Rick Clopton capped four seasons, 1973-1976, as the starting centerfielder for the Baylor University baseball team by being selected for the All-southwest Conference first team in 1976. He was the leading Baylor hitter all four years, batting .320, 1973; .330, 1974; .310, 1975, and .330, 1976, and led the Bears in number of hits and runs scored all four years. In 1975, Clopton was selected for the College All-Stars who represented the United States in the Pan-American Games held in Mexico City, winning the silver medal in the competition. As a senior at Garland High School in 1972, he led the Owl baseball team to the District 8-4A championship, posting a .637 batting average and leading the team in all hitting statistics. He also won two of three games he pitched and saved two others. Coach, Gary Reeves' team dropped two of three contests in its bi-district series with L.D. Bell and completed its season with 17 wins and 13 losses. Clopton was named to both the All-District and the All-Metro first teams. As a junior, he was named to the All-District football team on both offense and defense as he played at running back and quarterback and at safety, with the Owls finishing as District 8-4A co-champions under Coach Russell Coffee. Co-champion Highland Park won a coin toss to move into the state playoffs. Starting at quarterback for Garland H.S. as a senior, Clopton broke his hand in the first game of the season and did not return to play until the seventh game of the season, as the Owls posted a record of seven wins and three losses. Despite missing half of the schedule, he was named to the All-District defensive team. As a junior, he also was the sixth player for the outstanding 1971 Garland bi-district champion basketball team, which won 32 games and lost only three. While in high school, he also was a strong track and field performer for the Owls in the high jump, the long jump, the sprint relay, and the mile relay.