This week’s guest is the only person in McKinney ISD history to throw for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in the same season and played a big role in North going undefeated in district on the way to winning its first outright district title. Although disappointed that North’s run ended in the area round of the playoffs, he said that he made memories and relationships that will last forever.
Please relax and enjoy the McKinney Courier-Gazette’s chat with North senior quarterback Dillon Markiewicz.
Give some insight into the hard work you put in during the offseason and how did that give you the foundation to have the most prolific passing season in McKinney ISD history?
Markiewicz: Knowing this was going to be my last chance to make a name for myself and knowing there were people out there who didn’t believe in me made me work harder than ever before this past offseason. My first three seasons at North, I went through some tough times with splitting time and not being the only “guy.”
That placed a chip on my shoulder and motivated me so much to go have a year that would show everyone the player and leader I truly am. I never have worked so hard in the weight room, on ability and speed, and have never thrown as many footballs with my receivers as I did this offseason.
I really pushed myself beyond what I ever thought I could go.
Was there a game or a moment that occurred where you realized that you had the chance to have a magical senior season individually and team-wise?
Markiewicz: I would say that in the spring game last year, which was the first time we really put everything together in a game setting, I realized that we had the guys to be such a dynamic team. Obviously, the talent, but realizing that the group of leaders we had on this team and the chemistry we had was like I’ve never been a part of the last four years.
Which passing record are you most proud of and how does it feel to be the first player in MISD history to go over 4,000 passing yards and throw for over 40 touchdowns in a single season?
Markiewicz: They are all really special to me just because I’ve literally been through it all. I’ve been that guy on the sidelines waiting for his turn and I’ve been that guy that everyone wants to talk to and take pictures with after the game.
My high school football career path has humbled me so much and truly made me into the man I am today. Yes, it was tough, but God had a plan for me and he wanted to show his greatness by helping me come out this year and have the year I had. I wouldn’t have it any other way and that’s what makes all these records and accolades so special, knowing that I had to work so hard to earn everything and go through a lot of adversity to get to where I am now.
How special was it to help lead a team that became the first in program history to win an outright district title and to be able experience it with guys you grew up with like Brandon Frazier, Max Fecci, Carson Criss, Cade Pratt, Sean Monsour and you twin brother, Austin?
Markiewicz: Brandon Frazier, Austin Markiewicz, Carson Criss, Cade Pratt, and Sean Monsour are guys I’ve played football with forever. To be able to come out this year and do what we did was just the fairy tale ending to the lifelong memories I’ve created with those guys since second grade.
Winning football games is such a little part in this whole deal — I truly realized that walking off the field the other night after my last high school football game. You realize that you’re not going to miss that feeling of holding up a district championship trophy as much as you’re going to miss all those times in the bus after a big win or times at team dinner goofing around with your teammates.
Those guys are my brothers and to have the season we did was just such a special way to wrap up this whole process of playing football together.
Who has influenced you the most on and off the field and how has their guidance helped you produce a magical senior season?
Markiewicz: My father has instilled such a love for the game of football in me ever since I was young, and I will never be able to thank him enough for that. My mom and dad have always been there for me when not everything was going my way and always the first one there to congratulate me when they were going great.
Just for them to never lose belief in me over the years speaks so much about them and I’m forever grateful for that. They pushed me through the hard times and did whatever they needed to do to make sure I was best equipped to go have the year I had.
Another person that I can’t speak enough about is coach (Kyle) Hardin. That guy has always been there for me and is like a cool uncle figure in my life. The year I had would not have been possible at all without him.
He is the best coach I have ever been around and an even better man. Over the years, I can’t tell you how many hours me and him have spent in meetings, watching film, or talking about hunting and fishing.
The connection and trust between me and him is much deeper than what happens on the football field. The bond between a quarterback and offensive coordinator is something not a lot of people think about but a huge factor in having a great offense.
I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me and I’m very excited to see where that amazing offensive mind takes him in his coaching career.
How special was it to have Austin as your center this year and how has that special bond benefitted you this season?
Markiewicz: I’ve just been so blessed to play with my brother all my life and that really hit me this year. Knowing that there’s a chance that we will never play together again is a very sad thing to me.
He’s a guy that I know always has my back out there and will fight to death to protect me. The bond between us is something really special and to go out there and make the memories we did this year will be the stuff we talk about when we’re older and married and all get together with our kids.
What are you going to miss most about playing football for North and wearing the Bulldog jersey?
Markiewicz: Just the brotherhood that was on this team. Like I said, this coaching staff and group of players meshed really well this year and it was a joy every day to get to work with all these guys. All the memories made outside of games and the relationships that will last a lifetime is what I miss the most.
God has blessed me so much to put these guys in my life and I will forever cherish these times.
Ten years from now, where do you see yourself at in like and how fondly do you think you will remember your historic senior season?
Markiewicz: It’s always been my dream to be playing football as long as I can, but most importantly, I see myself being a great man with great character. I believe because I have been so blessed to have such great influences around me at home and during my football career.
I have a great idea of what it means to be a man, and because of that, I will have no problems becoming a successful man with high character.