Quartet of locals help East to 35-28 win in their final high school grid game
By Jim Hague
EAST ORANGE –
Amir Clinton was certain that his high school football playing days were over. The Belleville High School senior believed that he had taken off the shoulder pads and helmet for the last time and was preparing for life in a junior college in the fall.
But Clinton received a phone call from his head coach Chris Strumolo last week. The Robeson Classic All-Star Game was coming up and the East squad suddenly needed a center, after another player dropped out of the game.
“I really thought it was over for me, that I’d never get a chance again,” Clinton said. “When Coach called me and said that I could be a last-minute replacement, I was very eager to play and happy to get a chance to play.”
So on the Tuesday prior to the game, Clinton appeared at the East practice sessions to prepare for the 17th annual Robeson Classic.
And it didn’t take long for Clinton to feel comfortable with his surroundings, because two of his high school teammates, Irving Pena and Trevor Torres, were already members of the East squad.
Clinton said that he didn’t have to work too hard to get back into football playing shape.