CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – In December of 2020, it was possible to think that winter high school sports in the state of Pennsylvania would be cancelled for the academic year. What a time to be a high school senior with the thought of the unknown always racing through your mind!
(Photo by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)
For many 2021 graduates of Clarion Area High School, like Beau Verdill, this season had a lot riding on it. For as long as he could remember, he hoped one day to become a college athlete. After not getting the call to junior varsity as a ninth-grader, the decision drove him to continually get better and hopefully one day reach the college ranks.
After a senior season that saw the Bobcat standout average 15 points per game and help lead Clarion to a District 9 title, he proved to himself and college coaches that he was ready for the next level. When it came time to decide, staying local and playing for Penn State DuBois is what the three-sport high school athlete decided.
“Family and being relatively close to home was a contributing factor in choosing Penn State DuBois. I also have animals, and a lot of my friends are staying local, as well, which helped make it a great spot for me.”
Playing for Penn State DuBois will allow him to play alongside several other District 9 graduates in addition to a District 9 graduate himself.
“I have played with and against a lot of the guys I am going to be teammates with which has already helped us build some comradery,” Verdill said.
As previously mentioned, the former Clarion hoopster played three sports in his high school career. He was also a member of the Clarion-Limestone boys soccer team and served as the place-kicker and punter on the first-ever Central Clarion football team. This qualifies him in a unique category in Clarion County as he was able to represent three different mascots during his senior year of high school.
After being unsure of what his future may hold a few months ago – and even as a high school freshman who played with the ninth-grade team – Verdill shared his perspective on what chasing a dream can bring.
“Getting to this point of being a college athlete has been something I have been working on for a long time. I want this to show that hard work can get you places, and there really is not a substitute for it.”
The heavy accoladed senior will continue getting in workouts at the Clarion County YMCA in addition to playing in some local summer leagues to prepare for his first college season in the 2021-22 school year. One specific aspect of his game he is putting more emphasis on improving during the next few months is his ball-handling to become a more well-rounded player who can play at a high level both inside and on the perimeter.
In his studies, he is planning on pursuing a degree in Wildlife Technologies with hopes to work outside every day when his working career begins. He is also excited for the aspect of being able to come back to Clarion to watch his former teammates continue to compete on the hardwood next season.
His parents, Mindi and Mike Verdill along with one of his high school classmates, Cal German, are people he credits most for sticking by his side and pushing him to be better.
“During that period where we were uncertain if we would get a season, I struggled and lost some motivation. However, Cal picked me up during that time, and we went to the gym to get some shots up. I think that says a lot about him and also the hard-working group of players and athletes who have graduated from Clarion this year.”
During his high school basketball career, Verdill became an All-District Nine Team Second Team selection, a Tri-County/Courier Express All-Star First Team selection, and participated in the Clarion County YMCA All-Star game. In soccer, he set the Clarion-Limestone single-season goals record with 41 in addition to the single-season assists record. In football, he was an all-state punter and averaged 37.4 yards per punt this past season with the Wildcats.
Although his attention is shifting to just basketball in college, his senior year at Clarion Area High School was bigger than wearing masks and abiding by guidelines. Instead, it will be looked back on as one of the more impressive senior years that has happened in recent memory from an athlete in Clarion County. This District 9 alum is sure to continue the hard work as he transitions to the next chapter in his life.