FORTVILLE — It would be understandable if Timmy Clone complained or felt added pressure. Being a coach’s kid is never easy — especially when that coach is your stepdad.
But Mt. Vernon boys soccer coach Matt Mayhew and Clone have had plenty of time to form a relationship. Mayhew came into his life when Clone was just 2 years old, marrying his mother, Lisa.
And they’ve bonded around soccer.
“Timmy was just always there at a young age (around soccer),” Mayhew said, who coached Clone through youth league. “From there, it blew up into recreational leagues and travel ball, and I was able to coach him up until eighth grade. We have always got along great.
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“We knew at a young age (Clone) was special.”
Clone, 17, a junior forward, scored 10 goals and dished out five assists this season for the Hoosier Heritage Conference champion Marauders, who finished the year 13-3 and 7-0 in the HHC.
Clone’s biological father, Greg, lives in the New Castle area and attends games when he can. Clone said they enjoy hunting together during the fall and winter.
Clone’s mother, Lisa Mayhew, works in the Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation as a math teacher. Mayhew works in the same school corporation as a physical education and health teacher. His older brother, Bobby Clone, 20, also played soccer for Mayhew and the Marauders. He currently attends at Ball State University.
“I think all three of us (parents) are trying to do what’s best for the kids, even after soccer,” Mayhew added.
Clone, in addition to having healthy relationships with all three of his parents, has made plenty of friends around the sport — some of his closest pals being a year older.
None, though, are better than his connection with senior keeper Josh Powell. A member of a deep senior class, Powell and former Mt. Vernon seniors are given one last task before graduation.
They must pass a torch — the team uses tiki torches during the ceremony — to an underclassmen. The passing signifies leadership, hard work and dedication to the program.
Powell passed his torch to Clone, who will return with the most experience next season for Mt. Vernon.
“That shocked me,” Clone said. “It was like a flashback. I forgot all about how I started playing with him. He was on my first team. Once he handed me the torch, I was like ‘oh yeah.’”
Added Mayhew: “Those two always had a good bond, even with Timmy playing up a grade when they were younger.”
Powell and Clone met as eight-and nine-year-old kids while playing for the same club team, Sporting Indiana, which Mayhew is the director of in addition to his teaching duties.
Usually playing with kids older than him as a child, Clone grew close, not only with Powell, but the entire 2016 class, which featured eight seniors this season.
Clone, among five other Marauders, was considered for all-district awards at the end of the season, Mayhew said. He also was named all-conference the past two seasons.
“I will miss the laughs; they (2016 seniors) are pretty hilarious people,” Clone said.
But even as a coach’s kid, Clone, who sports a 3.7 grade-point average, never plays in a selfish manner — although he could. He was third on the team in scoring and dished out the fifth most assists, even as a forward who could take matters into his own hands.
“It’s not about the assist or goal, it’s what if you play together as a team,” Clone said. “Goals don’t matter unless you win.”
Mayhew took over the varsity program during Clone’s sophomore season, following Bobby’s senior year, after spending 10 years as the Marauders junior varsity head coach. Last season, Clone and Mayhew won a sectional title together, further strengthening their bond around the sport.
“It has been really special to see him grow into the player he is,” Mayhew said. “He has battled the coach is your dad type thing. I think once people saw him, it was like, ‘yeah, he is the coach’s son’ but is also something special out on the field.
“It didn’t take him long to prove that fact. He is one of my hardest workers and really a good teammate to everybody.”
Timmy Clone, Mt. Vernon
Family: Dad, Greg Clone; Mom, Lisa Mayhew; Stepdad, Matt Mayhew; Brother, Bobby Clone
By the Numbers: Clone scored 10 goals and dished out five assists in 2016
Team Finish: 13-3. 7-0 Hoosier Heritage Conference champions
Other Interests: Automobile Engineering (plans to study in college)