They called it a "Parade of Champions" as they honored Clay High Athletes who excelled at the highest levels this year. The cheerleaders, swim team, girls weightlifters and wrestling teams all brought home state championships. And to top it off, Blue Devil's alum Cliff Avril helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl That's the pinnacle of his athletic achievement, all with roots at home.
"It's a lot of hard work," Avril said as the surprise guest at his alma mater today. "It definitely starts in high school as far as your grades. Education is key, it's a lot of hard work,determination and you have to have some faith."
Clearly they're interested in Excellence at Clay High. Something that they're taught in the halls, in the classrooms and on the field.
Jay Stiliano, the Clay Athletic Director said, "We always talk about why not be great, a chance to be successful. To see them go and make it to the highest level and be crowned as state champions is a big deal."
And while excellence is the goal, winning titles is a by product of that. The achievement and the accolades are a result of a mind set of being your best.
"You have to admire the ambition that some one has to put towards something but on top of that to excel and aspire above all else to do great and then win an award for it," Trysten BUncome, a state title cheerleader told us. "I'm pretty sure that means a lot to anyone who's watching. For little kids like my sister, she's amazed that I can do all this stuff and make it look easy. She always messes with me about how big brother is strong. I think it means a lot to a lot of people."
And where does that all start? It's pretty easy to see that excellence breeds excellence.
Caeleb Dressel "It started with swimming and then next all of a sudden it's cheerleading and then wrestling and then girl's weighlifting," Caeleb Dressel a state champion swimmer noted at the parade. "It's just all on top of each other. It keeps building. It's weird to see that out here in Green Cove, or any school, but out here in little Green Cove, it's not something you'd expect."
And their football team made a state championship run as well.
Not a coincidence.