With the dog days of summer upon us, McKinney Courier Gazette sports editor Kendrick E. Johnson will give an inside look at McKinney ISD’s athletic programs by having Sunday Spotlight Conversations with the ladies behind the scenes of each of the three high schools, who each make an impact on their respective program’s success.
Sit back and enjoy the second of three installments of “Ladies Behind The
Program” Sunday Spotlight conversations. This week’s guest has been a part of the McKinney North athletics program as a parent, but is currently thriving as McKinney North’s athletic secretary. Please relax and enjoy the McKinney Courier Gazette’s Sunday Spotlight Conversation with McKinney North secretary Cindy Beasley.
How special is it for you to be a part of the McKinney North football program as the head football coach’s secretary?
Beasley: McKinney North is a special place. It has been a part of the Beasley family since 2004. The experiences we had as a family, not only with McKinney North football program, but also the entire campus, led me to apply for this position.
To have a front row seat to the day-to-day activities of coaches and players is something I hope to never take for granted.
Daily, I see the interaction of coaches in all of our sports doing things the correct way and wanting nothing but the best for their athletes. We are not perfect, by any means, but this staff strives to help students grow on and off the field.
Can you give some insight into your fondest memory from being part of the North athletics program?
Beasley: As fun as it has been to watch many teams succeed and play deep into playoffs, my fondest memories are a bit more personal. It was actually seeing each of my sons enter the varsity field for the first time.
All of them were a part of North football, and one was also a member of the Bulldog baseball team. Admittedly, the most terrifying memory was the first time our oldest son ran onto the field.
Describe the excitement currently around the program heading into the 2019 season with so much talent returning to North this season?
Beasley: Each season is full of new excitement, and the opportunity to return key starters elevates that. That being said, it is widely known that my strength is not in talking game strategies or personnel placement.
The most special parts to me, no matter the season, are the personal stories of perseverance, family, teamwork and growth; the 2019 team is no different. We have a talented quarterback who unselfishly shared time for three seasons.
It is also special for me to see two seniors, Max Fecci and Cade Pratt, finish their high school careers where they began as ball boys.
How have you perfected being behind the scenes in a job where you are the first person see when people come by the North football offices?
Beasley: It is continually a work in progress. Seasons and coaches change, so our office has to make adjustments regularly. I am not sure I will hit perfection, but as long as I have an optional plan, we keep moving forward.
It is easy to represent the men and women of North athletics.
Do you feel pressure to always be on your “A” game with so many kids of high-ranking MISD administrators currently in the North program?
Beasley: Oddly, I have never thought of it that way. It might have been wise for me to have considered it before now. It is a credit to those administrators that they have chosen to be parents in this role and to allow their children to simply be North athletes. Watching these kids has been more like watching family. I have known most of them since they were toddlers or in elementary school. They have participated in our camps and run around our offices most of their lives.
What are some of the things that make your relationship with North head football coach Mike Fecci special and work so well?
Beasley: It is nothing short of an honor to work with him. Mike, the Fecci family, and the North athletics staff he has assembled are the reason I choose to stay at McKinney North.
We have known each other since he was a new assistant at North and I was the mom of players in this program. Obviously, those roles have changed for both of us. I now have the privilege of watching his kids participate on Bulldog athletic teams (and he graciously lets my granddaughters take over our offices when they visit).
Having been blessed to work together throughout his tenure, our most valuable tool is respect. By now, we know what needs to be done and which one will do it.
As high-paced and high-stress as our office can be at times, he has unselfishly managed to create a positive workplace. He often puts aside his needs to ensure the needs of staff are met.
How special was it around the office this spring to have both the North baseball and softball teams make deep runs in the playoffs at the same time?
Beasley: At this point, I get as excited for the coaches as I do the athletes. It is no surprise that we all prefer to win and having baseball, softball and track simultaneously compete at such a high level did make for a more light-hearted, high-energy office environment.
It is always interesting to see the strengths of a head coach and coaching staff bring out the best in their athletes. Jim Gatewood, Jessica Richards and Olivia Guin each approach their roles a bit differently, (but) their common denominator is a passion for the sport and a passion to see each athlete succeed.
What is the best thing about playing an integral, behind-the-scenes role in the North football program?
Beasley: It sounds simple and cliché, but it is the family atmosphere of the entire North athletics staff. They have taken care of not only me, but also my family.