Let’s just state the obvious here – Sean Clifford is ready to play high school football.
After a stellar seventh grade season at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Middle School (1,375 passing yards, 18 touchdowns) last year, equally big things were expected out of Clifford in eighth grade.
He delivered, in a big way.
Clifford actually split the 2011 season quarterbacking CHCA’s seventh and eighth grade teams, and he spent the entire ’12 season with the eighth grade Eagles.
The experience from last year paid off as Clifford completed 80-of-116 passes (69 percent) for a staggering 1,781 yards this season.
Operating out of the spread offense, he also passed for 26 touchdowns while throwing just 1 interception.
“I think overall, our team just got better as a unit,” Clifford said. “That allowed me to really get the ball out to my wide receivers better.”
Clifford is as humble as they come, but he is a standout athlete and he can already throw a football nearly 50 yards.
Before he begins training for high school football next year, Clifford reflected back on the recently completed season.
Naturally, he focused on the team as a whole rather than his remarkable individual statistics.
“Last year we were 5-2-1 and all the teams we lost to last year we beat this year,” Clifford said. “We were pretty excited about that. That was our goal this year, to beat every single team that we lost to last year.”
The eighth-grade Eagles wound up posting a perfect 8-0 record this season, and they beat Clark Montessori in the final game to claim the Miami Valley Conference Championship.
“From the start of the season to the end, it was a great season for us,” Clifford said. “We were able to accomplish a lot of good things.”
Clifford already showed he is going to be a very good quarterback at the next level, and his six years of attending NFA/QBA camps has spurred his development.
But Clifford is also a standout basketball player, and his new season is off and running.
Last year, the 6-footer led Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy to a third-place finish in the Ohio state tournament.
Clifford is hoping for similar success on the hardwood this winter, but he is still a football player first.
“Definitely, football,” he said. “It’s kind of tough having to play a full basketball season and trying to keep up with football. But I try to do the best I can to keep football in the mix all year round.”