Testing the limit


Whether it be on the hardwood, diamond, track or course you will likely find Clayton Byrd testing his abilities.

The Crothersville senior is in his fourth season playing basketball, has run cross-country and track and played baseball in his tenure at the school.

“I knew I wanted to be active in almost everything because I love being in sports,” Byrd said. “I’ll remember all the friends I’ve made here at Crothersville, all the adversaries I’ve had in many other schools, and being able to play and have fun.”

Ever since he could walk, Byrd has aspired to excel in athletics.

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“I’ve enjoyed sports since I was a toddler, and I’ve just carried that over throughout the years,” Byrd said.

Standing at six-foot-two, Byrd acts as one of the Tigers’ strongest post players.

“I’ve enjoyed being with his teammates every day, and getting a chance to grow as a person, and as a player,” Byrd said of his basketball experience. “It’s just been a joy to play with the guys I’ve been playing with this year.

As the Tigers’ big-man, Byrd fills many roles on both ends of the floor.

“I just defensive rebound, offensive rebound, play defense and score whenever I can,” Byrd said. “I help facilitate as much as possible.”

With his muscular frame, Byrd isn’t afraid to battle under the basket.

“I love being physical,” Byrd said. “The most important part is being bigger, faster and stronger than your opponent. Those are the ingredients you need to win.”

The senior thrives playing man defense and looks to out-work his opponent any chance he gets.

“I would rather play against man because it gives you more opportunities to show your man up, and take advantage of no help side (defense),” Byrd said.

Byrd’s high-point game was 10 against Henryville.

When he started the senior night game against Medora, Byrd finished with six points and seven rebounds.

Heading toward the postseason, Byrd plans to help rally the team.

“We need to play to the best of our ability, of course, and play the way we are capable. We’ve shown that a couple games this year, like South Dearborn, how we’re capable of playing,” Byrd said. “We need to bring that out in every game. Consistency is what we need most of all.”

This spring, Byrd plans on playing first base on the baseball team.

At first, Byrd sees a lot of action throughout a game.

“I love having the ball thrown at me almost every time, because that’s where most of the outs come from,” Byrd said. “It’s one of the most difficult positions to play because of the bounces and everything. You have to be able to contort yourself in many different ways and show your ability and flexibility.”

At the plate, Byrd said the key to hitting is watching the pitcher’s delivery.

“I focus on the pitcher’s hand,” he said. “If you focus on that you can tell if it’s going to be a curveball or fastball. I love high pitches because I can usually drive those out further.”

Any chance he gets, Byrd looks to smash the ball.

“I try to drive it straight up the middle every time,” Byrd said. “I’m a power hitter so I’m usually third or fourth (in the batting order).”

Running-wise, Byrd tested his physical abilities.

“(Cross-country) was probably the most physically demanding sport I’ve ever played in my life,” Byrd said. “It was very crucial to get the pace and distance down. My best time was 18:30.”

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Parents: Renee Coomer, Jim Byrd

Sibling: Alexus

Sports: basketball 4 years, baseball 4 years, cross country 2 years, track 3 years

Athletic highlights: basketball: free throw, rebound awards

Organizations: National Honor Society, FFA, Student Council

Favorite cross country course: “Probably Pekin (Eastern) because it was the most physically demanding course. There were a lot of hills and a lot of turns.”

Attending CHS: “All the teachers have made my experiences here fun. They really look out for us and they have our best interest at heart.”

Plans after high school: attend Purdue University, major in pharmacy

Favorite food: pizza

Favorite TV show: Tosh.0

Favorite movie: “Taken”

Favorite athlete: Kevin Love

Favorite teams: Indiana Pacers and Cincinnati Reds

Favorite quote: “I have failed over and over, and over again, in my life. That is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan


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