If you pull out your Webster's Dictionary or in today's more modern age go to www.dictionary.com and look up the word riot, you will find an array of different definitions.
One explanation of the word is to cause wild disorder or confusion. In the right context a riot is also described as a brilliant display. Either way, the word riot is a perfect way to define the play of Lehighton sophomore Wyatt Clements this season.
That's because Wyatt "the riot" certainly put on a brilliant display last week against Pocono Mountain West. The youngster pounded the Panthers time and time again, rushing for 173 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to earn the week nine TIMES NEWS Player of the Week.
A season ago, when Lehighton coach Tom McCarroll first took over the Indians' program, one of the first things he mentioned was to watch out for a freshman kid that could make an impact in the year's to come. That player happened to be Wyatt Clements.
"I really can't say enough about Wyatt Clements," said McCarroll. "He's been a great resource for our football program and the fact that he's only a sophomore and is one of the leaders of our team speaks volumes about the kind-of kid he is. He's also the kind-of guy who's always first in the weight room and the last one to leave. He's already on me about what our off-season workout plan is going to be. He's just a great kid."
McCarroll was certainly right about Clements making an impact.
Clements leads a Lehighton defensive attack that statistically is the best unit in the TIMES NEWS area. The way the Tribe have been flying to the football this season, their play could be attributed to a riot scene as well.
The sophomore is no slouch on the offensive end either as he has amassed 815 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. What may be even more impressive is how Clements has been gutting defenses, pounding down the ball into the teeth of the opposition.
"We knew coming into this season that we all wanted to get a lot better," said Clements. "The intensity that surrounds this team everyday is really a site to see. We go out and compete hard with each other everyday and it makes us better everyday. We just all have a different approach to the game this year and it's obvious in our play."
The Indians game against Pocono Mountain West last week was the type of game that maybe Lehighton wouldn't of pulled out last season. Not because of talent or ability, but because of inexperience.
However, when the Panthers took a 28-24 lead in the fourth quarter Lehighton didn't shy away from adversity. Instead, they embraced it and put the ball in Clements hands. "The riot" started their game-winning drive with a 49-yard run and then later finished off the drive with a one-yard plunge.
"Last year we didn't win those close games or the games where we had to fight back to get the win," said Clements. "We just learned that we need to come together in those type of situations and that's what we did on Friday."
From 3-7 a year ago to 5-4 this season and a potential District 11 AAA berth it's obvious things are headed in the right direction. Make no mistake about it, players like Wyatt Clements are the reason why the Tribe are having so much success in 2013.
"Wyatt's character along with a lot of other guys on this team made it a point to get better this off-season," said McCarroll. "They've all put the time in and Wyatt is a big reason for that and one of the ring leaders when it comes to that. This is just a great bunch of guys and they really are a pleasure to coach."