WKU Football: Following in his father’s footsteps
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Many young boys grow up wanting to be just like their dad.
They consider him their hero, role model and best friend.
They want to walk like their dad, talk like their dad and do everything their dad does.
One freshman defensive back on the WKU Football team has grown up to do just that.
Ever since he was a young kid, Clayton Bush dreamed of running out onto Feix Field in a Hilltopper football jersey with thousands of fan singing, “Stand up and cheer! Stand up and cheer for dear old Western!”
“There’s pictures way back of me in little jerseys running around Hilltopper camp,” said Bush. “Just always wanting to play.”
What was once a childhood dream has now become a reality for the freshman.
“It was a big goal of mine,” Bush said. “Whenever I made it, it was very satisfying.”
Bush has worked his entire life to reach this point in his athletic career.
He started playing football at the age of five, and thanks to his father, putting on the pads became a passion.
“He coached me from my very first game to my very last high school game,” said Bush.
The last high school game Clayton played in was the Class 5A KHSAA State Championship.
Bush was a key player on both sides of the ball for a South Warren Spartans team that took home the trophy following a 20 to 16 win against Covington Catholic.
Clayton’s dad was on the sidelines to see it firsthand.
“Endless amount of pride,” said Wayne Bush, Clayton’s father. “Every step of his life has been very successful. I’ve been apart of it, and I’m very proud of him.”
Clayton isn’t the first one in his family to play football at WKU, though.
His father dawned the red and white jersey from 1984 to 1989, playing at the linebacker position for the Hilltoppers.
“Good for me, good character building and toughened me up a bit,” said Bush. “I see Clayton doing that now, too. That’s pretty awesome.”
With the path already laid out in front of him, Clayton has the chance to do exactly what his father did more than 30 years ago.
“A lot of people give me crap for that, saying you’re gonna be just like your dad,” Bush said. “But I think my dad’s a pretty awesome person, so that’s fine with me.”
Wayne has always been an idol of Clayton’s.
“My dad’s probably my biggest look up to right now,” he said. “He’s there for me any time I need him. He’s just that kind of person, always there for you.”
But Clayton wants to leave his own legacy behind during his four years on the Hill.
“I’d like to set some stats and stuff like that that my dad probably didn’t before,” added Bush.
Regardless of what Clayton does on the football field, his dad is more concerned about his well-being and happiness off of it.
“I just want him to be successful and happy,” said Bush. “If he follows in my footsteps as far as doing what he loves, and having a family that he loves and takes care of, then that’s awesome.”
It’s evident whenever you speak with Wayne that he has so much pride in Clayton and everything he’s done.
In fact, Clayton said his father tells him every day how proud of him he is.
It’s that sense of pride and love that will never disappear, too.
“Father’s Day is just kind of one more day of that,” said Bush. “Every day is Father’s Day to me. It really is.”