nationally ranked. All were very good. Such tournaments appeal to Clavier, a two-time third-place finisher at the Delaware state individual meet. “They’re a lot of fun,” he said. “I knew it was going to be hard but I wanted to do it.”
THE MOTIVATION: This would be Clavier’s final Beast. He’d won one match there as a sophomore and three as junior, falling one victory short of wrestling for a top-8 place-finish. In his last attempt, he was determined. “I think that’s motivated him a lot,” coach Dan Rigby said. “He works every day with that podium in mind.”
THE OBSTACLES: The No. 10 seed, Clavier had a first-round bye, then won his second-round match 6-3. But he suffered a heart-breaking third-round loss, taking an early lead before his natural aggressiveness may have worked against him in a 6-4 overtime loss to No. 7-seeded Logan Rill of Mount St. Joseph. But Clavier went right back to business, winning his first consolation match 8-3 soon after, then another 5-1 Sunday morning. His top-eight finished was assured with a 6-3 decision over Bethlehem Catholic’s Jody Crouse in which he dominated the last two periods.
THE QUEST: “This is really three years in the making for him,” Rigby said. “He put in a lot of time this summer and in the fall. He just never backs off, stays after it. He’ll grab a coach and stay after practice. He’s very goal-oriented and he’s going to reach those goals.’’
THE OTHER SIDE: Last year, Rigby was coach at Milford, so he’s seen Clavier from the viewpoint of an opponent. He had a healthy amount of respect for him then, and it’s only grown since he’s become CR’s coach this year. “When I coached against him we always feared him because he’s such a tenacious competitor. No matter what, you’re going to get 100 percent from him. Now, being on the opposite side, I’ve seen that he doesn’t need motivation. He motivates himself. He’s going to grind it out every single match. And he lives his life like that. Everything he does, he lives his life that way. Straight-A student, does a lot of stuff outside school.”
THE OTHER SPORTS: Clavier is also a football standout for Caesar Rodney, playing linebacker and fullback, and enjoys just as much being on the golf team.
THE BUSINESS: “I have a junk removal business I do, too,” he said. “I remove junk from people’s houses. I’ve got signs made up and stuff.”
THE CLASSROOM: Clavier is a National Honor Society student. Being the athlete that he is, “well, gym is always fun,” he said when asked about his favorite class. He does enjoy a drafting and design class, which fits in with some of his career ambitions, and likes math and science. Earlier this fall, he earned the WBOC/Mountaire Farms Scholar-Athlete Award, which includes a $1,000 college scholarship. He’s a volunteer coach for the Young Riders youth wrestling program.
THE FUTURE: Clavier has applied to Virginia Tech, East Carolina, Appalachian State and Delaware. “I got some Division III looks for football,” he said, “but I might just walk on, or wrestle if I get any offers.” He hopes to study construction management.
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