By Marc Raimondi
Most families have summer vacations. The Clarks of Belle Harbor have the Empire State Games.
All three of Michael and Kathleen Clarks’ children competed this year at the annual amateur athletic competition in Binghamton, N.Y. Candice, the oldest, played on the New York City women’s open soccer team; Carolina, the youngest, played on the city women’s scholastic soccer team; and Michael Jr. competed in shooting events.
“Every summer, we kind of plan everything around it,” said Caroline Clark, 16, who plays soccer at Lawrence Woodmere Academy on Long Island. “It’s a big deal for us.”
Candice, who won a gold medal this year with the open women’s soccer squad, is a veteran of the Empires. She’s been playing every year since eighth grade. The Poly Prep graduate is now a sophomore at Connecticut College. This was actually the inaugural summer Michael competed in the Empire State Games, which is the largest annual amateur athletic competition in the country. He always came along for the trip, but this time around he got to show his wares, too.
“I only found out last year that they had a trap event,” said Michael, who will shoot at Moravia College in Pennsylvania starting this year.
Candice says she leaves the shooting to her brother, but the trio really enjoy their time at the Empires.
“I like being with the whole family,” she said. “I watch my brother and sister and they watch me.”
Who needs a regular family vacation?
Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.