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Local youth sports receive donations in memory of Bill Clark

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter

Lancaster's Bill Clark is shown here with his high school basketball team in Groveton. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
November 24, 2021
LANCASTER — Bill Clark of Lancaster recently passed away on Aug. 13. Although quite the family man, Clark's love of baseball never went unnoticed. He supported little league teams and other school sports for kids all over the North Country, including Lancaster, Groveton, Littleton and WMRHS.

Clark played baseball in college and then later for the Army. What many locals don't know, is that Clark was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 1969 amateur draft.

Over the past ten years, Clark has run a North of The Notch baseball fantasy league among family and friends. After losing him this year, the North Of the Notch League decided to make donations in his memory to the Lancaster Little League and Groveton Little League.

While it's not a fortune, the group was able to donate $420 to the two leagues, with each one receiving $210 in Clark's name to spend how they deem fit.

"As a Board member of the Belmont Baseball Organization the last eight years, I personally know how important those donations are to help the local leagues keep kids on the fields and I know Bill would be smiling knowing how much his friends and family valued his desire to see the local league survive and thrive," said Clark's son in law, Chris Gilbert.

Clark was born in 1943 and grew up in the Groveton area with his younger brother Dean, attending high school in Groveton and graduating in 1961. During his high school years, he was a standout athlete on both the baseball and basketball teams. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army where he served in Fort Bragg as a pharmacy technician and played baseball around the world for the Army baseball team.

Once his tour of duty was up in the Army, he enrolled at San Francisco State University in 1965, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves baseball team where he played two seasons of minor league baseball before suffering an arm injury and moving back to Lancaster.

Clark married his wife Lynne in 1971, and raised two daughters. He retired from North Country Ford in the early 2000's, although he continued to drive vehicles too, and from auctions and other dealers for them until this past year.

Gilbert added, "Bill loved his sports, he coached in the Colonel Town little league program in the 1980's, helped coach pitching at Groveton High School in the 80's and 90's and could often be found at any of the local high school sporting events, especially basketball games in the winter. Anytime you got together with him one of his first questions (after how are you doing, of course) was 'Did you see the game last night?'"

When Clarke passed this summer, it was determined that the entry fees for 2021 would be donated to local sports leagues in his honor. Because of his love for Lancaster and Groveton the group decided to donate half to Colonel Town and half to Groveton. This led to a donation of $210 per league which will help the league's continue their growth and support the local athletes in the community, something that was near and dear to Bill's heart.

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