The 28th ESPY Awards, the annual ceremony devoted to honoring standout professional and collegiate athletes and teams of the past year, aired on June 21.
It's the sports equivalent to the Oscars or Grammys, so Star Local Media has decided in recent years to put a high school spin on the concept.
This has been a year that nobody will soon forget with the COVID-19 pandemic touching every facet of life, including high school sports, which saw its athletic year truncated on March 12.
Though many of the spring sports were unable to complete their stories, McKinney showcased no shortage of notable individual and team athletic achievements, so it is only appropriate to put the last year of local varsity sports into an award-winning perspective.
In the coming weeks, McKinney’s top athletes, teams and games will be recognized among nine different awards.
With that said, Star Local Media presents its eighth edition of The Varsitys, the second of a three-part series.
Best Female Athlete
Darian Markam. McKinney Boyd
After storming on the scene and having a great junior campaign, Markham had a magical senior season to exit her productive high school career as not only one of the best liberos in Boyd history, but as one best volleyball players in the nation.
She led the area in digs with 788 and helped take the Lady Broncos to the area round of the playoffs. She also garnered Texas Girls Coaches Association all-state honors along with winning the 9-6A defensive player of the year award.
With the quickness, anticipatory skills and ability to make plays while putting her body on the line, Markham was a consistent problem for all Boyd opponents.
This season, the New Mexico State signee garnered and brought home the Allen Texas Open Champions all-tournament MVP award by averaging almost 10 digs a set to leading Boyd to an improbable tournament victory. She was also named to the TGCA all-state 6A team and was selected as a TGCA Legacy All Star.
McKinney Girls Basketball
The Lionettes made history last season, getting to the state tournament for the first time in more than two decades and turning in the best team performance in McKinney ISD.
Qualifying for state for the first time since 1998 and doing so despite double-digit losses, McKinney used a strong defensive mindset to hold three of its five postseason opponents to 39 points or less on the road to San Antonio.
The highlight of the Lionettes’ defensive mastery came in the regional finals when they took down District 9-6A champion Plano Senior. The Lady Wildcats had beaten McKinney twice in regular season, but the Lionettes won the third meeting, 32-28, by holding Plano to 10-for-55 shooting from the field and 0-for-14 on 3-pointers.
Camaraderie was one of the main reasons the Lionettes’ run was so magical and why they beat three state-ranked teams in the playoffs before taking state runner-up Cypress Creek to the wire. This team and what they accomplished will be remembered for many years to come.
Dillon Markiewicz, McKinney North
After working tirelessly last summer to get his game and body in gear to do something special for the Bulldogs, Markiewicz came out of the blue to shock scouts and fans alike and produce the most prolific passing season in MISD history.
Markiewicz, who has moved on to take his talents to Syracuse, finished the season with one of the top seasons in the state after passing for 4,187 yards and 45 touchdowns while helping lead North to its first undefeated district title.
The quarterback holds every single-season and career passing record in program history and ends his career holding the MISD record for the most passing yards and touchdown passes in a single season.
He shined against top-caliber competition as well – passing for 2,606 yards and 30 touchdowns against opponents who made the playoffs and leading the area in passing by averaging an eye-popping 380 pass yards and four touchdown passes per game.