South Shore Senior Gets Scholarship To Run For LSU
By Jerry Del Priore
South Shore High School senior Kemar Clarke was all smiles last week during a brief ceremony as he signed a letter of intent to attend LSU on a full scholarship this fall. Clarke formally committed to the Tigers in March.
With his mother Camille Dunn, South Shore track coach Phil Zodda and the school's athletic director John Micillo in attendance, Clarke was bursting with pride as he anticipates a bright future at LSU, where he hopes to pursue a degree in graphic design in addition to displaying his blazing speed.
Although Clarke has posted stellar times in his three-year track career at South Shore, his signing with the Tigers came as a surprise.
"I wasn't really looking at colleges when they made me the offer," Clarke told the Courier at the signing. "But when they made me the offer, I was excited because I wasn't excepting LSU to come to me."
However, Clarke, who moved from Jamaica to East Flatbush at the age of 11, has earned his scholarship with an excellent senior year, which began with a first place finish and a record-setting 7.58 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles at the Bishop Loughlin Games last December.
Clarke capped off his indoor season in March at the National Scholastic Indoor Championship, setting a New York State record of 7.84 in the 60-meter high hurdles.
Zodda feels Clarke will only get better due to his commitment to excellence.
"I believe Kemar is the best hurdler the PSAL has ever had in 105 years." Zodda said. "The kid's a record setter and doing things that has never been done before. But he still has room for improvement. He's a teenager that has to continue to develop a strong work ethic. It's not like he's not a good worker, but nothing is a given. He works hard at it, and will continue to work hard at it."
Last Saturday, the 6-2, 160-pound Clarke battled the rain and finished in second place in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.20 at the Brooklyn borough championship held at South Shore's athletic field.
Clarke will compete at the city championship at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island on Sunday, June 3.