Growing up I always wanted to be a college basketball player, it was the only thing I had my mind set on. I enjoyed playing football and baseball in my youth, but ultimately my goal was to play college basketball, and potentially even the NBA. It wasn’t until the end of my freshman year that I learned a very important lesson from my parents. It was the importance of finishing what you started, and not quitting. Towards the end of my freshman year I wanted to completely focus on one sport, and that was basketball. As I began to visit with Coach Fecci and my parents, I quickly realized it wasn’t an option.
I attribute a lot of my high school success to those people that held me accountable to continue playing two sports in high school. I learned the value of discipline, commitment, hard work, and perseverance throughout my four years at Mckinney North and what is required to be successful at the highest level. I can’t predict what my future holds as a college football player, but I am confident those traits I learned in high school will carry me through the challenges of being a collegiate athlete.
Although I have worked hard to become the person I am today, I would not be in this position without the support of my family, teammates, and coaches. My coaches taught me the importance of sacrifice and hard work on a daily basis, along with the strong influence a coach can have on an athlete as a person away from the athletic field. I am a better man today than I was the day I stepped in the building as a freshman.
I have known some of my best friends since kindergarten and played football with them since 3rd grade, which is another big reason I am the person and player that I am today. Austin Markiewicz, Dillon Markiewicz, Cade Pratt, Carson Criss, and Sean Monsour are not only the best friends I could ask for, but also the best teammates. All the hours spent in the locker room clowning each other and telling jokes only made our ride together even more special. We’ve built relationships that are unbreakable, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
However, I believe it’s my parents who have taught me one of the most important lessons ever, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” (Luke 12:48) I understand that God has blessed me in many ways, and I am committed to give my best to Him and all the people who have helped support me throughout this process.
Taking a knee in the locker room before the game listening to Coach Fecci talk about how we were never going to “out-talent” anybody or be faster than them, but how we were just a bunch of blue collar boys who loved to play the game of football and how we would do anything to win. And he was right. Before every game, we prayed as a team, and then coach always made sure that we knew, “Advantage us.”
Just thinking back on the last few years of playing football for Mckinney North, and not only the passion amongst the players, but the pride between the coaches and trainers as well. Countless hours spent studying film, out practicing on the turf, scouting the opponents, and then executing on Friday nights made it all worth it. One thing that I will always remember about high school football is the atmosphere in the stadium. Whether it’s the band playing, the fans screaming, or the cheerleaders cheering, I will always cherish those memories and am very proud to call myself a Mckinney North Bulldog.