By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
From 1961 to 1998, ABC aired the Wide World Of Sports every Saturday afternoon. Jim McKay, who would begin every broadcast with the narration, “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” hosted the series and would provide fans with highlights of both high and low moments in that week of sports. This past week McKinney athletics experienced “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” so without further ado, I would like to highlight some of those moments from the past seven days.
Thrill: The McKinney High Lions defeated Mansfield Legacy 55-46 last Friday night to win their first game since 2010. The Lions were able to gain 379 rushing yards on 41 carries against the Broncos, averaging 9.24 yards per carry. Led by running back Tommy Candela, who recorded 208 yards and two touchdowns, MHS proved that they want to be a more balanced offense that is comfortable with running the football.
Agony: Former McKinney Boyd Bronco wide receiver Jeff Fuller finally made an appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks, just not the way he would have liked to. The nation got to watch as the Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland released Fuller from the team as part of the final cuts before the regular season. Fuller seemed none to pleased at the decision. Shocking, I know.
Thrill: Fuller was later signed to the Dolphins practice squad, which means that he is part of an NFL organization. He can be signed by any team at any time, but would immediately have to be placed on that team’s active roster. Fuller will most likely spend the season on Miami’s practice squad, but getting a year of professional experience should help him tremendously in his chances to make the 53-man roster next July.
Agony: Speaking of Boyd, the Bronco football team had a rough night last Friday, losing to Mesquite Horn 38-20 in their season opener. The young defensive line of the Broncos was exposed as the game went on, often times being pushed completely off the line of scrimmage. The team had to completely retool the line, with the entire line having little to no varsity experience. Allowing 274 rushing yards can’t happen every week, especially come District 10-5A season, or else it could be a very long year for the Broncos.
Thrill: Former McKinney Lion pitcher Zach Lee, who is currently in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, won the Southern League Pitcher of the Week Award. The Double-A pitcher won both of his starts, throwing 12 innings combined and only allowing one run, six hits, and three walks. Lee struck out 12 batters, increasing his Double-A strikeout total to 51 this season. Lee is 4-3 with a 4.25 ERA in Chattanooga and was talked about in several trade rumors this past July. He was even mentioned as a possible piece in the huge deal this past month between Boston and L.A.
Agony: Another former Lion baseball player hasn’t had quite the rise to success that Lee has, and that would be the Atlanta Braves’ Matt Lipka. He moved from the middle infield to the outfield last season, and while he has yet to record an error in 102 chances in center field, the bat is what is keeping Lipka back from making more ground in the organization. He has improved his batting average from .247 at Single-A Rome to .271 at high-Single-A Lynchburg, but his power numbers aren’t where many scouts thought they would be at this moment. He still has a ton of time to continue to improve, but expect to see Lee long before you see Lipka in The Show.
Thrill: As of two weeks ago, you may have noticed a new name on the TSB sports staff. Audra Paine, an alumnus of McKinney North and a former volleyball player for the school, has joined the staff and will be covering every aspect of the volleyball season this fall. She has already done a tremendous piece on Boyd’s standout senior player Megan Mollett, but I promise you that you can continue to expect even better stories in the upcoming months from Miss Paine.
Agony: The Dallas Cowboys released Raymond Radway close to two weeks ago as part of their initial cuts, a move that would have seemed crazy just a year ago. The former McKinney North receiver was just a matter of minutes away from a roster spot in 2011, before a broken leg in the final preseason game in Miami kept him on the sidelines for the entire season. He didn’t show the same flash of speed and athleticism as he did in his rookie season, which is why he is still looking for a job. It is unclear about whether he will find another job in the NFL this year, but it is weird to think about the fact that as you watch the Cowboys on TV, a former player who was with the team just days ago is doing the same thing.
Thrill: McKinney Boyd volleyball continues to be the class of the sport in this city. As District 10-5A play kicks off very soon, the Lady Broncos are once again the favorites to win a very difficult district and make another run to the State title. While MHS and North are just trying to battle to make the playoffs this fall, Boyd has a state championship trip in mind again this fall.
Agony: While MHS football broke its losing streak last Friday, Boyd, North, and McKinney Christian all suffered defeats. Boyd and North have incredibly tough tests this week as well, with the Broncos visiting Coppell and the Bulldogs hosting Prosper. MCA will host First Baptist on Friday, a team that defeated Wortham in its home opener 52-0. Don’t be surprised if MHS, who hosts Frisco Heritage on Thursday night, is the only MISD winner for the second consecutive week.
Thrill: Football is back.
Agony for those who don’t like football: Football is back.
TownSquareBuzz.com sports writer Mike Bruu’s column appears weekly.