KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Olathe North Eagles (5-2) have had a very successful season so far and are well on their way to surpassing their strong 2017 season. Last year, the Eagles finished with a 7-4 record. The team was certainly disappointed falling to Blue Valley in last year's sectionals.
Senior running back Daymonn Sánchez was undoubtedly disappointed to not win a state championship in 2017. One could even say, he's playing with a chip on his shoulder and running absolutely wild on his competition.
His performance last Friday against Lawrence was a microcosm to his entire season. Daymonn rushed 25 times for 283 yards and five touchdowns in Olathe North's 48-23 road win over the Lions.
"I had to do what I had to do. My o-line was doing good. My quarterback [Arland] Bruce was doing good. And, my coaches just gave me a chance man. And, I took that advantage," Daymonn said.
Olathe North Head Coach Chris McCartney has certainly seen the growth of one of his senior team leaders. He says that growth as a player and a person has been a journey, but one that has been worthwhile.
"Daymonn has grown a lot of over the years. He's learned how to be a good teammate. He's learned how to be very accountable. He's learned how to work hard," McCartney said. "He's very gifted. And, when he first came to us, he just took it for granted. And, he's learned how to work hard and be a bigger part of the team."
Those gifts of speed and agility for Daymonn came with lots of hard work. He hones in on his craft while competing in outdoor track and field. Last school year, he competed in the 100, 200 and 400-meter relays as well as the 4x100 relay and the long jump. Those skills are easily translatable to breakaway speed on the football field. Daymonn remains humble about his abilities.
"You know how it is, it's like some people are born on third base. And, I'm not that person that's born on third base with natural talent. I practice every day just to get better. My coaching staff's helped me a lot," Daymonn said.
While collegiate football is certainly in Daymonn's field of vision, he says he hasn't received any offers yet. But, he acknowledges with continued effort, offers may come. For now, he's focused on trying to win a state championship with his Eagles teammates and a school that he says has given so much back to him.
"I like playing for [Olathe] North. I love this school. I've always played here ever since [I was] a freshman. I grew up with a lot of people here from middle school [and] elementary. And, now we're just playing together. So, I like it. I like the coaching staff. I like everybody here."
NOTE: The Hy-Vee 41 Five-Star Athlete of the Week segment airs every Wednesday night during the 10 p.m. sportscast for the entire school year.