ST. GEORGE — The McKenzie brothers at Pine View High School have been on a long journey in their athletic careers, and that journey is about to take them to a whole new world.
At Pine View on Wednesday morning in an announcement ceremony, Dominique and Marcus McKenzie, the twin brothers and stars in multiple sports, committed to take their talents to the University of Virginia.
Teammates, coaches, friends and family members all gathered briefly between classes to hear the announcement and to offer their congratulations.
“I always had the goal to play college sports,” Dominique McKenzie said in a video posted on Instagram. “I grew up watching uncles and cousins play college sports, so to be here today feels really good.”
The blue-chip prospects chose Virginia among several other premiere college programs including those in Oregon, Arizona, and BYU.
Dominique McKenzie spoke of the journey they’ve gone through over the years, from practices to bus rides to time spent in the weight room and playing different sports.
“First off, I want to thank Heavenly Father for the talent he has given me,” he said. “And as my parents always say, ‘Where much is given, much is required.’
“I love football, but I’d like everyone to know that I plan on serving a two-year mission before I head out to school,” he added.
Their soon-to-be head coach at Virginia is accustomed to waiting for players to come back from missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Cavaliers are led by former BYU head coach and American Fork graduate Bronco Mendenhall.
Marcus McKenzie reflected on their journey and what it meant to him over the years.
“I want everyone to know that I am not here without the support of my friends and family,” Marcus McKenzie said, “and that their guidance in my life is why I’m standing up here today.
“All of us are on different journeys in life,” he added. “Things we can or cannot control will restrict us. People that we thought we could count on might fail us. It’s how we react to these trials in life that will determine if you grow or not.”
Both the McKenzie brothers are now free to focus on Pine View’s biggest challenge: winning the state championship game for the first time.
The 5-1 Panthers are off this week and next play Oct. 1 at Crimson Cliffs.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.