New Clyde receiver Laughlin among Big Country leaders


ABILENE, Texas - If you start listing off the best high school wide receivers in the area you'd probably think of Cooper's Myller Royals, Sweetwater's Kobe Clark or Abilene High's Raekwon Millsap.

But, a name you might not think about is Payton Laughlin from Clyde.

Just a junior, Laughlin has become the Bulldogs' go-to man with 32 catches for 410 yards and four touchdowns through the season's first four games.

Even more impressive is this is Laughlin's first year on varsity.

"I was excited to get into it last year, and I didn't get the chance, but this year I've jumped right into it," Laughlin said after practice on Monday. "It's been a lot of fun with the younger guys that have stepped up and done a big job. they've filled some shoes form last year."

Laughlin has worked with two different quarterbacks -- Payton Burton and Jax Roam -- due to injuries, but has excelled with both.

"They get the job done. Burton throws a little harder, but it's nothing we can't handle."

"I know things didn't go our way against Cisco the other night, but we were able to move the ball decently here and there," head coach Rocky Smart said. "After the last two weeks, I just feel the offense has taken some big steps."

Laughlin caught nine passes for 110 yards, including a full-extension grab at the goalline, in Clyde's 45-24 loss at Cisco.

This week the Bulldogs will host Coleman in the Football Friday Night Game of the Week. KTXS will show highlights, and a behind-the-scenes story from the game.

FFN starts at 11:05 p.m. on Friday nights.