As a 5-foot-11-inch quarterback, Wyandotte High School senior Dimonic McKinzy has had to learn to be versatile.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
On the field, that means accuracy in the passing game and speed in the running game. Off the field, it means balancing sports with school. He’s not only succeeded, but managed to do quite well both.
When the football season ends, McKinzy will have a few weeks left of school before graduating early and heading off to spring camp at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a full-ride scholarship. When he gets to Minnesota, McKinzy will pursue a degree in business. He hopes to open his own construction company or chain of barber shops.
“It just tells you that you have a leader in the making,” Wyandotte fooball coach Eddie Brown said. “You have a kid who is not only a phenomenal athlete, but a kid who also has the ability to find a cure for cancer because he has that kind of mind, or invent something that would make our world a better world to live in.”
McKinzy played his first two seasons at University Academy in Kansas City, before transferring to Wyandotte. As a quarterback and cornerback, he has led the Bulldogs to the Kansas City Kansas–Atchison League championship.
Along the way, he picked up college offers from Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas before choosing Minnesota.
“There are a lot of quarterbacks in the city, and if they are just an in-the-pocket quarterback, they are not going to have the same opportunities as if they were a running quarterback,” said Leonard McKinzy, Dimonic’s father. “In high school, it’s not really a common thing, so that helped him stick out.”
It was his father, who also served as his first coach, who emphasized the importance of versatility from the beginning.
“I think that was a great observation for his dad,” Brown said. “I think his dad saw long ago that, ‘I’m not tall, nobody in the family is tall, so you’re not going to be 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4, so you have to prepare with the tools that are going to make you successful.’”
Through six games this season, McKinzy has 1,631 passing yards and 17 touchdowns, with just eight interceptions. He’s completed 87 of his 172 attempts.
When he runs, McKinzy has been a threat as well, picking up 303 yards on 50 carries with eight touchdowns.
“That’s my strength, being able to do both and actually being successful at both,” McKinzy said. “That makes me able to get out of situations other quarterbacks can’t get out of. If I’m about to get sacked and I can scramble away and make a throw at the same time, that’s where I think I’m best.”
As he enters the stretch run of his senior season, McKinzy’s biggest goal is to get to the Kansas Class 6A playoffs. On Friday night, one of the best teams in the Sunflower League — Lawrence Free State — is an obstacle.
“We’ve lost by a total of five points all together,” McKinzy said. “First game, 49-48, second loss, 51-48, and then this last loss was 37-36. We haven’t had our best game yet, but I’m banking on this Friday that we are going to have a great game against Lawrence Free State.”