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Patriots’ Romeo de la Garza wins 300th game

20130122 Basketball Edcouch Veterans Boys lg-27The Veterans Memorial Patriots boys basketball team traveled to Valley View High School last Friday evening to play the Tigers in what was expected to be a hard fought battle for first place in District 32-4A. Entering the game with identical 5-1 records and in a three-way tie with the Roma Gladiators atop the district standings, there was a lot at stake for both teams as each of their starters took to the hardwood for the tip off.

While the significance of Friday night’s game in regards to the standings was common knowledge among those in attendance, the fact that Veterans Memorial Head Coach Romeo de la Garza Jr. was on the verge of winning the 300th game of his career was apparently on a need-to-know basis. And that’s exactly how De la Garza Jr. wanted it.

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Patriots overcome slow start; maintain tie for first place

20130115 Basketball Mercedes vs VMHS Boys lg-15It took the Veterans Memorial Patriots seven minutes and forty seven seconds to score their first goal of the game against the Mercedes Tigers Tuesday night. It took them only five seconds to score their second. As a result VMHS turned what had been an 11-1 deficit in the closing seconds of the first quarter into a slightly more respectable 11-5 disadvantage as the buzzer signaling the end of the opening period sounded.

Entering the game Tuesday evening, the 4-1 Patriots (19-6 overall) needed a win against the 3-2 Tigers to assure themselves of no worse than a tie for first place in what has become a very competitive District 32-4A hoops race. With Valley View and Roma both sporting identical 4-1 district records before Tuesday’s games, Coach Romeo de la Garza Jr. knew that if his VMHS squad was to remain atop the standings, his boys would have to bounce back from such a slow start. That is exactly what the Patriots did when they used an 18-point fourth quarter to pull ahead of the Tigers to pull off a 43-37 come-from-behind victory.

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Lady Lobos taking baby steps towards success

20121221 Basketball Sharyland vs Palmview Girls lg-02As a 1975 graduate of Mission High School and as a three-year varsity basketball player for Coach Roy Garcia’s Eagles, Juan Reyna was known among most of his classmates and friends as “La Palma” (the palm tree). Standing at 6’5” tall it was easy to see why he would have been given such an unusual nickname. However, what not many knew was that Reyna received that moniker long before he reached his impressive stature. That’s because it was as a child that Reyna was affectionately called “La Palmita” (little palm tree) after his 6’3” tall father…the original “La Palma”. It was not until many years later that Reyna grew into what became his size appropriate nickname.

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Young Lady Coyotes have high hopes

20121204-Sharyland-v-La-Joya-Girls-Basketball dy-096In three of his four seasons as the La Joya girls head basketball coach, Daniel Morales has taken the Lady Coyotes to the brink of the playoffs only to miss out on post-season play all three times. Having tied for the fourth and final playoff spot in the district with Donna twice and with Mission once, the Lady Coyotes either lost out on a tiebreaker or failed to win a one-game playoff that would’ve put them into the playoffs for the first time in many years.

Having come so close to the playoffs that they could taste it, only to be left on the outside looking in, has been extremely exasperating for Morales and his girls.

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Mission High honors coaches Garza and Guerra

20121204 Basketball Girls Grulla vs Mission lg-57At V.F. Neuhaus Gym Tuesday night, Mission High School honored two coaches who both retired last year after having spent 16 years working side by side as the head coach and assistant coach of the Lady Eagles basketball team, Rene G. Garza and Lucy Guerra.

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Lady Patriots prepare for district action

20121127 Basketball Girls Sharyland vs Veterans lg-05Lady Patriots’ Briana Casas gets control of a rebound away from the Lady Rattlers’ Monica Salinas. Progress Times photo by Luciano GuerraWith eight seniors on last year’s squad, the 2011-2012 Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) Lady Patriots were as experienced as they come. Their 16-2 record earned them second place in District 32-4A and a bi-district playoff berth against Corpus Christi Moody. Unfortunately, Moody defeated VMHS 51-47 to bring their senior-packed season to a sudden end.

With so many starters having graduated last year, Lady Patriots’ fans will have lots of new players to cheer for this season. For VMHS Head Girls Basketball Coach, Rafael Cantu Jr., the challenge will be to prepare a mostly young and inexperienced group of girls for varsity level play.

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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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