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Tomorrow’s Stars: Clark, Terrell making impact on court at young age

Natchez High School’s Kirdis Clark and Tydarrius Terrell are both impact players for their basketball teams. Just sophomores, the two see significant minutes on the court at the varsity level. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Natchez High School’s Kirdis Clark and Tydarrius Terrell are both impact players for their basketball teams. Just sophomores, the two see significant minutes on the court at the varsity level. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Kirdis Clark and Tydarrius Terrell are just sophomores at Natchez High, but the two are already making strides to become impact players on the varsity basketball teams.

Clark, who plays guard for the Lady Bulldogs, is a captain and starter, and head coach Alphaka Moore said she is already seeing great leadership qualities from her.

“Kirdis is a young kid with a lot of heart,” Moore said. “You can tell she is going to be a big leader as she gets older. She already plays a big role doing that now.”

Clark, who was a part of last year’s state championship team, said she is driven by her mother, who was apart of another state championship Natchez High team.

“I saw my mom’s picture on the wall for the class of ’94, and they had won a championship,” Clark said. “She told me that nobody else was going to do that. I said, ‘Watch, we are going to do it twice.’”

Clark is averaging just under 10 points per game this season, but it is her defense that shines when she is on the court.

“She is a spurt of energy on the floor,” Moore said. “Sometimes I have to tell her to relax, because she is all over, but that gives energy to other players as well because they follow her lead.”

Clark said she is aware of that, and tries her best to stay in control.

“I have to listen because I know I get hyper and ready to go,” she said. “But the game of basketball is about knowledge and you have to know when to go and when to slow down.”

Moore expects the young sophomore to have a promising career, and potentially help bring home more state championships for Natchez.

“The sky is the limit for her,” Moore said. “As long as she keeps working and stays focused.”

Terrell, like Clark, is a force on the defensive end.

While he won’t overwhelm opponents, standing just five-feet-four-inches tall, it is Terrell’s speed that makes him one of the best defenders on the Bulldog roster.

“He’s steady,” Natchez assistant coach David Haywood said. “He’s going to make mistakes, but he is the type of kid that won’t let a mistake bother him. I’ve got faith in him to just get out there and cause havoc.”

Terrell joined the basketball team after having a standout season in football, but his dedication to the game helped him stay ready and make the transition easy.

“Throughout the summer he did his football training, but did a little basketball, too,” Haywood said. “So he always kind of stayed in the mix. Although he was playing football, he stayed in the basketball class, which helped him stay prepared.”

Terrell said he was nervous early on, getting quality minutes at the varsity level, but just wanted to do his job the best he could.

“I’m a little nervous sometimes, but I come in and try to do my part, which is play defense,” he said.

Terrell also said that he looks at the opportunities given to him as chances to prove himself.

“Knowing that coaches believe in me, I take that opportunity to step up,” he said.

With only limited experience under his belt, Terrell has room to grow, but and he said he hopes to continue to do so.

“I just want to get better,” Terrell said. “So if football doesn’t work out, I’ve got something else to fall back on.”