Friday Night Hero: Salisbury's Clint Comadoll
By Ryan Bisesi
MOUNT ULLA — Clint Comadoll moves seamlessly from the soccer practice field multiple times a week during the fall.
So when asked to make the move from linebacker to defensive line when Travis Byrd was hurt, it was no biggie for the 6-foot-3, 185 pound sophomore. He recorded eight tackles and came up with some big wrap ups on third down to help extend Salisbury’s season in a 35-6 second-round playoff win against Starmount.
“I’m pretty excited,” Comadoll said. “Last year when we got to the states I didn’t play a whole lot. I feel like I’m part of the team.”
Comadoll has been part of two deep playoff runs this fall with soccer in the West final against Shelby today and football traveling to CCC foe Thomasville on Friday for a rematch. On Tuesday, he went from soccer practice over off New Street after school until 4 p.m., when it was to the football practice field.
“It felt like a pretty good game,” said Comadoll of the Starmount win. “I was doing my job of holding their line back as much as I could so they had to bounce the ball to the outside.”
When Byrd was sidelined with a shoulder injury late in the year, Comadoll stepped in to start in his place for the East Davidson game on the defensive line. The transition went off without a hitch. Byrd separated his shoulder late in the season before coming back to play some against Starmount.
“We didn’t expect that out of Clint,” Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan said. “The surprising thing is that he’s showing the physical nature that we didn’t expect to get out of him at this age. He’s taking a little bit of quiet-type leadership. He’s kind of the unsung hero on our defense right now.”
Comadall kind of gets lost among the Kavari Hillie’s and William Brown’s of the world in the Salisbury defense. However, his versatility along with stout play on the line has made him hard to miss lately. “He’s actually playing better there than when he stands up,” Pinyan said. “He gives a lot of that pass rush when we need him and he can also give us the quickness to contain with.”
Comadoll split time between the jayvee and varsity squads last season at linebacker. Now as a sophomore and already earning a starter’s role, Comadoll has ample time to cement his place on the defense. Against Carver in the first round, Comadoll was in on several plays while trying to contain dynamic quarterback Madison Mills.
“He’s found his niche on our defense,” Pinyan said. “He doesn’t make you forget about Trey Jackson, but he sure has made some plays like Trey Jackson has made.”
The Hornets (11-2) have won three straight and are in the third round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year. They get another shot at Thomasville after losing five fumbles in the initial meeting and falling 34-27. The loss gave the Bulldogs the top seed out of the CCC and homefield advantage Friday night. Shaquan Johnson carried the ball 44 times for 178 yards and scored four touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
“This time, we’re definitely not going to fumble as much,” Comadoll said.
Comadoll says he wants to keep playing both sports. He’s played soccer since he was little and started out as a kicker in middle school. In eighth grade, he moved to tight end before merging to the opposite side of the ball as a Hornet.
“I moved because they wanted me to,” Comadoll said. “I didn’t really want to play offense. I like hitting people.”
Although Starmount was without starting quarterback Christian Hurt, the Salisbury defensive front showed no mercy. The Rams managed just 122 yards rushing and didn’t complete a pass. Outside of Starmount’s only scoring drive that lasted 9:26, downfield progression was at a premium for the Rams. Starmount went three-and-out on its first three possessions.
“Once he started getting his hand on the ground, he’s one of the better outside defensive linemen that we’ve got,” Salisbury assistant Ryan Crowder said. “He’s at a spot where we can move him. He can be either one for us.”