July 10 marked the 27th ESPY Awards, the annual ceremony devoted to honoring standout professional and collegiate athletes and teams of the past year.
It’s the sports equivalent to the Oscars or Grammys, so why not put a high school spin on the concept?
Over the past school year, Carrollton and Lewisville have showcased no shortage of notable individual and team athletic achievements, so it is only appropriate to put the last season of local citywide sports into an award-winning perspective. In the coming weeks, the city’s top athletes, teams and games will be recognized among nine different awards.
With that said, Star Local Media presents the seventh edition of The Varsitys.
Best Performance: Carson Harris vs. Richardson Pearce football (Nov. 23)
Harris turned in an all-district first-team campaign during his debut season as the Hawks’ starting quarterback and was at his best during the area round of the playoffs against an upstart Pearce bunch.
With the Mustangs fresh off a bi-district stunner over powerhouse Cedar Hill, Hebron subdued that momentum with a 57-35 victory where Harris deployed a true dual-threat skill set.
Through the air, the Hebron quarterback completed nearly three-quarters of his passes, going 11-of-15 for 171 yards and two touchdowns – both thrown the way of top target Trejan Bridges. It was on the ground, however, where he pillaged the Mustangs time and time again in racking up 208 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries.
The Hawks totaled 574 yards in their second-round win over the Mustangs, with Harris accounting for two-thirds of that offensive.
Best Coach: Michael Odle, Lewisville football
In just Year Two of his head-coaching tenure with the Farmers, Odle halted Lewisville ISD’s longest active playoff drought on the football field – guiding Lewisville to the postseason for the first time since 2007.
The Farmers were one of the more impressive surprise teams in the area, posting a 9-3 record – a win total that matched the program’s combined number of victories from 2015-17.
The Farmers weren’t merely bystanders in the playoffs either, winning just the program’s second postseason game since 2000 after surviving a triple-overtime thriller against Keller.
If not for district rival Flower Mound’s own fairly improbable turnaround, Odle’s banner year likely comes with a Coach of the Year nod from his 6-6A peers. As is, he and the Farmers enter 2019 looking to maintain the groundwork laid last year.
Biggest Upset: Hebron boys soccer defeats Southlake Carroll
With the exception of volleyball, there might not be a more dominant sport within Lewisville ISD than soccer. The Flower Mound boys backed that up by winning the Class 6A state championship last spring.
It was in the first round of the playoffs, however, that another LISD bunkmate authored its own signature performance as Hebron – the fourth-place team out of District 6-6A – mustered a 2-0 stunner over Southlake Carroll, ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today at the time.
Alum Alex Gusola supplied the ammunition for the upset-minded Hawks, scoring both of the team’s goals in the playoff win, including a shot across the bow in just the second minute of the match to give Hebron a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
The goals weren’t a mirage either, as the Hawks controlled everything from time of possession to shots on goal – receiving a vintage performance in net by their own goalkeeper, Matthew Hoffman, to shut out the highly touted Dragons in the bi-district round.