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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

University lineman Clark Barrington comes from athletic family tree

Clark Barrington, right, lineman for University High School, works on Gonzaga Prep's Evan Weaver (89) during the Titans' game against Gonzaga Prep last Friday. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Clark Barrington is the product of athletic genes.

The University standout lineman’s parents both were collegiate athletes. His father, Shawn Barrington, a Cheney graduate, played baseball at the University of Arizona. His mother, Jacque (Clark) Barrington, who played basketball three years at Cheney and her senior year at Central Valley, played at Arizona. The high school sweethearts were married the summer before Jacque’s senior year at Arizona.

Jacque was part of a 29-0 state championship team at CV (1993).

It’s no wonder that Clark Barrington has offers to play football in college.

Barrington has been a three-year starter on the offensive line. This year he added additional duties as a starter at defensive end. He’s also been the long snapper for three years on point-after touchdown tries and field-goal attempts.

The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Barrington rarely comes off the field this season. Making things special this season is the fact that his sophomore brother, Campbell, gives the Titans bookends on the offensive line. Clark is the left tackle and the still-growing Campbell (6-5, 265) is at right tackle.

The Titans feature the biggest line in the Greater Spokane League.

Clark was given his mom’s maiden name. There was a ‘C’ theme with the boys. Corbin, the youngest, is in sixth grade. The lone sister, Kinsley, is in eighth grade.

The younger Barringtons are athletically gifted, too. Corbin probably isn’t going to have the bulk of his older brothers. He’s a wide receiver. Kinsley plays basketball, volleyball and soccer.

“We’re an athletic family, always on the go,” Clark said.

While the siblings all share a love for their mother’s sport, the boys didn’t take to their dad’s sport.

“I played baseball when I was younger, but I thought it was boring,” Clark said. “Too much dead time.”

He’s had a big impact in football. His personal goal this season was to be the best offensive lineman in the GSL.

Last Friday against Gonzaga Prep, Barrington and Bullpups defensive end and University of California-bound Evan Weaver frequently were lined up across from each other. Barrington held his own.

They share mutual respect. After going through the postgame handshake line, Barrington and Weaver sought each other out again.

U-Hi coach Rob Bartlett has been especially pleased with Barrington’s play this season. Bartlett also raves about Barrington’s character.

“He has a great work ethic,” Bartlett said. “He’s a kid of integrity and honesty. He’d go lay down in a road for any of his teammates.”

Barrington takes care of business in the classroom. He carries a 3.96 grade-point average.

What Bartlett has been most impressed with about Barrington is his toughness.

“The biggest change is how aggressive he plays,” Bartlett said. “As a sophomore and even a little bit last year, I didn’t know if he’d be aggressive enough to be a big-time college football player. He’s a road grader and he’ll get in there and grind.”

Eastern Washington, Montana, Idaho and Idaho State have offered Barrington scholarships. A Brigham Young assistant plans to watch Barrington in person at a game.

Colleges project Barrington as an offensive lineman with the potential to be 300 pounds.

All the schools have either seen Barrington in a game or camp. He’s keeping his options open through his official visits. He’s told schools that he plans to do a two-year Latter-day Saints mission before playing in college.

Joe Dahl, a former U-Hi standout lineman who is the starting left tackle for Washington State, is well known at U-Hi. His name is brought up often at practices.

Barrington not only wants to make a name for himself in college, but his ultimate goal is to play in the NFL.

He believes whatever mark he leaves at U-Hi will be quickly erased by Campbell. He has benefitted from Clark’s recruiting, often tagging along to camps.

“Campbell is going to be significantly bigger by the time he’s a senior,” Bartlett said. “We couldn’t figure out how not to get him on the field this year.”

Just like his older brother when he was a sophomore.

But the early opportunity for Clark didn’t occur until three games into his sophomore season.

“The coaches weren’t happy with our line and that presented an opportunity,” Clark said.

And he’s made the most of it.

Barrington came off the bench in basketball last season. He’s a projected starter this year.

“Great athlete and wonderful teammate,” Titans basketball coach Garrick Phillips said. “He will provide a serious physical presence and leadership for us this year.”

Barrington hopes to have a delayed start in basketball, though.

Although U-Hi suffered its first loss last week to G-Prep, the Titans believe they can secure one of the league’s three postseason berths.

“With all the returners we have, we knew we could do something special this year,” Barrington said. “We have to work hard to get better as a team, because we can’t do it with just a couple of guys. We’re a family.”

In more ways than one.