High School Football

St. Xavier back Finch named Mr. Football

LOUISVILLE — Rolandan "Deuce" Finch earned his nickname because he was the second in his family with the same first name.

On the football field, however, Finch is second to none.

The St. Xavier High School senior running back is this year's Kentucky Mr. Football as chosen in a statewide balloting of media members.

Finch becomes the first winner from the storied St. X program.

"He had a tremendous career," long-time Tigers coach Mike Glaser said.

The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Finch finished it with more than 3,500 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns, including 1,397 yards and 30 touchdowns during his senior season despite being slowed by a knee injury.

"If he's healthy all year he has an unbelievable year," Glaser said.

Finch reached the 100-yard plateau in just one of his first four games, but in the fifth game Finch rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown in St. X's 30-6 regular-season win over Trinity on Oct. 3.

"The bigger the game the better he played," Glaser said.

That game was the beginning of a sensational stretch for Finch in which he reached the century mark in seven of eight games, rushing 117 times for 1,147 yards (9.8 yards per carry) and 22 touchdowns. He scored multiple TDs in seven of those games, including a five-TD effort against Pleasure Ridge Park in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.

As a sophomore Finch rushed for more than 800 yards and 10 touchdowns while sharing carries with Victor Anderson, a Mr. Football finalist. The next year Finch became the full-time starter and rushed for 1,557 yards and 15 TDs in only 11 games. He suffered a late-season sprain to the medial collateral ligament in his knee, but returned in the playoffs and in the Class 6A state finals against archrival Trinity he rushed for 139 yards in a losing effort.

Over the last two years Finch led St. X to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons and a 26-2 record. Both of the Tigers' losses came to Trinity, including 28-21 defeat in the 6A state semifinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium last week.

"He's always been a leader, and just a heck of a young man," Glaser said.

The best example of that may have come in Finch's final game.

Even though he was held to 76 rushing yards on 20 carries — he was limited after a helmet-to-helmet hit — Finch still helped rally his team from a 28-7 halftime deficit with locker room speech, according to Glaser.

"That's just his way, he never wanted to do interviews, he's very humble, he didn't like the attention on him ... he's very much a team guy," Glaser said.

As for what team he will play for next Finch is currently mulling scholarship offers from Kentucky and Illinois among others.

"He's just a complete back both as a runner and a receiver," Glaser said. "He's such a strong runner, he can get something out of nothing."

Finch is equally as skilled off the field.

"He's a great kid, a really good student, he does community service too," Glaser said.

Other players receiving votes for Mr. Football were South Laurel quarterback Ricky Bowling, Trinity linebacker Jordan Whiting, Franklin-Simpson quarterback Courtney Dalcourt and North Bullitt running back Dalton Cissell.