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Wed - Partly Cloudy. High: 91 Low: 77
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Rattlers set to defend district title

20130830-Sharyland-FootballSharyland’s second-year head coach Ron Adame and his staff were late to practice last week when the school’s in-service ran a few minutes over the scheduled time. When Adame and his assistants stepped on the field, they were pleased to find over 100 players organized and warming up on their own.

“I felt like a proud father of a son that’s ridden his bike for the first time without training wheels,” Adame said. “They took it upon themselves to start the practice. It was pleasing to see the leadership within the kids. They know what to do. They just need a little bit of guidance so we’re excited about this year.”

The Rattlers are gearing up to defend the District 30-5A title. Tonight they kick off the 2013 season with a home-opening non-district game against Brownsville Hanna on Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Rattlers Stadium. Sharyland begins district play against La Joya on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. with an away game at Pack Stadium.

Read more: Rattlers set to defend district title


Lady Patriots win own tourney

20130824 Volleyball Veterans vs Memorial lg-64The Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) Lady Patriots hosted 23 other 4A and 5A teams at the Mission Varsity Volleyball Tournament last week and quickly proceeded to demonstrate why they’re the second-ranked team in the Valley. With straight set wins over Weslaco, PSJA Memorial, San Benito and Nikki Rowe, Coach Diana Lerma’s Lady Patriots took no prisoners en-route to the tournament’s championship game where they defeated the McAllen Memorial Lady Mustangs 25-10, 25-23 and 25-20 to claim the tourney title.

VMHS was led by tourney Co-Most Valuable Players Shania Gilpin (senior) and Gabby Lerma (sophomore). Darian “D.D.” Ibarra (freshman) and Kassy Lopez (senior) were also key producers for the Lady Patriots, receiving All-Tourney honors. In Saturday’s championship match, Gilpin’s contributions included 12 kills and seven aces while Lerma added 11 kills and four aces of her own. Ibarra made her presence known with her 12 assists, three kills and 23 digs.

After having to settle for a share of the District 32-4A title last year, Coach Lerma believes that this Lady Patriots team has what it takes to bring VMHS its first outright district championship since 2008.

Read more: Lady Patriots win own tourney


Huskies ready to break into playoffs

20130823 Football Juarez LincolnLast year was Tomas Garcia’s first year as Juarez-Lincoln High School’s (JLHS) head football coach. Garcia, who inherited a 2-8 Huskies’ team against 4A competition, not only faced the challenge of turning a losing program into a winner but as a result of the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL) most recent realignment, he would have to do so in his team’s first year in District 30-5A.

With a 5-5 record the Huskies certainly took a major step in the right direction under Garcia’s leadership. As much improvement as JLHS showed in just one year however, the Huskies were left on the outside looking in when it came to the state playoffs.

“We actually had two different ways that we could get into the playoffs last year,” explained Garcia. “We either had to beat Donna or Economedes had to beat Palmview for us to get in. While we were up at the half against Donna it just didn’t work out. Even so, the feeling we had at the end of that game is what’s motivating us to get into the playoffs this year.”

Read more: Huskies ready to break into playoffs


No more excuses for Palmview Lobos

20130823-Palmview-FootballIt’s been said that football is a game of inches. When it came to the La Joya Palmview High School (PHS) Lobos’ 2012 football season however it was more a matter of points; more specifically three points that kept them out of the playoffs. That’s because it was two extremely close losses that made all the difference in the world to Lobos’ head football coach Manuel Flores and his team.

“As I told the kids, we basically missed out on the playoffs because of two key games,” shared Flores. “Two games that we lost by a combined total of three points. Those were the Juarez-Lincoln game and the Edinburg North game which we lost by two and one points respectively.”

Had the Lobos won both those games they would’ve ended District 30-5A play with a 5-3 record (6-4 overall). Not only would that have earned the Lobos their first winning season in school history but it would’ve also all but assured the football program at PHS its first ever taste of post-season play.

Read more: No more excuses for Palmview Lobos


Patriots ready to take success to next level

20130813 Football VMHS Patriots Preview lg-04Veterans Memorial High School head football coach David Gilpin is always ready, willing and able to talk about his Patriots football team. Ask him one question about his team and he’s off and running. That demonstrates his passion for his job, his school, his team and especially his players.

Having qualified for the playoffs last year was a huge improvement over the Patriots’ 2-8 record the year before, but just making the playoffs is not what Gilpin and his staff are out to accomplish.

“We’re really proud of the fact that we’ve made the playoffs three out of the last four years,” said Gilpin. “Just making the playoffs is not satisfactory, but compared to where the program was prior to that, with only one playoff appearance in seven years, I am very proud of our recent success.”

Read more: Patriots ready to take success to next level


Coyotes looking ahead to better days

20130813 Football LaJoya Coyotes Preview lg-1In George Espinoza’s inaugural season as head football coach at La Joya High School (LJHS) last year, the Coyotes managed only one district win against seven losses. That one win came in their district opener against an eventual winless Edinburg Vela team. The same Sabercats team will face the Coyotes in this year’s district 30-5A opener Thursday, Sept. 12.

If all goes as planned for Espinoza and his Coyotes, history will repeat itself against Vela but instead of finishing the season with a seven game slide there will be several wins en-route to the first playoff berth for LJHS since the three-way split in 2008.

To turn that plan into reality, the Coyotes will be relying heavily on four key players; junior quarterback Julio Garcia, senior receiver Omar Ozuna, senior outside linebacker Eric Rodriguez and senior strong safety Sergio Martinez.

Read more: Coyotes looking ahead to better days


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