This week’s guest is the area’s leading rusher in Class 5A, is trending toward becoming the second running back in North history to rush for over 2,000 yards and has scored the most touchdowns on the most explosive offense in the area.
Please relax and enjoy sports editor Kendrick E. Johnson’s Sunday Spotlight Conversation with North star senior running back Manny Fincher.
How does it feel to be the leading rusher in the area of Class 5A by 250 yards with three regular-season games to go?
Fincher: It feels amazing and I hope to continue playing at such a high level. Getting to this spot wasn’t easy and it took hours on top of hours of hard work and dedication.
None of what I do would be possible without the best O-line out there.
What do you have to do to become the second person in North history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season?
Fincher: To get to 2,000 rushing yards in a season, I must keep competing at a high level, be consistent and help my team make a big run in the playoffs.
Have you gotten some attention from college scouts and have you thought about how it will feel to be able to take your talents to the college level next season?
Fincher: I haven’t been getting college attention, but I just have to control what I can control and worry about what I can do right now for this team. Currently, my biggest goal is to help this team keep winning games and everything will take care of itself.
Who has had the most influence on your career and how has their guidance led to you having a magical senior season?
Fincher: My brother had the most influence on me because I started playing football with him when I was seven. I would play with him and his friends, but whether or not they were going easy on me doesn’t matter because it helped me spark a passion for football.
He still has an influence in my life. He gives me tips on the game and assures me that everything will work out if I just keep doing me on the field.
How special has it been to play with your friends and have a big role in the most prolific offense in the area and in North football history this season?
Fincher: I love this team and I love how close we are and the family atmosphere that we have. Being a part of this offense is great, because we are just so dynamic in many ways.
What adjustments must be made to deal with the extra attention you receive each week to still be consistent every Friday night this season?
Fincher: In our offense, it’s tough to say they want to focus on me and focus on our passing game. Whichever one you choose to focus on, the other will make you pay. We have great talent all over the field and we’ll make sure to capitalize on our opponent’s mistakes.
Give some insight into the excitement around the McKinney North football program and how good does it feel to be a Bulldog in 2019?
Fincher: Our program is really special. We have an amazing coaching staff and players who can really play. Like I said earlier, it’s a family atmosphere with a bunch of guys who really care for each other.
This year, in particular, is a great year to be a Bulldog because we really believe we have a team that can go do some big things later in the season and do things no other team has ever done before here.
How big of a deal would it be if your team became the first team in North football history to win and outright district title and go on a deep playoff run?
Fincher: It would be a huge deal for us to go do those things — obviously, because no team has ever done it before here in school history, but also just because of how hard our guys have worked in the offseason and at practice every single day.
I wouldn’t want to play this game with any other group of men.