SW’s Clark also shines at D-1 level

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

While Michael Lawrence has certainly made a lot of waves at North Texas since the start of the 2017 season, he is no longer the only ex-Sweetwater wide receiver to now excel at the Division I college level.
This year Kobe Clark — a freshman at Abilene Christian University — has quickly become one of the Wildcats’ top receivers after his own standout career at Sweetwater ended in 2017. Clark didn’t start until his second game at ACU, where he caught a team-high nine passes for 83 yards in a 41-24 victory over Angelo State University. Since then he has remained a key contributor for the team and is currently third in receptions (17) and yards receiving (197) in five games.
The 5-10 Clark posted huge numbers his last two years at Sweetwater and he garnered all-state recognition on defense as well during his high school days.
He is playing for ACU as a preferred walk-on, but at this rate he should receive a scholarship next season.
Lawrence — a junior at North Texas — got his first touchdown of 2018 last week on a 36-yard catch for the Mean Green (4-1) as the team began Conference USA West Division play vs. Louisiana Tech, but didn’t get another catch and North Texas fell for the first time this season, 29-27, in Denton after four straight victories to begin the season.
Lawrence has 10 catches for 136 yards in five games. Last season he finished with a team-high 62 catches for 819 yards, which earned the 5-10, 181-pounder all-conference honorable mention. He is one of two North Texas receivers included on the Biletnikoff Award watch list and one of just 50 players from the entire country on the list for the award, which is given to the nation’s top college receiver.
Lawrence blossomed this past season and earned a scholarship at North Texas beginning this year, after catching just one pass for 16 yards as a preferred walk-on freshman in 2016.
After losing to Midland Greenwood, 65-20, in its District 1-4A, D-II opener, Sweetwater will spend this bye week and next week getting ready for Lamesa when it resumes district play on Friday, Oct. 12.
The game is Sweetwater’s homecoming and Lamesa (1-4) represents a must-win for the 0-5 Mustangs to make the playoffs this year. Despite last week’s final, Greenwood led Sweetwater just 23-20 at halftime until breaking loose with a 42-0 run in the second half.
Lamesa, believe it or not, led Monahans 41-27 after a 21-0 third quarter run and another score in the fourth quarter. That completed an incredible 41-7 Lamesa run after Monahans had taken a 20-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Lamesa nearly pulled off a gigantic upset, but Monahans scored the last three touchdowns to escape with a 48-41 victory. The game-winning score came on a 92-yard pass from Monahans quarterback Cason Roark to receiver Peyton Adams with 3:37 to play.
After last week, Greenwood (3-2), Monahans (3-2) and Fort Stockton (5-0) share the district lead while Sweetwater, Lamesa and Pecos are 0-1. Snyder begins district play Friday when it hosts Fort Stockton. The Panthers and the Tigers (3-1) are the most surprising teams so far and Friday’s winner will take a major step toward a playoff berth. Greenwood is at Lamesa this Friday and Monahans visits Pecos (1-4), which will host Sweetwater the week after the Mustangs entertain Lamesa in what is another must-win game for Sweetwater.
The last three district games for the Mustangs are vs. Snyder at home on Oct. 26, at Fort Stockton Nov. 2 and vs. Monahans at home to end the season Nov. 9.
It will take three wins to likely assure a playoff spot in the seven-team district.