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The School Newspaper of Flint Hill School

The View

The School Newspaper of Flint Hill School

The View

Interview with Josh Clarke

The Competitive World of High School Football

Josh Clarke, senior, was disqualified from playing any further games in the MAC league shortly after entering his senior football season at Flint Hill. This is the first occurrence in Coach K. Peterson’s Flint Hill career of something like this happening, and the event confused players and coaches. As a key player on the team, Clarke was left on the sidelines and could do nothing for his team but support them. The team was still thriving with the assistance of outstanding coaches and players, leading through the rest of the season. Clarke’s story serves as a poignant reminder that it is not just the players that determine the fate of a team but the resilience, confidence, and support from coaches and families that help a team navigate the complexities of the competitive world of sports. I have interviewed Clarke, which went as follows:

Arti: Can you explain why you weren’t allowed to participate in the Mac league, and can you explain what the Mac league is to those who don’t know? 

Josh: “I couldn’t play in the MAC league because I participated as a freshman at my old high school, Alexandria City School, so I participated as a freshman, and I also reclassed at Flint Hill, so there’s a MAC league rule that says you can only participate in five years of varsity sports. So, I played in every other game in the VISAA except the MAC league. The MAC is the conference that we’re in.”

Arti: What games were you allowed to play in, and what games were you not allowed to play in?

Josh: “I was allowed to play in all the VISAA games but not the MAC. So I played against Trinity Episcopal, Benedictine, Collegiate, and Woodbury Forest- that was it.” 

Arti: What was the reaction from the team after hearing you couldn’t play alongside them? 

Josh: “Me and my team’s reaction- we were very devastated, but me and my family- we talked about it, and it was fine. I could just support my team from the sidelines and try to pump them up from the sidelines as much as possible and try to get them pumped for the games.”

Arti: What are your feelings about how the season ended? 

Josh: “That last week of my high school career, it hurt a little bit- it hurt a lot. After dedicating all these years to one sport and all the training and all that for this- how it ended it hurt a little bit but it’s all good.  I’m looking for better and bigger things in the future so it was all fine.”

Arti: Since you transferred to Flint Hill last year, can you talk about your athletic experience at your school before this and how it compares to that at Flint Hill? 

Josh: “The athletic experience has been great compared to my old school. A lot of hands on from everyone including the athletic directors and how Flint Hill does a lot of athletic activities and events.”

Arti: Are you going to continue your football career in college?  

Josh: “I am going to continue playing college football at Virginia Tech. I will be there this spring.” 


I enjoyed speaking with Clarke and hope to see him grow to conquer bigger and better things in the future. Thank you to him and the whole football team.

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Arti Marzban, Opinions Editor

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    Elliott Oppenheim MD JD LLM Health LawMar 15, 2024 at 9:44 am

    It is hard running into society’s concrete walls of rules; especially one which seems so arbitrary. High school sports exist to encourage students to eventually take a place in society; to become part of their world. Without knowing the appeal process here, I wonder if a special exception may have been available. In pursuit of justice, maybe this student will be inspired to challenge unfairness as a life goal.