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La Joya teacher completes half Ironman

20131030 Esmeralda Chavez Triathlete Iron Man JB 2909“Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.”

This motto has become the daily creed for La Joya physical education (P.E.) teacher Esmeralda Chavez. Over the past two and a half years she has quit living her life realistically and began living it in a way even she never imagined would ever be possible.

With her weight having reached nearly 300 pounds Chavez knew she needed to make changes in her life. Changes that would not only help her get healthier and feel better about herself but that would also allow her to be a better example to her students at the Thelma Salinas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Early College High School in La Joya.

Participating in a 5K and reuniting with an old friend through a social media site were what it took to start Chavez on the path to a lifestyle change. The results: She has lost 96 pounds since July 2010 and just this past weeked she competed in and completed the Austin 70.3 half iron man competition.

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Lady Rattlers and Lady Patriots prepare for playoffs

20131019-VMHS-v-Mission-Volleyball dy-002Having earned their respective district championships, the Veterans Memorial Lady Patriots and the Sharyland Lady Rattlers volleyball teams are both preparing for the bi-district round of the playoffs next week. The Mission Lady Eagles could be the third of the Big 6 teams to qualify for post-season play but the final playoff spot will be decided in a one-game playoff to break their fourth-place tie with the Mercedes Lady Tigers at 5:30 p.m. today.

VMHS Lady Patriots

As the state’s No. 1 ranked and the country’s No. 14 ranked team, the Lady Patriots breezed through their 16 game district schedule. They are not only undefeated but have won all their games in straight sets. In total Coach Diana Lerma’s squad has won 37 games in a row this year making it the most successful season the Lady Patriots have ever had.

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Lady Eagles need one more win

20131029 Volleyball Mercedes vs Mission lg-16What a difference a point makes. The Mission High Lady Eagles were one point away from clinching sole possession of fourth place and the final playoff spot in District 32-4A Tuesday evening when the Mercedes Lady Tigers came from behind to take the fifth and deciding set by a score of 16-14. As a result Mission and Mercedes ended district play tied for fourth place with identical 9-7 records.

Since the two teams split their two head-to-head regular season games, they will play a single game tie-breaker this weekend to determine who will advance to the playoffs.

A closed-door meeting was held immediately after Tuesday night’s game to determine the date, time and location of the winner-take-all playoff. Those in attendance included both teams’ head coaches, Mission High School principal Joe Lopez and MHS girls athletic director Iris Iglesias. Players, fans and sports writers waited patiently for what seemed to be well over an hour for the decision to be made.

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The gloves are off! Mission Eagles vs Veterans Memorial Patriots

20131018-Mission-v-RGC-Football dy-077With so much riding on tonight’s Mission Eagles vs Veterans Memorial Patriots football game, the cross-town rivalry between Mission’s two football teams has been turned up a notch or possibly two. The way the District 32-4A standings are shaping up, it’s almost certain the loser will be out of the playoff picture.

At 2-2 in district play, Coach David Gilpin’s Patriots are in a slightly better position going into tonight’s game than Coach Mario Peña’s 1-3 Eagles. However, the only way Veterans Memorial can be assured a playoff spot is to win-out its remaining three games – tonight against Mission, next week against Rio Grande City and Nov. 8 vs PSJA Southwest.

As for the Eagles, they have absolutely no wiggle room. Their current three-game losing streak has them in a do-or-die situation against the Patriots as well as against PSJA Southwest and Mercedes in Weeks 9 and 10. It’s dire situation for Mission – which Peña makes no bones about.

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Requenez determined to turn Lobos around

20131018 Football EdinburgVela vs Palmview lg-72It’s been a rough year for the Palmview Lobos football team. Not only are they winless through Week 7 of the Valley high school football season and in last place in District 30-5A, but with the undefeated Sharyland Rattlers on their schedule tonight chances are that things aren’t going to be getting better anytime soon. Even so, there is one man who is determined to turn things around for the Lobos football program and his name is Margarito “Mage” Requenez.

As the Lobos’ defensive backs coach since Palmview High School opened its doors in 2008 and as the special teams coordinator for the past three seasons, Requenez is all too familiar with the struggles and tribulations that recently led to the reassignment of his former head coach Manuel Flores. Even so, that mid-season move, and his subsequent promotion to the position of interim head football coach and athletic coordinator at Palmview High, came as a surprise to the La Joya native.

“I have no idea how I was chosen as Coach Flores’ replacement,” shared Requenez. “I’ve been trying to figure that out myself. I don’t know if Coach Flores chose me or what happened since I wasn’t there behind closed doors. All I know is that I got a phone call and I was told that I was being given the opportunity to prove what I could do by leading the team until the end of the season.”

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Big 6 football – Rattlers remain perfect, Huskies stay alive

20131011 Football JuarezLincoln vs LaJoya lg-32Sharyland 49, Edinburg High 3

The Sharyland Rattlers improved their district record to 4-0 (6-0 overall) with a 49-3 rout of the Edinburg Bobcats last Friday evening. With the win the Rattlers keep pace with the 5-0 (7-0 overall) Edinburg North Cougars atop the District 30-5A standings as the two teams remain on course for what is shaping up to be a head-to head battle for the district championship Halloween night.

Sharyland wasted no time putting points up on the board against Edinburg as Brandon Garza caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Diego Chrysler 1:37 into the game. Exactly three minutes later the Rattlers had stretched their lead to 21-0 on a Michael Gonzalez one yard run and a 59-yard touchdown pass from Chrysler to Christian Garza. Sean Landez capped off Sharyland’s scoring in the opening quarter with a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown.

The Rattlers extended their lead to 49-0 by scoring one touchdown in each of the subsequent quarters – a 50-yard run by Chrysler in the second, a 65-yard punt return by Justin Harris in the third and a 32-yard pass from Chrysler to Garza in the fourth. Chrysler finished the night with 14 completions in 23 attempts for a total of 294 passing yards.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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