Tonawanda News


October 10, 2012

Warriors quarterback Clayton Hess earns respect in the huddle

QB PROFILE: Basketball standout is a leader on the football field.

Tonawanda News — When Clayton Hess moved from Ohio to Western New York three years ago, he wanted to make an impact on the sports scene at Tonawanda High School.

At 6-foot-4 and with a strong passion for basketball, it made sense he’d make a name for himself on the court. Last season, Hess averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game as a junior for Tonawanda and was named to the News’ all-area second team.

But right now he’s too busy leading the Warriors football team to think about roundball. He’s undertaken a mission set forth by Warriors coach Rob Gross and he’s dedicated himself to it.

“I’m just trying to fit into the program,” Hess said. “Coach has a philosophy that we must protect the tradition (of Tonawanda football) and I’ve tried to take the lead as a captain and play my role.”

Hess is the leader of a 1-5 Warriors team that is trying to recapture a tradition of winning. The squad has competed in almost every game it has been in, but the team has struggled to execute for a full four quarters. 

Since he was a youngster, Hess has always been a fierce competitor. He doesn’t quite know where the fire comes from but he hates to lose.

His attitude has endeared him to Gross, who said Hess is a hard worker that is always looking to improve.

“He’s a great leader. He’s matured into his role,” Gross said. “We’ve put him in some tough situations as a sophomore and a junior, but he’s a guy that’s persevered.”

Hess played at tight end his freshman season before Gross asked him to move to quarterback. His size and strength offered his team a distinct advantage: having a quarterback with a big arm who can run like a super-sized fullback.

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