It started out as a matter of the bottom line. Terence Trent wanted to find a way to make money. Crossland's vocational program includes barbering. Why not learn to cut hair and pocket a few bucks?
So at the beginning of a school day that included English, trigonometry, chemistry and Spanish, the Cavaliers offensive lineman-linebacker learned to use a pair of clippers. Although his mother briefly protested that cutting hair was almost the equivalent of cutting school, after learning about specialties such as highlights and hydrogen peroxide, Trent now says that barbering is "sort of a chemistry class."
And it has kept Trent busy. He said he cuts hair at least a few days a week and expects to be assigned to a barbershop this year as part of the Temple Hills work-study program.
One problem with that: Many people get their hair cut on Thursday or Friday afternoons or on Saturday morning, trying to preen for weekend outings. But Trent, who has led the Cavaliers in sacks the past two seasons and was the team's defensive most valuable player last season, won't be available at those times during the fall because of football practices and games.
"After games, maybe I can go to the shop if I feel like it," said Trent, who also is Crossland's senior class president and sings in a band.
Still, Clark figures to keep getting business from friends and teammates. Trent carries his clippers everywhere he goes and even has offered to cut Crossland Coach Keith Howard's hair, but the 37-year-old coach responds with a standard joke.
"I told him he can cut [running back] Matt Clark's hair," Howard said. "Matt doesn't have any hair."