Donatelli has one last hurrah with Girard

HUBBARD — For many Youngstown-Warren area high school football players, the privilege of representing and playing for their community has come to an end.

Many of those players also have the privilege of earning an opportunity of playing football at the next level, and that is the case for Girard graduate and University of Akron commit Marco Donatelli. For Donatelli, a chance to showcase his talents one last time is very important to him. He’s playing for the Trumbull County team in the Jack Arvin All-Star Classic Thursday at Bo Rein Stadium in Niles, starting at 7 p.m.

“I can’t wait,” said Donatelli, after Thursday’s practice at Hubbard Memorial Stadium. “I just hope this Thursday night that it will be just like every other Friday night. I can’t wait to see my family and make them proud.”

Donatelli had quite the senior season. After transferring from Howland, he joined a Girard team that made it all the way to the Division IV state championship game. He was later offered an opportunity to play for the Akron Zips and coach Tom Arth. For Donatelli, a chance to play in this game and to represent Trumbull County is something he has dreamed of since he was little. He’s not worried about the increased risk of injury at the collegiate level.

“For me, the only thing I fear is God. He will protect me and keep me safe,” Donatelli said. “I can understand where people are coming from. But for me, I want every to chance to get better because I want to be that much better than everyone else.”

Every time an athlete participates in an all-star game, there is always the issue of playing with known rivals.

For a Trumbull squad filled with players from rivals such as Liberty, John F. Kennedy and Niles, that could be an issue, but Donatelli said there are no worries.

“Friday nights when we play each other we’re rivals, but off the field I congratulate them,” Donatelli said. “It’s exciting to be with all-stars.”

Trumbull coach Tim McGlynn of Champion knows Donatelli is a special talent, talking what it’s like to coach him and coach against him.

“He’s been very coachable” McGlynn said. “He came every day and has been a leader. There’s really no answers for him and for the athletes (Girard) has.”

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