Clarence Pierson has been waiting for this. To play on a good team that matches his intensity.
Upstart River Valley High School of Yuba City is 3-0 behind its senior, three-year starting running back and safety. Pierson rushed for 220 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries, and had an interception to key a 55-43 win over then-No. 18 Roseville last week, earning The Bee’s Prep of the Week honors through a vote of fans and followers.
“I feel like I’ve come a long way, and we’ve come a long way as a team,” Pierson said. “The offensive line was great. I just went and found my way. We’ve all worked hard to get better.”
That includes winter, spring and summer workouts, much to the delight of second-year coach Brennan McFadden. At 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds with good grades, Pierson said he wants to play in college. He enjoys football so much that he can’t get enough of it. He pores over game film, watches college and NFL games on TV, and even helps coach a youth-feeder program for River Valley, the Junior Falcons.
“I like being a role model,” Pierson said. “They look up to me. I tell them to get good grades, do well in school – it’ll pay off.”
It’s paying off for Pierson, who started football when he was 6 and was mentored by his father and youth coach, Clarence. Pierson also keeps family in mind when he competes in football and baseball.
His sister, Kayla, was killed in a car accident in 2012. She was 18.
“I think of her all the time,” Pierson said. “She was fun and enjoyable, always had a smile on her face. I wear a bracelet in her honor.”
Said McFadden of Pierson: “He’s a phenomenal kid, well liked by his players and other students and staff on campus. He walks around with a smile all the time, he’s driven, and family means everything to him.”