In his senior year on the Brownstown Central football team, John McKinney recognizes the importance of leading the underclassmen.
McKinney, a soft-spoken individual, does his talking on the field.
“I try to motivate the underclassmen and push them to work hard,” McKinney said. “Without them, there’s no future. I realized that when I was a freshman and sophomore. I was trying to be like them. I try to be a good example so we can be successful.
“I’m not a very vocal guy; I like to lead by example. I just want to do the right thing. Hopefully people see that.”
This season, McKinney primarily plays corner and running back for the Braves.
“I like playing both, but I prefer defense,” McKinney said. “There aren’t as many responsibilities. You’re responsible for your man.”
In Week 1 against Paoli, McKinney rushed for a strong 100 yards on six attempts with a touchdown.
“I’ve never really been the biggest guy,” McKinney admitted. “I’ve always played outside positions. I’ve always been kind of fast so it fit me well.”
In 2014, on offense, McKinney recorded 123 yards on 25 attempts and two touchdowns while making 14 receptions for 209 yards and three TDs.
This season, McKinney has his sights set high on the gridiron.
“I want to at least win conference and sectional,” McKinney said. “I don’t think a lot of people don’t expect anything of us. I want to shock them.”
Game days are special for McKinney, and he said he will miss the atmosphere at games.
When he’s done with football, McKinney has considered coaching in the future.
“I’ve really thought about coaching,” McKinney said. “Every Saturday we coach flag football, I’ve done that since sophomore year and I love it. I also love working with the little kids in the summer.”
In the spring, McKinney will serve his fourth year on the track and field team.
The past two years, McKinney has made it to regional in short-distance running.
He was also a part of the 2014 sectional track championship team.
“The 100 is probably my favorite over the 200,” McKinney said. “It’s all about getting the start and trying to get your speed up. The long jump was new this year and I’m trying to get better. I’m probably going to do all three again this year.”
McKinney said he missed the state cut by .3 seconds in the 100 this past year.
Outside of school and athletics, McKinney said he enjoys deer hunting and spending time outdoors.
Following graduation, McKinney plans to go to college and focus in becoming either a physician’s assistant or chiropractor.
Q: Why do you compete in both football and track?
A: “I always figured I would play football from an early age. I started football in the fifth grade and track in sixth grade. I did track because wanted to get faster for football. I ended up liking and and stuck with both.”
Q: What will you miss most about football?
A: “I’m never going to forget the game and Friday nights. They’re special here. It’s electric. I’m looking up in the stands and they’re full. Everyone’s cheering and it gets you motivated.”
Q: Do you plan on continuing your athletics career in college?
A: “I think I want to play in college. I don’t think I’m ready to hang it up yet. I want to be around (sports) as long as I can.”
Parents: Joyce and Mark
Siblings: Tori and Reed
Sports: Football 4 years, Track 4 years
Athletic highlights: Track: Making it to regionals freshman through junior year, sectional champions; football: sectional champions, conference champions.
Organizations: 4H, Brownstown Christian Church, National Honors Society
Plans after high school: attend college
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite TV show: Sportscenter
Favorite singer/musician: Eric Church
Favorite movie: “The Other Guys”
Favorite athlete/team: Indianapolis Colts