From the tennis court to the football field, Clancy relishing new roles


Ray Hamill/ – McKinleyville’s Jack Clancy played prep tennis for the first time this year and reached the H-DNL semifinals at No. 2 singles.

By Ray Hamill — McKinleyville sophomore Jack Clancy is adapting to some new roles this year.

Better known for his exploits and talent on the basketball court in recent years — including nailing a thrilling half-court buzzer beater against Fortuna as a freshman last winter — Clancy is spreading his wings in 2021 and trying some new things.

Last month, he played high school tennis for the first time, having barely ever even played the sport before, and saw immediate success by reaching the H-DNL semifinals at No. 2 singles.

This month, he’s back playing football, but will switch roles this season, moving from JV receiver to starting varsity quarterback.

And McKinleyville head coach Keoki Burbank likes a lot of what he’s seen from him so far.

“He’s a good athlete,” Burbank said of the sophomore signal caller. “We’re trying to get his timing down with his receivers and he looks promising, but there’s going to be some growing pains.”

Clancy has played the position before, but not since the seventh grade.

However, with the Panthers’ starting varsity quarterback from 2019 graduated and both of their JV QBs having transferred, they suddenly had an opening at the position and Clancy stepped in.

The sophomore standout is part of a young Panthers team that has just two returning seniors this season.

And the coaches will get a close look at Clancy in a game situation this Saturday, when the Panthers host St. Bernard’s in a preseason scrimmage.

They kick off the season at South Fork next week.

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