July 10 marks 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, the Frisco area has 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.
Lone Star vs. The Colony football, Oct. 19
With just seconds remaining in a showdown both sides knew would decide the district champion, The Colony pulled out the ultimate trick play to seal the deal in the closing moments.
Facing a critical fourth-and-long, The Colony whipped out a flawless hook-and-ladder play that The Colony head coach Rudy Rangel called “Bronco.” That resulted in a 17-yard catch by wide receiver Keith Miller, who then flipped it behind him to wide receiver Myles Price, who then took it 40 yards to the house.
Price crossed the goal line with just eight seconds left on the clock to give the Cougars a miraculous 21-14 victory over state-ranked Lone Star.
“We have plays designed for games like this and just don’t know when we’re going to have to use it, but we practice it all the time,” Rangel said after the game. “The name of the game for us is to try and find a way to get Myles Price the ball, and it’s not a secret. Keith [Miller] also did a phenomenal job catching it and being able to pitch it before he hit the ground.”
A few plays before that, The Colony had just squandered a lead it had held all game when Lone Star quarterback Julian Larry connected with wide receiver Marvin Mims for a 57-yard touchdown that gave the Rangers a 14-13 lead with just 1:52 to go.
Instead of letting that deflate the Cougars, Rangel made sure his squad kept hope alive knowing they had the specially designed trick play in their back pocket.
The thrilling, game-winning play was named after a similar hook-and-ladder that Boise State executed to perfection against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Lone Star head coach Jeff Rayburn said after the loss that it looked almost identical to that play from over a decade ago, and that something like that had yet to happen against him in his coaching career.
Micaela Wark, Reedy softball
Despite finishing third in the district standings heading into the playoffs, the Reedy softball team went on a rampage by advancing five rounds deep in the postseason.
The Lions dismantled opponents along that included state-ranked Creekview, Lovejoy, Hallsville and a red-hot Denison squad that defeated Centennial.
Reedy was led by a young core, consisting mainly of juniors and sophomores, one of which happened to be sophomore pitcher and power hitter Wark.
Wark not only served as the team’s ace with 149 strikeouts in 29 starts, but also was among the state’s top hitters. She belted a whopping 16 home runs and drove in 57 RBIs with a .596 average and is one of many returners next season coming back to lead the Lions back to the playoffs.
Frisco football gets back on the map, Vance Gibson retires
Just a year after Frisco football endured a grueling 0-10 campaign in 2017, the Raccoons wasted little time erasing that forgetful season.
Frisco flipped the script in 2018 in the newly formed District 7-5A Division II and not only finished the year with a winning record at 7-5, but qualified for the playoffs and took down Lake Dallas and Lovejoy along the way.
The Raccoons weren’t done there, as they kept the ball rolling in a 41-14 first-round stomping of Sulphur Springs before running into a powerful South Oak Cliff crew that ended Frisco’s turnaround season.
Less than a week after the season-ending loss to the Golden Bears, Frisco made more headlines when longtime head coach Vance Gibson announced he was moving on and accepted an assistant position to coach defensive backs at East Texas Baptist University.
Gibson, who tallied an 86-80 record during his 14-year tenure, said he looked forward to being able to focus more on coaching just football and not be responsible for other administrative duties.