One 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 reflect on a handful of students who were downright impressive this past season.
Here's a look at five of the top athletes from McKinney North that are moving on.
Football, boys basketball
Set to continue his football career at SMU, Frazier helped anchor the Bulldogs' defense at defensive end. As a senior, he totaled 65 tackles, including 15 for a loss of yardage, as well as seven sacks and five passes knocked down. He was named 7-5A Division I defensive player of the year.
On the basketball court, Frazier was a walking mismatch for opposing frontcourts. He averaged a double-double at 16.5 points and 10.2 rebounds, and did so in an efficient fashion. In addition to shooting 64% from the field, Frazier was a threat from long range with a 55% 3-point shooting clip.
Frazier was named to the Star Local Media all-area team in both sports.
Track and field
Blackwood has long been entrenched as one of the state's premier hurdlers. And after his senior season, he had the gold medal to show for it.
Blackwood's final time racing the 300-meter hurdles in high school wound up being his best, running a personal-record time of 36.14 to finish first overall at the Class 5A state meet on May 13. He got the better of friendly rival and future college teammate Kendrick Smallwood of Mesquite Poteet by one-tenth of a second.
Those two were first and second in the 110 hurdles earlier in the meet with Blackwood claiming a silver medal after running a 13.63.
The Texas pledge tripled up his medal count by running the anchor leg of the Bulldogs' 4x400 relay, teaming with Taylor Briggs, David Walker and Jay'Den Walker to take second at state with a 3:15.31.
In the aftermath of her team's season-ending loss to Frisco Liberty, North head girls basketball coach Veronica Reed-Hamilton lamented on the value of her team's senior class.
Veterans like Smallwood were an ideal complement on the hardwood to the Lady Bulldogs' one-two punch of Kaelyn Hamilton and Ciara Harris. Smallwood finished her senior season ranking top three on the team in points (8.0), rebounds (4.2), assists (1.9), steals (2.5) and blocks (0.8) per game.
Smallwood was named to the all-district first team, contributing plenty to North's unbeaten run to a 10-5A championship and an appearance in the regional quarterfinals.
The Lady Bulldogs won't be lacking in talent for the 2022 season, but they'll have plenty of production to replace on the outside following the graduation of Huck.
Named 10-5A offensive player of the year, Huck led North in both kills (413) and aces (62) and finished in second in digs with 348. Perhaps her finest work came in the Lady Bulldogs' signature win of the 2021 season, a 3-0 sweep of reigning state champion Lovejoy on Sept. 24. The Lady Leopards had no answer for Huck, who tallied 19 kills on a .412 hitting percentage.
Huck helped lead North to a split of the 10-5A championship and a run to the regional quarterfinals.
Lauded by head coach CJ Shelton as one of the best defenders he has ever coached, Adams was instrumental in an early-season turnaround for the Bulldogs.
The defenseman scored two goals and added one assist while helping anchor a back line that surrendered just eight goals over North's final 17 games of the regular season — a stretch where the team went 14-1-2 after starting the season with a 1-4 record.
The postseason accolades came in droves for the center back, with Adams named 10-5A defensive player of the year and earning spots on the Star Local Media all-area team and the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches all-state team.