Clint Belina: Nation’s Leading 8 Man Rusher Awaits Senior Season With Howells

Posted on January 22, 2009. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

 Nebraska Running Back Looks to Crack the 5, 000 Yard Career Total Mark In ’09

By Bobby Mills
Contributing Writer
my Hit



   It’s not all that often that the leading returning rusher in the entire nation in the 8-Man Football ranks lives right in our own backyard. Just look to the Northwest part of Nebraska to that fabled “Magic Circle” of football excellence and you will find a 6-2, 200pound “football smart”

Clint Belina Nebraska All-Class Leading Rusher in 2008

Clint Belina: Nebraska All-Class Leading Rusher in 2008

running back named Clint Belina.


   Belina hails from a school so recently rich in football tradition, they have won the last SEVEN Class D-1, 8-Man football titles in Nebraska. Since 2000, the Howells Bobcats have been the best in the 8-Man ranks in this state except for a 2 year absence in the 11-Man wars in ’06 and ’07.


   Some that keep records are noting that Coach Mike Speirs and his Howells football machine still have a consecutive streak of state championships going. We shall consider that as fact, and it’s only right. Besides, when you see the size of these playersfrom the land of Orange and Black, who would dare to differ.


   Clint Belina had played 2 seasons of 11-Man football and jumped head first into the 8-Man games last fall and made a gigantic splash. The Junior won the state rushing title with his 2,478 yards. In addition to his great junior season, Howells also beat Axtell 46-21 for the D-1 title, on a bone chilling night on the frozen Husker turf at Memorial Stadium.


   In the state title game, Belina, with the help of his line, put on a clinic on Howells football by rambling for 310 yards in 37 carries and scoring 6 touchdowns, 5 of which came in the deciding first half. I shutter to think how many yards Belina could have had that frigid evening had he played the entire game, but that’s not Howells football.


How It All Started for the Howell’s RB


   Clint Belina rushed onto the scene as a starting RB his Sophomore> year. It’s not all that out of the norm to see a 10th grader start for Howells. The Coaching staff, led by the venerable Speirs, is thatadept at teaching and coaching Football 101 and developing it into State Titles. Belina had an excellent surrounding cast in 2007 that helped him run for 1,469 yards, putting him 12th among the state’s11-Man Backs, and 20th overall. He is a threat to crack the prestigious 5000 Yard Career Rushing C lub next fall, a lofty status not many have reached……..only 22 to be exact.


   Belina’s 3,960 career yards put him within 1,040 yards of that magical mark, and considering the type of football excellence the Bobcats have had in the past, he certainly seems within reasonable reach.


   The humble Belina is quick to point out that Coach Speirs and his assistants have been instrumental, if not mostly responsible for his successes on the gridiron. Speirs sets goals high for his teams, and although the 12 year coach at Howells likes long TD runs, they only strive to get 3 yards on every play they run. The “Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust” Woody Hayes philosophy sure doesn’t seem to describe Howells football, but that’s the way Belina and his Coach say it runs.


I reminded Belina of an interview I did recently with Zack Barket, the nations rushing leader in 2008, and relayed the fact Barket stated he was not concerned about the first defender he came in contact with.Clint explained that he really never “sees” defenders in that sense,but just looks for running lanes.. Makes sense. It’s clearly obvious that Belina, like so many great Backs, loves to cut back against the grain in many situations–keeps ’em off balance, you see.


When I asked about his forty time, Belina did not know it, which means he probably is not overly concerned about pushing for a Division 1 scholarship in football.


   You see, at Howells they are not really into the year-round football thing many larger schools demand. J ust keep active by playing winter and spring sports and hit the weight room in the summer and maybe throw in a little baseball and help on Dad’s farm when necessary. Not a real complicated deal.


   Clint Belina did say his line would probably be just as good, if not a smidge better this coming season. The younger kids that gained valuable experience as Freshman are expected to be bigger and stronger in the fall and knowing Mike Speirs, Mr. Belina will be working on some speed drills a little and that could get a little scary for defenders in ’09.


   What I’ve gathered in all these years from Coach Speirs is that Howells does not make things real complicated for playing the game of football. it’s all, blocking, tackling and technique that are executed to a certain degree of perfection.


   No, they are not indoctrinated with football with “little kids” leagues from the time they’re in the 3rd grade, they just go the Howells games and dream of putting on the black paint and being a part of Bobcat football some day.


   Belina told me “Coach Speirs describes High School Football “as a one-time-shot”.

“After you take off the pads when you are a senior, it’s probably done forever most of you…This is your final chapter– make the most of it.”


   Maybe that’s why players like Clint Belina make the National spotlight as the ealding returning rusher in the land in the 8-Man ranks–that’s just Howells football.


   Personally, I’ve watched running backs on the high school level for years, viewing countless films. Belina is a football player that has seemly improved with EVERY game he has played. His transition from the 11-Man to the 8-Man game is something to behold. No, he doesn’t possess 10.6 hundred speed, but there aren’t too many that will run him down once he gets past the line, and if there is a defender two in the path, he has mastered the game of 8-Man so nicely, he will find a way to the house.


   Clint Belina is following in the footsteps of some pretty nifty backs in Howells history: Brad Vering, Alan and Kurt Bohaboj and Matt Eikmeier, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this young man has the opportunity to place himself among the elite runners from that school’s history………and maybe in Nebraska 8-Man football history.


Bobby Mills

1000 Yard Guy


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  • my Hit

    Nebraska High Schoolhoops7Top 25 Prospects '08/'09

    By Action Force


    Sponsor: Hit Highlights Inc.

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