Wylie High School wrapped up a successful 2021-22 school year with plenty of athletic achievements.
From state medalists to nearly every program reaching the postseason, the Pirates athletic program put on a show for their fans and community. Here are the top athletes and awards for The Wylie News from the past school year.
Female athlete of the year: Sydney Murphy, softball
Murphy led the Wylie Pirates softball team to an undefeated district championship and playoff run. Working as the starting catcher for the Pirates, she led the team with eight home runs and 53 RBIs in the regular season, while sporting a .412 batting average and 21 extra-base hits. Head coach Heather Damron was most impressed with her attitude and passion on the field.
“Bucket is such a fun kid with a great attitude that we love having in our program,” Damron said. “She’s a skilled catcher and swings the bat well which helped lead our team to their playoff run. Excited to see the damage she does the next two years and into college.”
Wylie had four pitchers in their rotation this year, leading the district in runs allowed thanks to Murphy’s work behind the plate. The sophomore was a leader on the diamond, helping the team reach the regional quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
Game of the year: Late free throws give Pirates bi-district championship win
Tijan Singhateh connected on one of two free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining as Wylie hung on to defeat Rockwall 44-43 in the bi-district round of the state playoffs on Feb 22.
Wylie led by double digits on two occasions, but head coach Stephen Pearce knew playing Rockwall (9-3, 18-15) would come down to the wire. The victory avenged Wylie’s loss in the bi-district round last season.
“We knew every game with them was a battle,” Pearce said. “We led from start to finish, but we knew whether we were down or up 10, it was going to be close. They tried to get into the post a lot and we found a way to grind it out and battle it out.”
The Pirates jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, frustrating the Yellowjackets offense and contesting several jump shots. Singhateh was a focal point of the Wylie defense, but after getting in early foul trouble, the Pirates looked to the bench.
With Singhateh on the bench, the seniors stepped up for the Pirates. Gesi Jituboh came off the bench and had several key blocks and steals off entry passes to limit the Yellowjacket’s chances inside.
Fellow senior Messay Gharbin also went up a level, forcing several deflections and steals with his work ethic on the defensive end. He also chipped in offensively, leading all scorers with 12 points and the Pirates leading 29-22 at the break.
It was a stark contrast to earlier in the season, when Wylie lost to Rockwall 65-49 in non-district competition on Dec. 7.
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By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]