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Fourteen local wrestlers among state’s best

20140207 Wrestling PrismaHernandezThe best of the best high school wrestlers from across the state of Texas will be competing at the University Interscholastic League (UIL) State Wrestling Meet in Garland, Texas next week. Among them will be 14 local boys and girls. All of whom earned the right to take to the mats against the state’s elite by finishing amongst the top four in each of their respective weight classes at the UIL Region IV 4A and 5A wrestling meets last week.

While each of the Big 6 schools qualified at least one wrestler for the state meet, La Joya Juarez-Lincoln tops the list in total number of state qualifiers with four and in number of regional champions with two. In addition, two Huskies boys will be making the trip to the Dallas area as alternates as a result of their fifth place finishes at the regional meet.

The two Juarez-Lincoln regional champions are Leslie Oliva (95 lbs.) and Danae Sanchez (148 lbs.). Mayra Becerra will be joining her Lady Huskies teammates in Garland as a result of her third place finish in the 110-lb. weight class. This will be Sanchez’s second trip to the state meet as she earned the silver medal last year.


Lady Patriots make playoffs, settle tie Friday

20140204 basketball girls psjasw vs vmhs lg-15According to the regular schedule, the Sharyland Lady Rattlers and the Veterans Memorial Lady Patriots basketball teams’ regular seasons are both supposed to be over. They both played their final district games of the season Tuesday evening and depending on how their seasons went they were each supposed to be either preparing for next week’s Bi-district round of the playoffs or looking forward to next year. As things have played out for both teams however, neither of those is the case.

As a result of their loss to Edinburg Vela Tuesday evening, the Lady Rattlers ended the regular season in a three-way tie for third place with Edinburg Economedes and Donna. Only the top four teams qualify for the playoffs, so one of those three teams will be on the outside looking in when post-season play starts next week. Which two teams will play on will be determined on the basketball court this weekend.

Lady Rattlers’ head coach Dale Whitaker explained, “We met with Economedes and Donna and all three coaches flipped a coin at the same time to determine the order in which we’d play each other to break the tie. As it turned out, we will be playing Economedes Thursday evening at 7 at Juarez-Lincoln High School. The winner of that game will then play Donna Friday evening at 7 at Juarez-Lincoln. If Donna wins that game they will be the third seed and the winner of Thursday’s game will be the fourth seed. If Donna loses that game however then they will have to play the loser of Thursday’s game with the winner being the fourth seed.”


It’s all in the family for Lady Eagles

20140128 Soccer MHS Clemons Family lg-01When it comes to the Mission High School girls’ soccer team, it’s all in the family. With Aaron Clemons as the head coach, his wife Edna Clemons as his assistant and their daughter Cassie Clemons as a Lady Eagles’ star player, there’s no doubt about that.

While having a husband and wife coaching team at the high school level is somewhat of a unique situation, it certainly seems to be working for the Lady Eagles. This was definitely the case last year when Clemons’ squad breezed through an undefeated district season followed by a district, bi-district, area and sectional championship.

So how did this family-friendly scenario come to be? It started with Coach Aaron Clemons returning to his alma-matter where he once starred on the football field.

“I played football for the Eagles and I went on to play at Tarkio College in Missouri,” said Clemons. “After working in the prison system for 10 years, I was hired here as a freshman football coach and I thought I was going to be the boys junior varsity soccer coach. However, that position was filled so I became the girls’ JV soccer coach for one year before becoming an assistant to head girls’ coach, Oscar Ortiz, for three years. I then became the Lady Eagles head coach five years ago.”


Local wrestlers qualify for regional meet

20140123 Wrestling 164A District Meet lg-185There was plenty of action on the mats last week as La Grulla and Nikki Rowe high schools hosted the 16-4A and 16-5A District Wrestling meets. Mission and Veterans Memorial High boys and girls competed at La Grulla Thursday while La Joya, Juarez-Lincoln, Palmview and Sharyland High boys and girls competed at Nikki Rowe Friday and Saturday. All for the right to claim district championships and/or advance to each district’s respective regional meets this weekend.

Nykea Salinas emerged as the only district champion for the Lady Eagles as she claimed the title in the 128 lb. weight class. Several of her teammates however qualified for the regional meet by finishing in the top four of each of their weight classes. Those included Stephanie Cedillo (3rd, 110 lbs.), Diana Espinoza (4th, 119 lbs.), Sara Castillo (3rd, 138 lbs.), Sally Ochoa (3rd, 185 lbs.) and Vaneliy Guerrero (3rd, 215 lbs.)

Andrew Mercado (160 lbs.) and Sabas Garcia (170 lbs.) both claimed district titles for the Eagles boys. Other regional qualifiers for Mission included Luis de la Fuente (second, 113 lbs.), Daniel Pena (third, 126 lbs.), Adrian Silva (fourth, 152 lbs.), Fernando Tovar (fourth, 195 lbs.), Jonathan Mares (fourth, 220 lbs.) and Esteban Garcia (third, 285 lbs.)


Lady Eagles determined to soar high

20131217 Basketball Girls MHS vs RGC lg-10Much like a basketball being dribbled across the court, high school coaches experience many ups and downs. There are wins and losses. There are championships and there are disappointing seasons. There are hirings and there are firings. Over the years that Raquel Carmona has coached girls high school basketball she has experienced all of those and more.

With multiple district, bi-district, area and regional quarterfinal championships during her 25 years of coaching at schools like Edinburg High and Hidalgo, Carmona has experienced many highs. However, in her second year at Mission High School, Carmona and the Lady Eagles are still searching for the right formula that will allow them to minimize the lows and maximize the highs.

“Last year we had some players that didn’t come back,” explained Carmona. “We had four returning players with only two of those being starters.”

In their inaugural season under Carmona, the Lady Eagles won only one district game last year, while losing 15. Overall Mission finished with a 7-25 record in 2012-2013.


Lady Huskies top Lady Lobos

20140121-Palmview-v-J-L-Girls-Soccer-051For the second year in a row, the La Joya Juarez-Lincoln Lady Huskies kicked off their District 30-5A season with a victory over the La Joya Palmview Lady Lobos soccer team.

Last year, it was Selena Martinez that scored both of the Lady Huskies’ goals in their 2-0 victory over the Lady Lobos. Tuesday evening it was sophomore forward Gabriela Reyes and senior midfielder/forward Ana Cobix that scored two goals for Juarez-Lincoln en-route to their 2-1 victory over Palmview.

Reyes opened the scoring at the 28:30 minute mark of the second half when she was given a second chance after having just missed a kick-on-goal that ricocheted off the top crossbar and back onto the playing field.

“I took the shot when I saw the goal was open, but I was nervous and it hit the top bar and bounced back,” explained Reyes. “Alexis (Pruneda) got control of the ball on the rebound and kicked it back to me. I reacted quickly and kicked it towards the net. Fortunately, this time it went in.”


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