The Class of 2010 was one of the best of the decade in the Greater Cincinnati area. With such a large crop of talent graduating this May, we begin to look at what players will take over as the stars of the local high school gridiron next season with our series, Rising Stars.
Finneytown suffered through a 1-9 season a year ago and were outscored by a 264-86 margin. Facing a winless season, the Wildcats showed great pride in Week 10 though, posting a 34-6 win over Taylor.
Despite the poor showing in '09, there is plenty of optimism as this year approaches. New head coach Darryn Chenault has taken over and the team returns one of the area's best big men, Donovan Clark.
The offers are growing for the 6-foot-4, 292-pound two-way star. He currently has double-digit offers including USC, Cincinnati, Louisville, North Carolina State and West Virginia and several more schools are showing interest.
Clark was a definite bright spot as a junior for the Wildcats. Not only did he anchor things on the offensive line, but he caused havoc on the defensive front as well.
"He was a man amongst boys at times," QueenCityHigh.com analyst Greg Shoemaker said of Clark. "With his frame and raw ability he has the potential to grow into a special player."
He racked up the hardware as a junior being named Honorable Mention All-State in Ohio's Division IV as well being honored as First-Team All-Conference and First-Team All-Southwest District.
His mix of size and athleticism overmatched most CHL opponents and are the very characteristics that make the senior-to-be so attractive to college coaches.
Clark was one of many 2011 recruits on hand at Cincinnati's Bearcat Bowl and is definitely considering staying home and playing for the Bearcats.
"I like the intensity and everything," Clark said of UC. "I could see myself coming here."
Regardless of where he plays college ball here or not, local fans are going to be treated to a stellar senior year from this Wildcat.
FINAL TAKE: Clark is a Rising Star in its truest sense. Lost on a 1-9 team in the Cincinnati Hills League didn't stop him from getting an offer all the way from the West Coast as USC came to the table. That speaks volumes. Though he plays on both sides of the ball, expect him to be on the offensive line at the next level.