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Smaller Schools... This is Why. (February, 2006)
By David Kuykendall, FISD Athletic Director

I was very busy this past weekend, and in my travels, it became glaringly obvious why FISD is committed to building smaller schools. It all started Friday night with a play-in girl’s basketball game between Frisco and Northwest. Coach Bob Rose had the running raccoons in a position that if they won, would advance to the play-offs. Shlundria Texada, Danielle Thomas, and Amirah Jackson played their hearts out, but it wasn’t meant to be. FHS has several freshmen and sophomores playing many minutes and they just might be a year away. The game was over around 8:00 PM, so I drove down I-35 to Lake Dallas, where Coach Eric Green had his boy’s basketball squad trying to clinch a play-off spot of their own. I got there the middle of the 3rd quarter with the game going back and forth. Ultimately, Zak White, Richie Francois, and Romani Darden could not pull out a victory. However, for the FHS boys program, they still have a glimmer of play-off hope.

Tuesday night, there will be a showdown between FHS and Coach Russell Miller’s Centennial Titan boy’s basketball team. The scenario goes like this: Lake Dallas must lose to Keller Central. If that happens, should FHS beat CHS, FHS makes the play-offs. If CHS defeats FHS, there would be a 3-way tie for third place, and a mini-tournament would be played involving Lake Dallas, CHS and FHS to see who would advance. Anyway you slice it, Jason Jackson, Robert Shelton and Rashid Baker will lay it all on the line to beat FHS. I can hardly wait. Also, kudos is in order for Darilyn Krempin’s Lady Titan girl’s basketball squad. Led by Emma Fradette, Kelli Klein and Molly Pannell, the team made strides the last half of the season and finished 6th in district. Again, a young team with a bright future.

As if Friday wasn’t exciting enough, Saturday was filled with Regional Championships. The day started at Centennial High School where FISD was hosting its annual powerlifting meet. Weigh-in was at 6 AM, with the competition starting at 8:30. Sixteen teams from around the area competed in squat, bench press and dead lift. FHS’s Coach Bryan Steward and CHS’s Coach Weldon Swann ran off a smooth meet. Chase Poe of Frisco and B.B. Ollennu of Centennial were standouts at the competition.

From the powerlifting meet I headed to Ft. Worth for the Regional Swimming and Diving Championships. For the FOURTH year in a row, Coach Bruce Eubanks’ team was crowned Regional Champions for both the boy’s competition and the girl’s competition. Led by Hal Eubanks, Thiago Rebello and Josh Pena, the boys ran away with the competition. The boys will take 9 swimmers and 1 diver to State in two weeks. Not to be outdone, the FHS girl’s squad qualified 7 swimmers to the State competition. Jennifer Miller and Shawana Watterson were standouts for FHS. It never gets old watching the FHS team throw Coach Eubanks into the pool. Don’t be surprised if it happens again in Austin.

Centennial had its best showing ever at the Regional Swim Championships. Coach Ronnie Rogers’ girl’s team, led by Emily Watson and Alexandra Pratts, finished in 3rd place and will advance 1 swimmer and 1 diver to State. The boy’s team advanced 4 swimmers, with Colton Palmer being the lone individual qualifier.

The day ended at Arlington Martin HS, where the Regional Wrestling Championships were held. For the second year in a row, a Frisco ISD team won the girl’s regional title. Last year it was Centennial and this year is was Frisco High. Coach Chuck Brown’s girls qualified 6 girls and 1 boy to State. Venessa Epps won here weight class, while Alyssa Frye and Alannah Griego performed wonderfully. For the boys, Jake Dykema and Jason Mefford led the team all year long. Congratulations to Coach Brown and his ladies!

Centennial’s Coach Michael Eaton will advance 6 girls and 3 boys to State. Lene Wood and Sara Lewis were winners for the girls, while Emily Martin placed second in her weight class. Josh Spicer earned 2nd place honors, while Matt Crook and Isaiah Ortega will also make it down to Austin. All in all, Frisco ISD was well represented at the Tournament.

The FISD Middle School Basketball Season wrapped up Saturday in McKinney with the District Tournament for both boys and girls 7th and 8th programs. It was a very competitive season with The Frisco Schools playing each other and teams from Allen, Highland Park, McKinney and Wylie. With the addition of two Middle Schools (Griffin and Roach) the Frisco schools had a strong showing in District Play. The Clark Boys (7, 8) and the Griffin Girls (7) posted the best records in FISD, while all three teams made it to the trophy rounds of the District Tournament. The Clark 7th Grade Boys Team won the Tournament with four straight wins. Our remaining FISD Teams at Griffin, Pioneer, Roach, Staley and Wester represented FISD with competitive play throughout District as well as in the District Tournament. Congratulations to all participants at each middle school and good luck to all in the upcoming Cross Country, Track and Soccer seasons.

As I stated at the beginning of the article, it was a very busy weekend. What does all of this have to do with smaller schools? I believe it is obvious. As we build smaller schools, more students get to participate. I am proud of all of our programs, high school and middle school. FISD has shown that we can compete at a high level of competition and still create opportunities for increased participation. Another thing to consider is this: I have highlighted athletic participation. Increased participation can be seen in all extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. From band, to academic decathlon, to drama, to drill team, to spring academic competitions, FISD will compete and will compete well.