North’s talented, senior running back Manny Fincher is a quiet guy by nature, but if he has his way on Friday nights this fall, he will be making a ton of noise.
Despite rushing for 987 yards, racking up over 1,000 all-purpose yards and scoring 14 touchdowns while splitting time with North alum Hunter Chae last season, Fincher hasn’t been on many radars heading into the season. He has used that chip on his shoulder to work harder in the weight room and practice field, and is about to enter his senior season bigger, stronger and more explosive.
“I definitely want more exposure, but at the end of the day, I simply do what I do,” Fincher said. “My mindset is to do the best I can and to help my team out so nobody beats us. I’m on a mission to run for over 1,500 yards and over 20 touchdowns and show everyone how much I’ve improved with more speed, power and agility.”
If Fincher can reach his goals this season, he will add his name to the long list of talented running backs to come out of North. A 1,000-yard-plus season for Fincher would extend North’s impressive streak of producing a 1,000-yard rusher to seven consecutive years.
Although he wasn’t the feature back last season, Fincher showed potential and improved throughout the season. He gave North fans a glimpse into the future by rushing for a career-high 278 yards on 44 carries for three touchdowns in the final home game of the season against Mesquite Poteet.
Fincher’s breakout game was a surprise to many but not to North offensive coordinator Kyle Hardin.
“It’s a big deal to have a talented running back like Manny back there and we saw from him having success late in the year and the big game against Poteet shows how special he can be,” Hardin said. “Manny put in work in the spring and summer and is now on mission coming into the fall. Though he won’t admit it, I can tell by all the hard work and all the extra time he’s been putting in that Manny is on a mission to have a big senior year and we don’t expect anything less.”
There are many in Bulldog Nation like Hardin who expect big things from Fincher — beginning when the Bulldogs kick off their 2019 campaign against crosstown rival McKinney. Count senior quarterback Dillon Markiewicz as another who loves the element Fincher brings to North’s explosive offense, along with enoying the chemistry the two share in the backfield.
“He played great last season while splitting time, but after his great offseason, I expect him to have a special season as the man,” Markiewicz said. “Manny does everything. He runs hard, catches passes and makes good blocks, along with making some of the best moves I’ve ever seen.
“He’s going to give all of our opponents problems this year and I’m excited for him and our team.”