Marshall County High School senior Braden Clough has played football for most of his life, and it’s always been his sport. While shoulder injuries as a senior ultimately ended his playing days, Clough’s interest in sports medicine first sparked after an ankle injury in middle school football.
“I remember in the eighth grade, it was my first serious time I rolled my ankle — it popped and everything,” he said. “I had to get it wrapped. ... We were playing that game, but in the week after, in practice or whatever, it really fascinated me — I wanted to know what is hurting, and why is it hurting and how could I fix it?”
As Clough puts it, he would later delve into learning about the mechanics of the human body, and it all just really “clicked” with him. He looks to study exercise science in college and eventually go on to become a sports medicine physician to help people.
“It really started with that small fascination and what has really shown me that ‘Hey, I think this could be the right direction,’ is that the more I’ve learned about it, and the closer I’ve gotten to it, it’s only made sense more and I’ve only wanted to do it more, and so it just really excites me and it makes sense to me,” he explained.
The 17-year-old student recently said that he’s considering the University of Louisville or Western Kentucky University for college, and planned to make a decision soon.
Clough, son of Jon and Janella Clough of Benton, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every Tuesday, The Sun publishes articles on area high school seniors who were chosen from a group of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a selection committee will name one of these students as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At Marshall County, Clough has earned a 4.30 weighted cumulative GPA. He’s also an AP Scholar and attended the Kentucky Governor’s Scholar Program this past summer at Morehead State University.
He’s been part of the school’s football team and track and field team, as well as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, HOSA, Young Americans for Freedom and Interact Club.
He served as manager of the boys’ basketball team for his senior year, and tutors other students. He’s also worked as a pharmacy technician at a local pharmacy. A self-described “sneakerhead,” Clough started his own business last fall, “Clough’s Kick Collective.” He cleans shoes and branched out to other services as well, such as repairing, repainting and customizing shoes.
“You always hear coaches talk about ‘We want to win football games, obviously, but we want to make you better young men’ and that’s really what it did to me,” Clough said, on football.
He noted that he was “never the most talented naturally” on the field.
“The summer between eighth grade and freshman year, I was getting up at 5 a.m. every day in the summer to go work out because that’s how bad I wanted it, and what it taught me is that nothing worth having is going to come easy,” he added.
With shoulder injuries as a senior, Clough shared that football helped him learn to roll with the punches too and to make the best of an unexpected situation.
“I broke my shoulder twice, but I started a business that I love now. It’s a matter of mindset,” he said.
High school graduation is not far away, and Clough is currently focused on enjoying senior year, “taking it in and living in the moment.” He’s also trying to prepare for his future in college and build that next step for himself.
By KELLY FARRELL