Sachse, like many individuals and institutions in this difficult year, saw some successes and disappointments during this athletic year. With some playoff teams seeing their seasons cut short due to COVID-19, the Mustangs will look to bounce back in 2021 and take advantage of the new opportunities. Here is the 2020 Sachse year in review.
Sachse volleyball rewarded for successful season
The Sachse Lady Mustangs volleyball team reached the regional semifinals after one of their best seasons ever. Finishing the year 22-3, Sachse rarely lost a set for much of the season.
Head coach Rikki Jones added to her incredible career with a 9-6A coach of the year award. It was one of her best seasons yet at the helm, as Sachse only dropped 14 sets on the season and started the year with 14 straight wins while battling COVID-19 cancellations. Her team won a co-district championship that was shared with Wylie.
The announcement of the All-District 9-6A team shows a lot of Sachse players on the sheet, as well as being recognized as some of the top players in the area. The Lady Mustangs took home six of the individual awards from the season, led by Shaliyah Rhoden, who was named the co-offensive player of the year. Rhoden was a force on the outside, finishing the season with a team-leading 253 kills and also adding 28 aces. Whenever Sachse needed a point, she would be the player they look toward to provide it.
She had help from her leading assist partner in Clarie Romo, who was district 9-6A’s top assist player on the season. Romo had a staggering 764 assists on the season, by far the most on the team. Her work in the middle was able to make it easy on the outside hitters all season.
Other winners for some of the top awards include libero Zoria Heard being named top server with 40 aces, Kayla Grant as the top blocker with 51 blocks and Favor Anyanwu as newcomer of the year. In her freshman season, Anyanwu had 127 kills, 50 blocks and 10 digs.
Football team finishes year in playoffs with young roster
After Sachse’s bi-district football playoff loss to Skyline, the Mustangs finished 3-6 overall, something they’re not accustomed to seeing. They were able to beat South Garland to reach the postseason, but head coach Mark Behrens said the lack of practice and delay hurt the kids and his ability to teach young roster.
With that, Sachse had a dynamic run game that led to one of the more explosive offenses in district.
Alex Orji was the starting quarterback and punter for Sachse, and he was as dynamic of a player as they came last year. Taking home the athlete spot on the first-team, Orji had a sensational season leading the Mustang offense. The junior finished with 2,329 yards and 25 touchdowns for the season, showing he deserved every bit of his three-star college recruit recognition.
Transferring into Sachse before the season, Orji just wanted to help the team be successful. He made more of an impact than anyone else, leading the offense to 241.9 rushing yards per game on the season. He had some help along the way, including fellow first-team all-district player in center Ricardo Ochoa, two second-team running backs, two second-team offensive lineman and a second-team wide receiver.
Brian Okoye and Kori Jones made the second-team of 9-6A after both averaging over 50 yards per game. The junior Okoye was the lead back, who finished with 693 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, while Jones, the senior, had 355 yards and five touchdowns rushing. Both players averaged over seven yards per carry and, along with Orji, made Sachse one of the best rushing attacks in the district.
The other playmaker to make the second-team was senior Tyler Williams. The top wide receiver for the Mustangs had 492 receiving yards and two touchdowns on the season. Hauling in 17.3 yards per catch, Williams’ biggest impact was felt when he was out injured in the bi-district playoff round against Skyline.
The other two players to make the second-team were senior offensive lineman Caden Kilpatrick and Jacob Morrow.
The defense featured five players in the second-team: defensive tackle Albion Krasniqi, defensive end TK Burnley, linebacker James Boyd, safety Kevin Courtney and cornerback James Adams. Boyd led the team with 55 tackles and Krasniqi was tied with district honorable mention defensive end Micah Lowe with four sacks.
Sachse’s boys’ and girls’ each finish 14th overall in regional championship
Sachse’s teams both qualified for the regional championship after finishing second in the district championship. The top runners for Sachse were on the girls’ team in sophomore Anna Eischen and junior Madison Ramirez. Eischen finished 48th overall in the meet with a time of 20:33.99. She finished as the top female runner once again from all of the area schools and is building towards a strong junior and senior seasons.
Ramirez finished 72nd overall with a time of 21:37.69. She and Eischen each finished in the top five of the district championship meet. Other runners for Sachse in the girls’ race included Courtney Rawlings, Aaryn Satterfield and Ashley Rivera.
The boys’ team came in 14th overall as well with their top runner finishing 86th overall. Nathaniel Frost was the top runner, finishing with a time of 17:28.46. Other top runners for the Mustangs include Israel Garcia, Lucas Carter, Gavin Clymer and Jorge Acosta-Gutie.
