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Clymer comes up big for NW

Dalton Clymer had some big shoes to fill when he took over the running back position for Northwestern Lehigh to start the season.

With Nick Henry graduating, Clymer was looked on to join a group of quality players on a team with high expectations and a history of emphasizing the ground game offensively. He was also part of the linebacking corps that is a key component on a defense that loves to deny yards to opponents’ offenses.

Unfortunately, an early-season injury slowed Clymer, and he was forced to sit out against Lehighton in Week 4 but, he has returned and shown that he is healthy and ready to live up to the expectations he, his teammates and coaches had for him this season.

“I think he was hurting before we realized how banged-up he really was, because he isn’t the type to complain, and he just wanted to keep playing,” said coach Josh Snyder. “He has worked through the injury and overcome the sluggish start that he had. It’s been a difficult year for him, but he’s fighting through everything.”

While Clymer has put together a string of solid performances since returning to the lineup, his outing last week against Blue Mountain was the most impressive yet for the sophomore. Offensively, Clymer had just five carries and two catches for a total of 36 yards, but defensively, he was a constant nemesis for any Eagles player who had the ball in their hands. The defense kept Blue Mountain off the scoreboard all night, and it was Clymer who stepped up to make 15 solo tackles and assist on four others for the Tigers.

“It was just one of those games where I had a lot of opportunities to make some plays, and I was able to take advantage of them to help the team,” said Clymer of his play from the linebacker position. “It was frustrating earlier in the season to not be able to help as much as I knew I was able to, and after sitting out, I have come back and really wanted to contribute.”

“I’m really proud of Dalton and how he has stepped up for us,” said Snyder of the emergence of Clymer as the season has gone on. “I think over the last three weeks, his confidence has gone way up, and he is really taking over a leadership role with our young group of linebackers. We have had high expectations for him, but I don’t think that anyone expects more out of him than he does himself, and he works hard to reach those expectations.”

Clymer was quick to note that having strong seniors to look to during both his freshman and sophomore campaigns has helped to improve his game. Not only has he learned a thing or two about playing the game of football, he also credits the older players for showing him what it takes to be a team leader.

“We have great players on this team and last year, the seniors really helped me out a lot. The seniors we have now are great and have been very supportive, and I’ve learned a lot from talking to them and just watching how they go about preparing for a game,” said Clymer.

Snyder stresses to his players that the most important game they will play is the one on this week’s schedule.

With Pottsville (6-1) set to come to town Friday night, Clymer and his teammates are ready for the showdown, and looking to keep their undefeated season intact with an eighth-straight win.

“This is going to be huge for us,” said Clymer. “Pottsville is the best team we’ve faced this season, and it’s a good test for us to play them. I’m really looking forward to Friday night, and the rest of the team is excited about playing them. We will definitely be ready to play.”