Reaching Back to Pay It Forward


A Williston connection helps a new scholarship fund find a worthy recipient on campus

When Mike Doetsch ’82 was looking for the first athlete to honor with a scholarship from his newly formed West End Alumni Fund, he decided to look back home to Williston—and found the perfect recipient: football standout Jayden Clerveaux ’23.

Founded by a group of Trinity College football alumni in September 2020, the West End Alumni Fund (WEAF) aims to give “hard-working high school student-athletes the opportunity to pursue their passion of collegiate sports.” Quite simply, the fund wants to help bridge the gap between a desire to go to college and the economic realities of attending. “Frankly, college is ridiculously expensive, so if we can help a little bit, that’s what we want to do,” says Doetsch, who works in Manhattan as a Senior Vice President for Cresa, an international commercial real estate firm. In addition to Doetsch, the WEAF also has another Williston connection in Max Chipouras ’15.

Doetsch initially reached out to Tommy Beaton, Williston’s football coach, looking for a potential candidate. Beaton thought of Clerveaux immediately. In his PG year, Clerveaux rushed for 1,263 yards and 18 touchdowns as the Wildcats went 7-2. “He is a great player,” says Beaton. “But I also thought of his character—who he is as a person stands out big time. There was not a nicer kid on this campus.”

Clerveaux, who now plays football at the College of the Holy Cross, was “stoked” to get the call that he had won the scholarship in the spring of 2023. “Knowing that I won it meant so much,” Clerveaux says. He’s excited to be able to carry on his dedication to football at Holy Cross.

Football talents alone, though, aren’t what set Clerveaux apart. It’s also why WEAF looked to Williston when searching for candidates—to find student-athletes who demonstrate promise on the field of play, in the classroom, and as leaders
on campus. “Williston changed the direction of my life for sure,” Doetsch says. “I said, ‘We’re going to go back to the schools that we went to.’ It goes to the character. It’s the kids—you know the people there, and you know the standards that Williston has.”

Coming into Williston, Clerveaux had heard about the strength of the alumni network. Seeing it in action was completely different. “[Alumni] are people that can always help if you ever need anything. They’re always in your corner,” Clerveaux says. That also extends to Beaton and his coaching staff. “Those coaches, I’ll be forever grateful for what they did for me not only as a football player, but as a person.”

For a student-athlete who had some reservations about doing a postgraduate year, Clerveaux looks back with fondness on his time on campus. “The transition from a public school to a private school helped me a lot,” he says. “I’ll rave about it to the end of time. That year alone helped me become a better socializer and just better at everything. I’ll always stand by that.”

The connection between Clerveaux and WEAF won’t end with the scholarship check. According to Doetsch, the WEAF wants to continue following Clerveaux’s journey and provide him with another network of support. This fall, though, they’re just excited to see their first recipient suit up in purple and white to represent Holy Cross—on and off the field.