Former area high school student-athletes excel at the college level
AMERICUS – For four years, they inspired us through their determination and hard work and they gave us magical moments. They were our area’s stellar high school student-athletes, and now they are doing both Sumter and Schley County proud by excelling on and off the field, court and course at the college level.
From time to time, the Americus-Times Recorder will chronicle and update the progress of these bright student-athletes as they try to lead their various college teams to victory.
Tyler Clark is a senior defensive tackle on the University of Georgia football team. So far, the former Americus-Sumter (ASHS) standout is having a stellar year through nine games. According to information from georgiadogs.com, Clark has a total of 19 tackles on the season, including 1.5 sacks and two additional tackles for loss. One of those tackles for loss came in the Bulldogs’ 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina. Going into the 2019 season, Clark was named to the Pre-Season All-SEC Third Team.
During his junior year, Clark played in all of the Bulldogs’ 14 games and started 10 of them. He racked up a total of 31 tackles on the season, including four tackles for loss and one quarterback sack. Clark also came up with a game-sealing fumble recovery in UGA’s win over Kentucky.
As a Panther, Clark was a PrepStar Magazine four-star prospect and was a 247sports.com four-star prospect, among numerous other accolades. He was also a participant in the Offense-Defense Diamonds in the Rough Game was an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AAAA All-State Honorable Mention. He is currently majoring in Sports Management.
Former ASHS basketball star Joshua Lusane is now plying his trade at Campbell University (CU), an NCAA Division I school in Buies Creek, NC. In the Fighting Camels’ first two games to begin the 2019-20 season, Lusane is averaging 11.5 minutes per game and is averaging 2.5 points per game. He has six rebounds, three assists and one steal so far. In CU’s 75-74 win over Coastal Carolina on Tuesday, November 5 to open the season, Lusane scored two points in 10 minutes of action. He also grabbed six rebounds and had one assist. In CU’s 101-47 thrashing of Central Pennsylvania on Friday, November 8, Lusane played a total of 13 minutes and scored a total of three points, all coming from the foul line. He also had two assists and one steal in the game.
As an Americus-Sumter Panther, Lusane had a brilliant career on the hardwood. During his senior year, he led the Panthers to the GHSA Class AAAA State Championship game. Unfortunately, the Panthers came up short in that game, losing 58-55 to Carver-Columbus. In that game, Lusane tallied 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Lusane was a first-team all-state selection by the GHSA and the Atlanta Journal Constitution his senior year. He averaged 17.3 points per game, eight rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game and blocked 46 shots as a senior. Lusane scored a total of 1,057 points in his career and moved past the 1,000-point mark while he led the Panthers to the state championship game. In addition to those achievements, Lusane was named the MVP of the Georgia-Florida All-Star game.
Former Southland Academy standout basketball star Siage Batten is currently beginning his sophomore season as a starting guard at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, GA. The Barons are currently 3-4 on the young season, and Batten is averaging close to eight points and seven rebounds per game. In Batten’s sophomore season, the Barons have already won as many games as they won all of last season.
Batten had a tremendous high school career for the Raiders. He set a school record with 153 free throws made and made All-State both his junior and senior year. During his senior campaign, Batten averaged 21 points per game and over six rebounds per game. He was also selected to play in the All-State Senior All-Star Game. Batten is currently majoring in Business Management. After graduation, he wants to start his own insurance business and become an entrepreneur.
Former Schley County (SC) standout golfer Thad Clark is currently a freshman at Bryan College in Dayton, TN and is a member of the men’s golf team. The freshman business major from Ellaville recently shot a 72 on the first day of play at the ALC Eagle Invite in Cohutta, GA. After that performance, Clark was in second place out of 80 competitors and ended up finishing the tournament tied for eighth place overall with teammate Peter Brown. As a team, the Lions finished the tournament tied for fourth place with Covenant College.
During his senior year at SC, Clark maintained a scoring average of 76. His best finish during the 2019 season was an even par of 70 at the Stratford Invitational.
Clark was able to lead the Wildcats to a third-place finish at the 2019 GHSA Class A-Public State Golf Tournament.
Throughout the year, we will chronicle the performances of other collegiate student-athletes who hail from our area. Stay tuned to the Americus Times-Recorder for further updates.