PARIS, Ark. — Tyler Clark didn't win a single game in his first year at Paris back in 2018. But he preached patience.
“It wasn't really enjoyable, but we didn't want to quit cause we know what we can do,” remembers senior Ely Fore.
“At first, I don't think everyone was really bought in. But after the first off season with coach Clark, we worked hard and really bought in. We knew what we could do, and if we were just working we could get to where we are now,” adds junior Mequeil Ellingberg.
It paid off. Just two years later, Paris stormed through the regular season, finishing 9-1 and earning a home playoff game. Salem came to town last Friday and jumped to a 13-0 lead, but if anyone knows not to give up, it's this Paris team.
“You get a little nervous, but at the same time, I trust our kids enough to know that if we keep plugging away and doing the things we're supposed to do, that our kids our gonna be fine,” says Clark.
Sure enough, Paris stormed back to take down Salem 40-32, the first playoff win for anyone on the team.
“Its been outstanding cause we worked really hard to get to where we are and we never gave up, and we know as soon as we stop working, we'll go back to the way it used to be and we never want that,” admits Fore.
“That moment alone was just amazing, going from not winning very many games to beating a team in the playoffs was just outstanding,” says Ellingberg.
For Clark, it was the proof of concept every coach dreams of.
“It's really nice to tell kids if you keep working things are gonna get better and they trust you enough to do that, and things get better while they're still around and you can say i told you so, you work hard, here come the results. We're all about teaching life lessons, and what better life lesson then keep plugging away and eventually somethings gonna go your way.”
The is week, Paris is the Slim Chickens Team of the Week, then it's turkey time, then Friday night the Greenland Pirates came to town. Once again the Eagles took care of business, and it’s on to the quarterfinals against Hoxie. And as good as playoff wins feel, the Eagles want more.
“Cause it's go hard or go home, and we don't want to go home.”