Sachse boys’ basketball win postseason game
Not many people would have believed that in two seasons, Zachary Mikesell would coach the Sachse Mustangs to their first-ever playoff victory in basketball.
The program was in disarray when Mikesell took over. They had won just two games the previous year and hadn’t had more than 13 wins the entire decade. His takeover has seen an immediate turnaround.
While finishing right at .500 doesn’t seem like anything to celebrate, the Mustangs beat Prosper in the first round of the 6A playoffs. It got them past the first round for the first time ever and also avenged a 17-point loss earlier in the season. It was a major milestone for Sachse basketball that Mikesell doesn’t take for granted.
“It was great to be a part of that and go and get that win,” Mikesell said. “To be honest though at the thought our record was even better than that at the end of the day.”
The Mustangs looked to their top player for scoring in big games. Obi Onyia led the team in scoring with 15 points per game to go along with four assists and 38 percent shooting from the three-point line.
Lady Mustangs basketball run district table
After reaching the third round of the playoffs and going undefeated in district play once again, not much can get better for Sachse. The Lady Mustangs finished 2019 with a 14-0 district record, continuing their win streak to 69 consecutive games.
They continued their dominance of the district by collecting every district award in the postseason and advancing as the number one seed in the playoffs.
Sachse’s talent started with Adhel Tac, who was voted as the 10-6A most valuable player. She’s now enrolled at TCU after averaging 12.2 points per game on a district-leading 57 percent shooting. She also averaged 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
Senior Tia Harvey also graduated this past season after being named the district offensive player of the year. She did that by scoring 11.1 points per game and 2.6 per game, but also added 2.8 steals per game.
Another player who stood out for Sachse was sophomore Crislyn Rose. She made an immediate impact and was named by the district as the newcomer of the year. Rose scored 7.8 points per game while also averaging 2.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals. She also hit a team-leading 33 3-pointers made.
Spring Sports: Track/Golf/Baseball/Softball
The spring sports suffered the most from the coronavirus pandemic. Many were only into their non-district play and didn’t get a lot of opportunities in their respective fields. Overall, while everyone wanted to give the seniors an opportunity to continue playing, health and safety became the top priority.
Behind a retooled roster, Mustang baseball players were preparing for district play after an up-and-down non-district performance.
Joshua Marcellus was recovering from an early-season injury when he heard the news.
“I wasn’t able to take the field all too much this year,” the Bethany College signee said. “I was finally making my way back to being 100 percent and then the outbreak happened. I felt as if my entire senior season was stripped from me.”
Cade Harris was angry about the news.
“Being a senior it would be really tough not to finish my senior season, because we as a team have put in too much work for it just to be taken from us like this,” he said.
Thomas Kuykendall, a Northern Oklahoma College baseball signee, said he felt like his pride was ripped away. All the team’s hard work throughout the fall was for nothing.
Like every other season the expectations were to win district and make a long run in the Class 6A Region II playoffs.
“We went into the season with a mentality of getting the win no matter what it takes. I think all of us expected to win district,” Kuykendall said.
Lady Mustangs softball were 7-9-1 overall and was 1-1 in district with a loss to Wylie and win over Naaman Forest at the time of the stoppage. Flanked with an offense that scored 135 runs, Sachse was equipped to make a strong run in district play.
Sophomore Madison McClarity led the way with a .568 batting average and four home runs with 23 runs batted in. The Lady Mustangs had eight home runs on the year heading into the stoppage.
Lady Mustangs defense had them tied for second in district
Chasing Rowlett and Wylie with just two games remaining, the Lady Mustangs soccer team had its season halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sitting at 18-5-2 with a 10-2 district record, Sachse had the third-best defense in the district last season, allowing just one goal per game.
After sharing the district title with Rowlett the season before, it was frustrating for the Lady Mustangs to not be able to compete for the district crown. Sachse had won or shared the district for nine straight seasons.
Sachse soccer team finishes season third in district
With two games remaining, Sachse was in a three-way tie for second place in the district standings. While the seeding didn’t necessarily matter, the Mustangs will feel upset in not being able to compete in the playoffs after a successful season behind a defense that only surrendered 11 goals in 12 district games.
One player to highlight from the Sachse soccer team was Miguel Adoboe. The now-senior rose to great heights this season, winning the 10-6A District Most Valuable Player award. Previosuly named to the first-team and also as the district’s newcomer of the year, Adoboe was the offensive spark for Sachse with 13 goals and seven assists during the season.
By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]