Some of the more entertaining aspects of covering high school sports in the Metroplex are the interactions – both personal and as a spectator – with athletes.
During my time, I have I had the opportunity to profile and follow the career paths of some worthy athletes in McKinney and surrounding areas, and it’s time to look at a handful of students who were downright impressive this past season.
In the first of a three-part series, I’ll look at five of the top athletes at McKinney, Boyd and North that are moving on.
Cam Constantine, McKinney North football and baseball
Constantine leaves McKinney North as one of the winningest quarterbacks and most accomplished baseball players in school history.
Despite playing hurt and having to go through major shoulder surgery that caused him to miss time on the football field and baseball diamond, Constantine was able to play a key role in both sports while helping both teams reach postseason play. Constantine leaves North having been a part of five combined teams to reach the postseason and will leave a big leadership void on both teams as he heads to the University of Texas to play baseball next season.
Kaitlyn Derheim, McKinney North volleyball, basketball and softball
There are magical senior seasons, and there is Kaitlyn Derheim’s senior season. Derheim was a part of the Lady Bulldogs volleyball, basketball and softball teams, each of which made the postseason. The talented Derheim contributed in all sports, but it was the softball diamond where she made her biggest impact.
The athletic Derheim posted a .446 batting average on the season while being named district 10-5A MVP and first-team all-state and helping lead a North softball squad that won its district and made the regional semifinal round for the first time since 2008. In total, Derheim leaves North as one of the most accomplished girl athletes the school has produced and a member of eight combined teams that made the playoffs.
Sydni Perry, McKinney Boyd girls soccer
Despite being quiet and reserved off the field, Perry was the driving force behind Boyd girls soccer team, which was able to finish second in one of the toughest districts in the state to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season. Perry’s consistent impact on the pitch and ability to run the Lady Broncos’ offensive show at a very high level produced a dream senior season that saw her score six goals and dish out 10 assists on her way to being named District 9-6A MVP.
Isaiah Rhodes, McKinney North baseball
With a sidearm motion and the ability to consistently throw strikes, Rhodes put together a dominant season and helped lead McKinney North to a district title and the regional quarterfinal round while being named first-team all-state and District 10-5A Pitcher of the Year.
Rhodes was a consistent problem for all of the Bulldogs’ opponents, as he struck out 114 batters while producing an eye-popping 0.98 ERA on the season. The Southern Mississippi signee, who has been the ace for North the last two seasons, leaves as one of the most accomplished pitchers in Bulldog baseball history.
Macey Winburn, McKinney volleyball
With the ability to play multiple positions in any situation, Winburn put together an outstanding senior season that led to her being named 9-6A Setter of The Year and being a part of one of the winningest teams in Lionette volleyball history.
Winburn, along with fellow seniors Sophie Manson and Caroline Swan, will be greatly missed by all in the McKinney volleyball program after the trio helped lead McKinney back to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus despite playing in the black and blue District 9-6A.