Hoytville honors its All-American ‘hometown boy’


HOYTVILLE – In the time-honored tradition of saluting a "hometown boy who makes good," the
village has erected a sign to proudly claim Travis Clark as one of its own.
Including athletics, academics and the military, the 26-year-old has accomplished more so far than some
do in a lifetime. Yet among all of his achievements, it is his national wrestling success for which the
town is commending him.
The sign was unveiled Saturday afternoon before a crowd of about 30 friends, relatives and residents.
Though it is temporarily at "The Hill," a landscaped lot at the corner of Main Street and East
Church Street, it will eventually be moved to the tiny town’s southern corporation limit so northbound
drivers can read it.
It states, "Home of Travis Clark 2007-2009 NCAA All American Division II Heavyweight."
Wresting is a passion for Clark. While at McComb High School, he had an amazing 123-20 wrestling record.

During his four-year service in the Marines, Clark spent two years as a member of the All Marine
Wrestling Team, earning All-American and national honors in Greco-Roman wrestling. He even qualified for
the Greco-Roman World Team Trials.
In college Clark wrestled both as an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Findlay.
Wrestling at 250 pounds, he placed fourth in the nation in 2007 in National Collegiate Athletic
Association All American Division II Heavyweight wrestling, and eighth in the nation this year. He has
102 career collegiate wins and 35 collegiate pins, the second most in the university’s history.
The sign is a result of a letter council received from Melissa Auchmuty, informing members about Clark’s
national wrestling success. It noted he had always been proud of his hometown.
"We agreed it sounded like a real wonderful thing," said Councilwoman Linda Remaly prior to the
"This’ll be the first (road) sign to honor anybody," noted Councilwoman Donna Gordon.
Prior to the unveiling ceremony, Clark said the sign meant a lot to him. He praised the town for
"being there" for him, not only in high school but with all the cards, letters and packages
residents sent him while he was overseas in the military.
"I think this is just the beginning of his career. He’s inspired a lot of people. He brought a lot
of patriotism to the community," Mayor Joe Hagemyer said in his welcome. "He’s a great example
to the youth, a great example to the middle aged, a great example to retirees."
Gordon read aloud Clark’s extensive resume. In high school he excelled not only in wrestling, including a
two-time state qualifier, but also in football, earning All Conference and All State honors. He served a
tour of duty in Iraq in 2003 as a Marine. Clark achieved the rank of sergeant and a number of ribbons,
including two Navy unit commendations.
In addition to graduating magna cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, he is
completing his Master’s degree in education. Though he was accepted into the F.B.I., Clark turned it
down in favor of teaching seventh grade math in an inner city school in Fort Worth, Texas for the
challenge of having a job where he can make an impact.
During the unveiling, Remaly stated, "Today, we of the Hoytville village council, would like to
recognize the outstanding athletic achievements of Travis Clark as an example of pride and success for
our young people," she stated. "Travis honors Hoytville in many ways, one of which is his NCAA
Division II wrestling success illustrated by this sign marking his hometown."
Clark wanted those attending to know about the guidance given to him by his late grandfather, Roy
"Biff" Kline, who helped raise him. After the unveiling, Clark’s stepmother, Cindy Kline,
noted the young man was able to face obstacles in his life with the help of his grandfather. "He
didn’t give up. He kept trying. We’re very proud of him."

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