Clawson, Forsman Honored as Unsung Heroes

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
 

Football honor

Kate Clawson’s last name rhymes with “awesome,” and she’s been nothing short of that as a supersub for the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team.

Kate Clawson
Befitting an "unsung hero," Clawson was overshadowed when she scored a career-high 21 points at McDaniel last season: It was the same game in which Alexandra Chili '12 became the Mules' all-time scoring leader.
Clawson and classmate Hunter Forsman of the men’s team were named to the “Unsung Hero” Team at the first Lehigh Valley Small College Basketball luncheon of the 2012-13 season.

“It’s really cool,” said Clawson, who was unable to attend the luncheon due to an academic commitment. “You work hard every day in practice and do all the little things. I always try to do what’s going to help the team. You may not score a lot and people may not know your name, so getting this award means a lot to me.”

Clawson has meant a lot to the Mules, filling a variety of roles in helping them to a 71-20 record and two Centennial Conference championships. She has only started five games, and her career average is a modest 4.7 points per game, but she can usually be found on the court in close games, whether it is to rebound, play good defense or hit clutch free throws.

Hunter Forsman
Forsman scored a career-high nine points, two on a ferocious two-handed dunk, in a 60-58 win against No. 8 Franklin & Marshall last year.
“Kate Clawson is the like the ‘Flexi Seal’ of our team,” quipped head coach Ron Rohn. “When you have a leak in your shooting, you put Kate in. When you need someone to grab rebounds, you put Kate in. When you need someone to take care of the ball, you put Kate in. Even though her stats aren’t those you would see from a player who wins all-league, she’s the reason that our team wins games.”

Unmatched in versatility, Clawson has played every position except point guard – which she did play in high school – for Muhlenberg. So which is her favorite?

“People always say I’m better facing the basket, and obviously I love shooting threes,” said Clawson, who is 7-of-14 from behind the arc this year. “So I guess you could say I’m more comfortable as a wing. But with my height, I can get rebounds when I play in the post.”

Ultimately, though, Clawson came to the conclusion that her coaches and teammates would no doubt echo.

“My favorite place to be is not on the bench,” she said with a laugh.

Forsman, a three-year letterwinner who has battled injuries throughout his career, shared Clawson’s sentiments on receiving the award.

“It means a lot,” stated Forsman. “I don’t always get recognition on game night, so it feels good to get recognized in another way for working hard over the past three years.”

Due to various injuries, last year was Forsman’s first “full” season – he played in every game, including 14 starts, and averaged 2.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He played in three games this year, grabbing seven boards in the season-opener against Drew, before being set back by another injury.

“It’s tough and it’s frustrating,” said Forsman. “But injuries are something I can’t control, so I’ve just tried to stay positive and work my way back every time.”

“To me, Hunter is the definition of an unsung hero,” said head coach Scott McClary. “The value he brings to our team is never found in the stats, but his energy and consistent approach are so important to our team. He has battled several injuries throughout his career and I’ve never heard him complain. Instead, he just fights his tail off to return to the court.”

Although the stats may not show it, Forsman, at 6-6 and 225 pounds, provides a huge presence in the post, particularly on the defensive end. While Forsman’s presence on the court is certainly an asset for Muhlenberg, his role on the team goes much deeper than the game.

“I definitely go out of my way to help the new players on the team and make them feel comfortable,” said Forsman, who is one of just three seniors this year. “I think this helps a lot with creating solid team chemistry.”