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Clayton Valley’s Kern rises to the top

Jake Kern practices at Clayton Valley on March 5, 2021. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Jake Kern practices at Clayton Valley on March 5, 2021. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

Clayton Valley Charter senior quarterback Jake Kern didn’t know what it felt like to be at the top.

He was at the bottom before. He transferred to Clayton Valley to get his opportunity. He wanted that feeling of leading a team and wanted the opportunity to lead the way to some championships.

“Not being the main guy the whole time,” Kern said. “I had to transfer to Clayton Valley to get my opportunity to be the main guy, and I’ve loved it. I’ve loved the hard work that I had to put into it. It’s in my parents, too. I want to thank my parents because they push me and they shaped who I am.”

Once Kern arrived at Clayton Valley, the opportunity arose, and he was not going to let it slip away.

A three-year varsity player, Kern’s trajectory kept going up since his sophomore year when he completed a 50-yard touchdown pass as a sophomore against Acalanes. He was one of the Bay Area’s top signal-callers during his junior year, when he threw for 1,685 yards, 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

That’s when Kern and Clayton Valley went 5-5 during the regular season in an incredibly challenging East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division, then went on to win North Coast Section, Northern California and state titles.

Kern wanted more, and while his senior year has been different, he’s grateful for all of the success that has come his – and the Ugly Eagles’ – way.

What Kern and this Clayton Valley senior class did not have was a league title. They ended up getting it, as they clinched the EBAL Mountain Division crown in a 17-14 win at San Ramon Valley last weekend.

“I’m happy,” Kern said. “It’s the missing link that we didn’t have. I have a NorCal championship, an NCS championship and a state championship, but I didn’t have a league championship.”

Kern, who has 350 passing yards this year, is thinking about walking on at whichever university he attends in the fall.

The University of Washington is in consideration if he chooses to attend there, and so are a slew of other Division I schools.

“They’re going to get someone who is committed and ready to work and work his way up because I’ve been at the bottom and I want to get to the top,” Kern said. “I’m ready to work. Simple.”

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