Ashley Machuca Lake Dallas

Lake Dallas senior Ashley Machuca is the school record holder in the girls pole vault.

With the book about to close on 2021, it’s time to look back on the year that was in Lake Dallas athletics.

Sports teams were impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as one of the biggest snow storms in recent memory. Games were halted in February after icy roads and the loss of power in thousands of homes in the Dallas area forced school to be called off for several days. Amid the wintry weather and the global pandemic, Lake Dallas turned in its share of highlight moments.

The Star Local Media sports staff has compiled its top 10 sports stories of the year, starting with the first half of that lineup.

6. Patti finishes as school record holder in goals

Anthony Patti brought a striker’s mentality to the Lake Dallas boys soccer team.

Patti finished his prep career as the school’s all-time leader in goals with 57 to go along with 28 assists. A four-year starter, he was a first team all-district selection his sophomore, junior and senior seasons and an honorable mention selection as a freshman.

In 2020, Patti helped to guide Lake Dallas to an undefeated mark in district play. Although the Falcons missed the playoffs this year, that didn’t stop the current Mercer University freshman from filling the stat sheet. Patti led Lake Dallas in goals with 21 and added six assists.

7. Sorsby has career night against Lebanon Trail

Lake Dallas senior quarterback Brendan Sorsby showed this season that he was one of the most improved players in the Dallas area.

All of the evidence that any casual fan will need of Sorsby’s improvement came in a Sept. 17 game against Frisco Lebanon Trail. Sorsby accounted for eight touchdowns to lead the Falcons past the Trail Blazers, 56-32. He completed 11-of-14 passes for 233 yards and carried seven times for 152 yards.

Injuries limited Sorsby to seven games this season, but he still managed to put up big numbers. He passed for 1,316 yards, rushed for 823 yards and totaled 29 touchdowns.

8. Machuca soars to new heights

Lake Dallas senior Ashley Machuca is a standout volleyball player and also a member of the cheerleading team, but it is in track and field where she stood out this year.

Machuca performed well in the girls’ pole vault all season and took her effort to the next level during the postseason. At the District 6-5A meet, she tied the school record with a mark of nine feet. That was just the start of big things to come for Machuca. She improved on that mark by one foot over the next couple of weeks, clearing the bar at 10 feet at the Region I-5A meet in Lubbock.

9. Miller tabbed to lead Lake Dallas boys basketball team

Brian Miller left his alma mater after three successful seasons of guiding the Lewisville boys basketball team to take on the same role at Lake Dallas.

Lewisville enjoyed quite the turnaround under Miller. The Farmers made the playoffs each year under Miller, including a third-place finish in District 6-6A. Lewisville finished with a record of 6-20 in the year prior to his arrival.

And he is looking to mirror that success at Lake Dallas. The Falcons went 6-19 last season and haven’t finished a season with a winning record since 2006. Following Tuesday’s win over Justin Northwest, Lake Dallas snapped a 17-game district losing streak.

10. Gunn reaches milestone

Lake Dallas senior outside hitter Caelyn Gunn was asked to play multiple positions this season – outside hitter, setter and serve-receive. Her versatility didn’t go unnoticed as she was named the District 6-5A co-utility player of the year.

Early in the season at the Planet Volleywood Tournament at Richardson Berkner, Gunn achieved a personal milestone, notching the 1,000th kill and the 1,000 dig of her high school career. Gunn logged the 1,000th kill during a pool play match against Mesquite Horn.

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