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, Flower Mound 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, the Flower Mound area’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.
Rhyle McKinney, Argyle girls basketball
McKinney has been at the forefront of the Lady Eagles’ basketball dynasty for years, capping her banner high school career with three state championships and one of the most decorated resumes in the state.
Seldom has the SMU commit been more dominant than she was in the Region I-4A tournament last season.
McKinney began the event with a 33-point barrage to help Argyle topple No. 1-ranked Canyon, 41-38, on Feb. 28. The following day, she scored her team’s first 26 points of the game in an eventual 42-38 squeaker over Bridgeport. McKinney led all scorers in that contest as well, finishing with 32 to pace the Lady Eagles to their seventh consecutive state tournament appearance.
Misail Tsapos, Flower Mound girls soccer
After guiding the Lady Jaguars to a Class 6A state championship in 2016, Tsapos and the program mustered just one playoff appearance over the next three seasons. But in nursing an otherwise young roster along the way, those pitfalls gave way to what had all the markings of a special 2020 season before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
Tsapos helped steer Flower Mound to one of the state’s only unbeaten records by the time the season abruptly concluded, staking the Lady Jaguars to a 17-0-4 mark — good for a No. 2 state and No. 4 national ranking by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
A coach who prides his system on organization, Tsapos oversaw a Flower Mound side that surrendered just one goal in a district that had as many as three others crack state and national polls as well — producing a staggering plus-43 goal differential in 6-6A action.
Tsapos was named the district’s coach of the year as a result, and although he never got to see his team through to the finish line, he had as big a hand as any in the Lady Jaguars’ resurgence as a state powerhouse.
Marcus defeats Lewisville, boys basketball
The Marauders battled injuries and inconsistency for the first half of the 2019-20 season before making a strong push in district play to ultimately seize the league’s fourth playoff seed. One of the first inklings of Marcus’ potential came in a Jan. 17 showdown with “Battle of the Axe” rival Lewisville.
The Farmers were the preseason favorites to hoist the district title and had been state-ranked for much of the season behind a star-studded cast led by phenom Keyonte George, but the Marauders met the challenge by staying within two points of Lewisville at the half, 27-25.
The scales tilted in the third quarter, however, when a barrage of 3-pointers from Josh Condon, coupled with some timely put-backs and points in the paint from Cale Martens, helped Marcus to a 46-38 lead. The Marauders kept their foot on the gas over the final eight minutes, outscoring the Farmers 25-19 to the finish line for a 71-57 road victory that announced their arrival as a 6-6A playoff contender.