The 28th ESPY Awards, the annual ceremony devoted to honoring standout professional and collegiate athletes and teams of the past year, aired on June 21.
It's the sports equivalent to the Oscars or Grammys, so Star Local Media has decided in recent years to put a high school spin on the concept.
This has been a year that nobody will soon forget with the COVID-19 pandemic touching every facet of life, including high school sports, which saw its athletic year truncated on March 12.
Though many of the spring sports were unable to complete their stories, Lewisville showcased no shortage of notable individual and team athletic achievements, so it is only appropriate to put the last year of local varsity sports into an award-winning perspective.
In the coming weeks, Lewisville’s top athletes, teams and games will be recognized among nine different awards.
With that said, Star Local Media presents its eighth edition of The Varsitys, the first of a three-part series.
Lewisville vs. Coppell, boys basketball (Jan. 3)
The Farmers and Cowboys authored two heated showdowns on the hardwood last season, playing two district ballgames that were decided by a combined four points.
Their 6-6A opener on Jan. 3 set the wheels in motion for a wild district schedule, with Lewisville making an early statement behind a 62-61 victory over the eventual conference champions.
Beyond being tightly contested the whole way, the game was a battle in contrasting styles of offense. The Cowboys rode a balanced attack that saw four scorers reach double figures, led by 21 points from Ryan Agarwal, while the Farmers had 35 of their 62 points scored by eventual district MVP Keyonte George.
One of the nation’s top prospects, George was in the zone against Coppell — draining a game-winner that sealed a one-point victory. Although the Cowboys got the last laugh by winning the district title, the Farmers were a thorn in their side — later winning the rematch on Jan. 28, 57-54.
Damien Martinez, football
Lewisville’s offense piled up points and yards in droves last season, averaging 38.5 points and 385.1 yards in a year that resulted in the program’s second consecutive playoff berth.
The Farmers had a bevy of ways of spreading around that production between quarterback Taylen Green and a dynamic one-two punch at receiver with Armani Winfield and Isiah Stevens.
The run game accounted for nearly 180 yards per game and was highlighted by a breakout season from Martinez, who earned 6-6A’s newcomer of the year superlative as a sophomore.
Despite finishing third on the team in carries (93), Martinez still led the Farmers in rushing at 619 yards and nine total touchdowns. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry and managed to eclipse 6 yards per carry in six of Lewisville’s 10 regular-season games.
Within that stretch were big games against Sam Houston (10 carries, 115 yards), McKinney Boyd (10 carries, three rushing touchdowns), Flower Mound (12 carries, 73 yards, two touchdowns) and Irving MacArthur (six carries, 71 yards, two touchdowns).
COVID-19 shuts down high school sports
For many involved in high school sports, March 2020 is a month that will live in infamy for years to come.
As the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic seeped into the sports world — the first major domino to fall came on March 11 with the NBA’s suspension of its season — it was only a matter of time before the impact hit home with local high school programs. On March 12, the UIL made its first move with the suspension of the state boys basketball tournament, and one day later, suspended all interscholastic activities for what would ultimately be the remainder of the school year.
In addition to the state boys basketball tournament, high school soccer, baseball, softball, golf, tennis and track and field teams all had their seasons cancelled — spelling an unfinished ending to the school year for high school seniors across the state.
The ongoing pandemic has rocked the national sports landscape, with its lasting impact still without resolution as concerns loom over the status of fall sports.