Skyler Cloward loves to compete.He showed it the past four years as a top athlete at Grantsville High School. Cloward started in football and baseball for four years and was a major contributor to the basketball team the past two seasons.
Coaches and teammates admired everything about the 6-foot-1-inch, 220-pound athlete, and named him captain this year in those three sports.
For his athletic accomplishments coupled with his academic achievements this year and in the past, Cloward is the Transcript-Bulletin Boys Prep of the Year for the 2012-13 school year.
“He epitomizes everything you would want in a high school athlete,” said GHS basketball coach Chris Baker.
The linebacker-offensive lineman was named First-Team All-State in football two consecutive seasons. Last year, he was the second-leading tackler on the team and was second in sacks.
In basketball, he was the second-leading rebounder and third-leading scorer. In baseball, Cloward chalked up 10 wins on the mound as a pitcher over the past two seasons and gobbled up grounders at third base. He was a top RBI producer for the baseball team.
The top athlete said football is his favorite sport because he’s been around it his whole life with his father, Tony Cloward, as a coach.
“I probably like baseball next after football, but really the main thing is I just like sports, and I like to compete no matter what type of game it is,” Skyler said.
“Skyler was a very physical and intelligent player for us,” said Tony, who is GHS’s head football coach. “He made a lot of big plays for us, and showed great leadership as early as his freshman year at the varsity level. He’s a great kid that loves the game of football.”
The football star blocked several punts during the 2011 season, including one in the fourth quarter of a home game against Bear River to seal a 19-2 victory over the Bears. Skyler returned the blocked kick 39 yards for a touchdown.
“I was able to block those kicks by coming from the outside,” he said. “The main thing is you can’t let anybody touch you. You get in there as fast as you can and then you have to lay out. It’s going to hurt, but you have to do it.”
Skyler started three years for the GHS baseball team.
“He meant a whole lot to us offensively because we had him hitting in the three hole for three years,” said GHS baseball coach Loren Anderson. “He’s a real good contact hitter and we pushed him to drive the ball more out to the fence in the gaps and he was able to do it. You couldn’t ask for a better kid or teammate. He was a bulldog out on the mound and was mentally tough. Sometimes he would just will his way to success.”
Baker said Skyler wasn’t really tall enough to dominate inside in basketball.
“He was a little undersized inside, but he was a relentless competitor, would always come up with any loose balls, plus he picked up a lot of garbage baskets inside to get us 6 to 8 points per game,” he said.
Skyler said some of his most memorable moments over the years were an overtime football victory over Morgan at home, which led to six more Grantsville wins in the next seven games, and a close victory over Stansbury early in the basketball season this year. He was the leading rebounder in that game and scored 10 points. Another memorable moment was when Grantsville handed Juan Diego its first region loss in baseball when he was a sophomore.
Skyler earned All-Academic All-State in football, basketball and baseball this year. He was All-Region in football for three straight years and Region 11 Offensive MVP his junior season. He received a full-ride scholarship to Dixie State University for football and academics. In July he will go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Rosario, Argentina.