The 29th ESPY awards, the annual ceremony devoted to honoring standout professional and collegiate athletes and teams of the past year, aired on July 10.
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 year 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 the start of its athletic year delayed by one month.
Starting three weeks ago, Little Elm’s top athletes, teams and games have been recognized with nine different awards.
With that said, Star Local Media presents its ninth edition of The Varsitys, the final part of a three-part series.
The Little Elm wrestling team overcame a lot of obstacles in its inaugural season.
Before the Lobos ever stepped onto the mat for their first-ever dual, they were already under the direction of their second head coach. Mike McBride was elevated from assistant coach to head coach after Joe Marino resigned over the Christmas break because of health reasons.
In addition to a change at the top, Little Elm didn’t have much experience on its roster. Of the 25 wrestlers on its roster, only three had previous wrestling experience. But the Lobos never made any excuses.
Little Elm qualified six wrestlers for the Region I-6A tournament, and from there, seniors Jax Brown and Kaycee Bolle qualified for the Class 6A state tournament. Brown became the first wrestler in program history to become a state placer after he finished in fifth place at 285 pounds.
Best Male Athlete
Jax Brown, Football/Wrestling
Coming into the 2020-21 school year, Brown was known as a versatile defensive lineman.
Brown used his 6-foot-4, 250-pound frame to not only knock opposing offensive linemen off the ball but also possessed the athleticism to rush the quarterback. In his senior season, he amassed 54 tackles with four sacks. A Northern Colorado signee, Brown earned a selection on the 5-6A all-district second team.
But it wasn’t just on the football field where Brown shined.
The Little Elm wrestling team recently completed its first season as a varsity program. Brown played a key role for a Lobo team that was among the most pleasant surprises in the area this past season. One of two state qualifiers for Little Elm, Brown wrestled to fifth place at 285 pounds in the 6A state tournament.
Best Female Athlete
Amarachi Kimpson, Basketball
When it comes to scoring, Kimpson was among the best in the area.
Following a sensational freshman season in which she averaged more than 18 points per game, Kimpson didn’t have any kind of letdown. In fact, she improved on that number, bumping that total up to 23.7 points per game her sophomore season. And what was impressive is that she did it despite Little Elm making the jump from 5A to 6A.
Using a combination of speed and quick hands, Kimpson scored at least 20 points in 17 of the 21 games that Little Elm played. She was an all-around player, having also contributed 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.4 assists.
For her efforts, she was named the offensive player of the year for both 5-6A as well as the Star Local Media all-area girls basketball team. In addition, she earned a selection on the Texas Girls Coaches Association 6A all-state team for the second straight season.