FAMILY MATTERS: Pierce, Clark Continue Bulldog-To-Builder Pipeline


Southwestern College men’s basketball will continue to have a Pierce in uniform.

Ark City High School Senior Trevor Pierce has committed to play basketball for the Moundbuilders, joining teammate and fellow senior Cadon Clark at SC, who earlier committed to Southwestern as a two-sport athlete in hoops and football.

Pierce’s older brother, Cooper, finished his senior season with SC basketball, and Clark’s older brother, Cevin, will be a senior at Southwestern next year following a record-breaking junior campaign.

“We are very excited about coaching Trevor for the next four years,” Southwestern Men’s Basketball Coach Matt O’Brien told Cowley Post Tuesday. “He is not just a great basketball player he is an excellent student with high character. He has all the intangibles that have led us to becoming a perennial 20-win top NAIA program including coachability, toughness, and work-ethic.

“I think Trevor has a lot of upside and the skill set to fit our program.”

Pierce averaged 18 points and nearly six rebounds per game for the Bulldogs and scored 380 total points for the season. Pierce led Ark City in steals with 37, blocks with 13 and was the top shooter at the free throw line with 67 makes.

Clark tallied nearly nine points per contest for Ark City hoops and led the Bulldogs in assists with 67. The 1st Team All-AVCTL DII wide receiver, 2nd Team All-League defensive back and honorable mention returner took the most charges for the team at 16. Clark tied fellow senior and Butler County Community College football signee Gabe Welch for the lead in 3-point makes for Ark City hoops at 21.

On the football field, Pierce was also selected as a 2nd Team All-League wide receiver.

“Trevor and Cadon have been a huge part of our success at Ark City High School for the past four years and even beyond that,” Bulldogs Boys Basketball Head Coach C.J. Jennings said. “They started in middle school working towards building the program and we all have had the opportunity to see the strides that they have helped us make.

“I have been blessed to have the opportunity to coach both Trevor and Cadon for four years and I’m excited to see the success that they will have at Southwestern.”

O’Brien credits the Bulldog-to-Builder connection to the character of the players, their parents and their preparation — going back to SC alum Paul Fiorentino, who was on the Ark City boys basketball team that finished third in the 4A state tournament in 2018 before the Bulldogs were bumped up to 5A on the hardwood.

“I think the major ingredient behind the successful pipeline between Ark City and Southwestern basketball has been their families,” O’Brien said.. “They all have benefitted from good high school coaching, but I think the separator is the guidance and support from their families.

“Paul Fiorentino was part of our leadership team whose family supported Paul and our entire program. We are thankful to have Paul give back to our program in a mentor roll. Cooper Pierce developed into an all-conference player and was key ingredient in our championship run this year. His entire family has supported cooper and the entire program.”

O’Brien said he knows the character of the Clark family well, too.

“Cevin put together two All-American campaigns for us and is known throughout the country as one of the best shooters in the country at any level,” O’Brien said. “His family has also supported the entire program and obviously much of his success has to be credited to Cowley Coach Todd Clark who has trained him from the start. We are also fortunate enough to have Cadon commit to us earlier in the year as a two sport athlete. Our campus will benefit from his competitiveness in football and basketball.”

Jennings said he’s grateful for the opportunities that have opened up for his players.

“Coach O’Brien and I have created a really good relationship over the years and I am forever grateful for the opportunities that he continues to give our players,” Jennings said. “It’s pretty cool to see both Cadon and Trevor follow in the footsteps of their brothers Cevin and Cooper.

“They were both Ark City greats and I love those guys. Ark City fans need to make sure that they make plans to travel up to Ark City North to watch Cadon play some football and basketball and Trevor on the basketball floor.”