Kynnedi Johnson is young, gifted and very bright. That combination produced a full scholarship to play volleyball at Baylor University when the sophomore at Pearland Dawson High School graduates.
A first-team all-district and all-academic performer, now the 5-foot-11 junior outside hitter has her sights set on another goal as Dawson prepares for the teeth of its District 23-6A schedule.
The No. 3 area-ranked Eagles have just finished off a successful early-season run that includes wins over Katy Taylor, Summer Creek, defending regional champion Clear Creek and six wins in eight outings at the prestigious 78-team John Turner Volleyball Classic.
“I definitely want to go undefeated and win district,” said Johnson, a three-year starter on varsity. “Then go all the way to state because we get close almost every year but we’ve never actually gone.
“We have a lot of seniors on our team and I would like to accomplish going to the state tournament and winning the title for them,” Johnson said.
The 2017 Dawson Eagles appear to be on the right track. Despite losses to defending Class 6A state champion Hebron and perennial powerhouse Colleyville Heritage in the Turner Classic, Dawson won the first game in each match.
“It’s such a difficult tournament to open up with right at the beginning of the season,” said Dawson head coach Jason Karim. “There is so much talent from top to bottom and we had a chance to see some great teams.
“We were looking good against Hebron and then I think we woke them up and they showed us why they won state last year,” Karim said. “With us it’s all mental with everybody knowing their roles and when they get the chance to perform that role on the court, doing it to the best of their ability.”
When Dawson plays it doesn’t take long to see what role Johnson fills for the Eagles. A big smile adorns Karim’s face when asked to describe one of the Houston area’s top impact players.
“The first thing that comes to mind is explosiveness,” he said. “Athletically she’s quite a talent. Her vertical is through the roof and she really provides that pop on offense for us.
“What’s really changed from last year to this year is she’s thinking about what she wants to do before she does it,” Karim said. “It’s not just explode and hit the ball as hard as she can anymore.
“She’s placing the ball and thinking through what she’s doing. It’s made her a much more deadly hitter,” Karim said.
With upcoming matchups against George Ranch, Pearland, Alief Taylor, Hastings, Elsik and Brazoswood, Karim feels good about the state of his star player.
“She already knows where she’s going to college and she has the rest of this year and all of her senior year to finish off a very nice high school career,” he said.
About Kynnedi Johnson
Birth date – Jan. 4, 2001
Birth sign – Capricorn
Favorite subject in school – Chemistry/science
Favorite meal – Pasta
Favorite athlete – Katie Staiger, Baylor all-American volleyball player
Possible career – Physical trainer/sports medicine
Person she admires – Rihanna
Personal passion – An avid reader
Problem she’d like to solve – World hunger for children