Since 2003, South Panola had not lost a football game. The 5A Mississippi perennial powerhouse had won 89 consecutive times up until this season, the third longest streak in the history of high school football.
This season, however, things began to slip. The team experienced a number of close calls throughout the year, from the 24-21 win over Madison Central to the 21-14 victory over Tiger-commitment Chris Garrett and Tupelo.
In the State Championship game this past December, however, the ice finally broke.
"We dropped a big one against Meridian in overtime, 26-20," Clark said. "It hurt to get a loss like that after you had built up so much over all that time. But, it still does not take away from the things we made happen. It was a great season and another good performance for South Panola."
While the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Clark remained positive on his outlook of the team's performance in 2008, he remained equally enthused about his own.
"I got to say that I felt like my work paid off and I had a great season," he said. "What I do is just get to the quarterback with some big time pressure, and I felt like I made that happen a lot this season. A lot of guys could not keep up with my moves off the line or my speed, so I got in there and dominated."
As a key member of the defensive unit on one of the most recognized team names in the country, it is no wonder that the recruitment process has already begun to heat up for Magnolia State product.
"I have been hearing a lot from schools through the mail, especially the schools in the Southeast" he said. "No offers yet, but once my tapes get out and the staffs see my performance this season then things will start picking up. I am not sweating that now; I am just staying focused on getting better so that I am the best that steps out on the field."
With schools showing early interest from across the country, Clark said that he will be able to trim his list from the start, at least geographically.
"I love the SEC, so the schools in the conference are the ones I am looking at, because they are close to home and they are the best" he said. "LSU, Ole Miss, [Mississippi] State, Florida and Georgia are some that have shown some interest in me that I like. I have really been big into the SEC because it is a great conference for defensive lineman."
As for the Tigers, Clark said that he has been following the program as far as he could remember.
"I am a big fan of LSU," he said. "They have always been a great team to me, and I love how they play their defensive line. They rotate a lot of guys and use a lot of different schemes to keep things live."
LSU will hold two junior days this year with the first one coming on Jan. 31. Clark has an invitation to attend both junior days and he hopes to make it to Baton Rouge for one of them.
"I am hoping to get down there for one of the junior days, but I have not decided which one," Clark said. "LSU is just a school that has been on my mind for a long time, so I am looking to check things out."
As for other players in his recruitment, Clark said that he has familiarized himself the most with the in-state schools.
"Ole Miss and State are two of the schools that have really been on me," he said. "State brought in coach [Dan] Mullen, and everyone around here really feels like they are on the rise, including me. They definitely got the right one for them now.
"I really like coach [Houston] Nutt at Ole Miss as well," added Clark. "That defensive line looked great all season, especially in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Greg Hardy is also a player that I love to watch, so seeing him was something I tried to do a lot. They were also the only camp I checked out last summer, so I got to know the staff and some players."