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Wed - Partly Cloudy. High: 91 Low: 77
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Landez proves key to Sharyland Win

20131123-Sharyland-v-Harlingen-Football dy-225He may be the Sharyland’s Renaissance Man - the player who can do everything. During the Rattler’s 23-20 second playoff round win over Harlingen last Saturday afternoon, Sean Landez proved he could do it all on both sides of the ball.

Though he achieved national attention a year ago with his 109.9 yard touchdown run, Landez’ game last Saturday against Harlingen proved to be the bigger of the two achievements. He scored twice – once on a 30 yard pass from Lance Madden in the first quarter, then again with the game winning 21 yard pass reception from Brandon Garza late in the fourth quarter.

When Harlingen was about to score in the fourth, the Cardinals fumbled, but when the stack was sorted out, it was Landez hoisting the ball high in the air. While playing at free safety, Landez administered some solid hits that shook the ball loose from Harlingen receivers and he saved a sure touchdown in the third quarter by getting a bit of finger on the ball to knock it away. Just to be sure, Landez added in long punt returns to set up the offense in good field position.

Read more: Landez proves key to Sharyland Win


Rattlers vs Cardinals - Clash of the titans

20131115-Sharyland-v-Laredo-United-South-Playoff-Football-071In what’s shaping up to be an epic battle between two of the Valley’s 5A powerhouses, the 11-0 Sharyland Rattlers and the 10-1 Harlingen Cardinals will be taking to the gridiron tonight at Boggus Stadium in Harlingen in the UIL Region IV area round playoff game. This clash of the South Texas titans will determine which team will earn the right to move on to the regional round of the state playoffs against either San Antonio Madison or O’Conner High School.

As this year’s district and bi-district champions Coach Ron Adame’s Rattlers and Coach Manny Gomez’s Cardinals are on a path very similar to last year when Sharyland defeated Harlingen 42-2 in the midst of a wind-driven downpour at Weslaco’s Bobby Lackey Stadium. Their ability to overcome some of the worst weather ever seen under the Friday night lights allowed the Rattlers to advance while the Cardinals were left wondering what could’ve been.

“The weather last year became an equalizer, but don’t get me wrong, they played hard and they played better than us on that day and they were able to pull off the win,” explained Gomez. “I’m not making any excuses. They’re a talented ball club and they played better in stormy conditions than we did and that’s the bottom line.”

Read more: Rattlers vs Cardinals - Clash of the titans


Rattlers Win Bi-District

20131115 Sharyland v Laredo United South Small dy 004With a swarming defense that kept Laredo United South bottled up, the Sharyland Rattlers met the Panthers on their home turf and came away with a convincing 42-13 win. The two scores United South posted on the board came late in the game when head coach Ron Adame sat out his regulars. “We keep playing defense the way we did tonight, we got a chance to win any football game we play in” said Adame, giving credit to both his athletes and Defensive Coordinator Craig Krell and his staff.

Such talk made it sound as if the offense wasn’t clicking, but quarterbacks Diego Chrysler and Lance Madden kept the football moving, taking a 21-0 lead into the locker room at the half. When Chrysler sprained his ankle late in the second quarter, Madden took over until the game was decided and the reserves were given some reps.

But it was the defense that made things happen. Justin Harris recovered a fumble, and then took it all the way in for a touchdown with six minutes remaining in the second quarter. Not to be outdone, Monte Clair intercepted a United South pass and returned it for long yardage, setting up a score by the offense.

Read more: Rattlers Win Bi-District


Gilpin, Patriots ready to achieve something special

20131101 Football RioGrande vs VMHS lg-20Coach David Gilpin is expecting something special this year. Something that has not only eluded him as a head coach but every Veterans Memorial High School football team that has ever taken to the gridiron – a second round playoff win.

Breaking into the third round of the state playoffs has been one of Gilpin’s goals long before his quarterback took his first snap from center this season ­– a goal that he is determined to see his Patriots achieve this year.

“Our first goal is always to win a district championship,” explained Gilpin. “However after our loss to Edcouch, we knew that wasn’t going to happen. So we set our sights on making the playoffs first, but our ultimate goal of getting past the second round has not changed.”

“We’re no longer going to be satisfied with playing a ranked team tough but still losing in the first or second round,” added Gilpin. “We’ve done that before but as I keep preaching to my players, the time has come for us to win those games and we’re not going to settle for anything less. For us to accomplish something special this year it will have to be something we’ve never done before and a second round win is what it’s going to take.”

Read more: Gilpin, Patriots ready to achieve something special


Lady Patriots Move Up in State Playoffs

20131112-VMHS-v-Floresville-Playoff-Volleyball- dy-002They were in an unfamiliar position – the Lady Patriots hadn’t had to play five sets all year long, but the season came down to the final set that is played to 15 points rather than the usual 25.

Floresville had seemed like easy pickings after the opening 25-10 score, but the same team that had bounced the Lady Patriots last year came roaring back with a second set 19-25 win. The two teams traded the next two sets, setting up the emotional and crucial final set.

With the backing of a large and very noisy crowd of Veterans Memorial fans who made the trip to Alice, Coach Diana Lerma talked to her charges.

“We are a young team with a lot of sophomores and freshmen” she said after the game. “They wanted to cry and I asked them what they were crying about – the game’s not over yet. We can still win it and its going to go to the team that wants it the most.” With that, the Lady Patriots went to their go-to girls, sophomore Gabby Lerma, senior Shania Gilpin, freshman setter D. D. Ibarra and senior Kassy Lopez. It seemed they would take the final set easily when they took an 8-4 lead, but after the Lady Jaguars took a time out, the score tightened again. At 13-12, the Lady Patriots finished it off, including another score by Ibarra.

Read more: Lady Patriots Move Up in State Playoffs


Lady Patriots advance, Lady Rattlers upset

20131102 Volleyball LosFresnos vs VMHS lg-10As the state’s No. 1 and the nation’s No. 14 ranked volleyball team, the Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) Lady Patriots Tuesday took the first of six steps to bring a state championship home to VMHS for the first time in school history. That first step was winning their opening round playoff game against Corpus Christi Moody Tuesday evening.

Step 2 will be their area round game against the Victoria West Lady Warriors at Bishop High School tomorrow. The game time was not available as of press time.

With the straight sets win against Moody, the Lady Patriots improved their overall record this season to 40-0. Having won all but two of those games in straight sets is one indicator of how dominant Coach Diana Lerma’s squad has been all season. Another is that several of those wins were against 5A teams, including their 25-11, 25-16 and 25-23 warm-up game victory over the 15-1 Los Fresnos Lady Falcons last Saturday.

Read more: Lady Patriots advance, Lady Rattlers upset


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