Phil Clark, a 1963 graduate of Taylorville High School, is considered by many to be one of the best all around athletes ever to compete at the school. Earning twelve varsity letters, he not only contributed, but excelled in every sport he played.

    Probably most gifted as a football player, Clark started as a linebacker on the 8-1 tornadoes in 1960. Adding to the offense the following year, he rushed for 676 yards in seven games, missing the final two games of the season due to an injury and still received honorable mention on the Chicago American “All- Southern” team. As a senior, clark rused for 962 yards that year, giving him a career total of 1638 yards, currently 3rd most in the history of the school.

    Clark earned Chicago American “All- southern: First Team honors following that season and was also named the Taylorville Tornadoes’ “Outstanding Back”.

    A starting forward for three years on the Tornadoes basketball teams, Clark lead the squad in scoring with 443 points and a 17 point per game average his junior year and added 417 points and an 18.1 point per game average during his senior year to compile a career total of 1065 points, 4th highest in the school’s history. Selected as the team’s most valuable player, Clark was also selected “Honorable Mention” to the Champaign News Gazette All- State Basketball Team and to the Chicago American’s “All- Southern” Team.

    During the Spring, Phil Clark participated on both the track team and the baseball team. Following his eighth grade year, he set a Jay-Cees Track Meet long jump record with a leap of 21’ 0”. In high school, Clark continued as a standout in the long jump and the sprints. He ran the hundred yard dash in 10.2 seconds and anchored the state Qualifying 880 yard Relay team.

    Playing a variety positions on the baseball team, Clark played an integral role in the Tornadoes advancing to the final four in the State Baseball Tournament in 1962 and came back as a starting pitcher to help guide the Tornadoes to their sixth consecutive Mid-State Conference Championship in 1963.

    Following the spring of his senior year, Clark was named Decatur Herald and Review “Area Athlete of the Year”.

    After graduation, Phil Clark received a scholarship to play football at the University of Missouri under coach Dan Devine. He became a starter for the Tigers at linebacker his sophomore year and played regularly until a knee injury ended his career.