Athlete of the Week: Darquan Balkcom

CLEWISTON – Clewiston High School senior football player Darquan Balkcom is this week’s Big Lake Athlete of the Week for his performance in the Tigers game against the Avon Park Red Devils on Aug. 23.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Darquan Balkcom gets some last second instructions from Clewiston coach Pete Walker during a timeout. On the very next play Balkcom would roll out on a play action and hit Tiger Luis Cruz for a 30-yard touchdown.

Balkcom is actually the Tigers’ backup quarterback, but if you were watching the Tigers rout Avon Park 43-0 in Cane Field last week, that thought wouldn’t have even crossed your mind.

Balkcom was efficient and accurate against the Red Devil defense, going 7 for 8 for 249 yards and tjree touchdowns, which earned some praise from his head coach Pete Walker.

“I thought he threw the ball very well,” said Walker. “He’s our backup at quarterback and he came in and had a good performance for us.”

One play that won’t show up on the stat sheet but reflected on the effort Balkcom put into the game happened during the second half. He handed the ball off on a running play deep in Tigers’ territory. But the ball was stripped by Avon Park and picked up by a Red Devil linebacker who had a clear path to the endzone.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Darquan Balkcom reads the Avon Park defense with Jaivus Chavers flanked on his right.

Balkcom circled around, caught the Avon Park defender and stripped the ball back out, which was then recovered by the Tigers to give Clewiston possession once again.

On the very next play, he hit Tiger Oran Singleton for an 80-yard touchdown pass. Not too bad for a backup.

Balkcom had some help on offense from running back Jaivus Chavers, who had 10 carries for 77 yards and three touchdowns. Chavers is a previous Big Lake Athlete of the Week, winning the award last year for his performance in the Tigers win against Lely.

If you have someone you’d like to nominate for Big Lake Athlete of the Week, email Lake Okeechobee News sports reporter Richard Marion at

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