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Huskies vs Coyotes: It’s do-or-die time

20131004-Sharyland-v-J-L-Football dy-103With three district losses each already this season, the La Joya Coyotes and the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies are both on the verge of reaching the point of no return for a chance in the playoffs. If either is going to have a realistic shot of securing a playoff spot this season, tonight’s head-to-head game at La Joya ISD Stadium between two of the three members of the pack is do-or-die.

Unlike the Coyotes, the Huskies do have one District 30-5A victory under their belts – a 13-7 win over the Palmview Lobos in Week 2. Since then, however, Juarez-Lincoln has lost three games in a row; 33-0 to Edinburg North, 14-3 to Edinburg Vela and 42-10 to Sharyland. While their three-game losing streak has dropped the Huskies into a fifth place tie with the Edinburg Bobcats in District 30-5A, a win tonight would put Coach Tomas Garcia’s squad back on track for a playoff run.

“I’ve been telling our kids all week long that this is the first round of the playoffs for us,” said Garcia. “We can’t afford to lose another one so this is do-or-die for us. We lost to Edinburg Vela who we beat last year, so we’ve dug ourselves into a hole. But La Joya is very much improved and they moved the ball really well against Economedes and stayed in the ballgame so we’re expecting a very good game.”


Mission Vets ranked No. 16 in nation

VMHS LogoMISSION - The Upper Valley’s Big 6 volleyball season hasn’t given too many surprises, with the exception of Mission Veterans Memorial, and it seems every week that 12-year Lady Patriots head coach Diana Lerma walks onto the court, there’s a new surprise.

This week Lerma learned that her Lady Patriots were ranked No. 16 in the nation by MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Volleyball rankings after stringing together five straight weeks as No. 1 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association state rankings.

“These girls are going one game at a time,” Lerma said. “We’ve all got goosebumps. Now the expectations and communication among the girls is to step it up a notch.”


Mission Eagles to enter ‘Black Hole’ tonight

20130927 Football ValleyView Mission lg-80Officially its name is Benny Layton Memorial Stadium, but it’s come to be known as the “Black Hole.” That is the nickname for the Edcouch Elsa Yellow Jackets home stadium and that is where the Mission Eagles will be looking to lay claim on District 32-4A supremacy over the previously top-ranked Yellow Jackets with a win tonight.

While some may find a trip to the Black Hole to be intimidating, Mission head coach Mario Peña is not among them. That is because he and his Eagles have done what few others have found a way to do. That is to neutralize the Yellow Jackets’ sting and defeat them not once, not twice, but three times in a row.

“The last three outings that we have had against Edcouch we have beaten Edcouch,” explained Peña. “Since I’ve been here at Mission, Edcouch has not been able to beat us. They’ve always been a powerhouse in 4-A, and I know that they are definitely looking forward to playing us, but I’m telling our team that they are the top rated team in 32-4A so our quest for the district title has to go through Edcouch so they know what’s at stake.”


Gilpin and Mission Vets enjoying stellar season - Undefeated Lady Patriots retain No. 1 state ranking

20130927 Shania-GilpinMISSION - Mission Veterans Memorial middle blocker Shania Gilpin almost gave up playing volleyball, and sports all together, if it wasn’t for her mother.

Gilpin was involved in track, basketball and volleyball at a young age through the local boys and girls club and school. However, she realized she wasn’t very good at them when she reached junior high school and wanted to quit.

“I loved track and basketball, but as it turned out in the end I wasn’t any good, but I was at volleyball, and we can thank my mom for that,” Gilpin said. “She told me, ‘you are not quitting volleyball.’ I guess she saw something I didn’t see in me.”

Even after her mother convinced her to keep playing volleyball, she was afraid of the ball coming anywhere near her vicinity and preferred a comfortable spot on the bench. That’s changed.


Eagles to host Valley View tonight

20130927 Football MissionThe last time the 1-1 Mission Eagles played at Tom Landry Stadium was 42 days ago. And that wasn’t even a game, it was a scrimmage against Edinburg High. Since then Coach Mario Peña’s Eagles have been on the road more often than Willie Nelson – first at Edinburg North, then at La Joya Palmview and most recently at Corpus Christi Tuloso Midway. Mission had yet another road game scheduled, at Brownsville Hanna September 7, but that game was cancelled due to bad weather.

Fortunately, of the seven games they have remaining on their schedule, all being District 32-4A match-ups, five will be played at Tom Landry Stadium. That includes their Oct. 25 game against Veterans Memorial in which the Patriots will occupy the home side of the field but will, of course, still be played at the friendly confines of Tom Landry Stadium.

First on Mission’s agenda, however, is their game against the Valley View Tigers tonight – a rematch of last year’s district opener in which the Eagles blanked the Tigers 41-0.


Young Lady Eagles rebuild, aim for playoffs

20130917-VMHS-v-Mission-Volleyball dy-140MISSION – Despite losing eight seniors to graduation and another pair to off-season injuries, Mission fourth-year volleyball head coach Edna Clemons and her Lady Eagles are quite optimistic about reaching the playoffs again.

“This is a rebuilding year for us at Mission High School,” Clemons said. “I’ve had to replace 10 total because I lost two early on this season to ACL’s.”

The Lady Eagles lost Alyssa Olivarez and Karyme Rocha to ACL injuries, but have managed to hold together and post a 14-12 overall record, 2-3 in District 32-4A, so far this season with the leadership of senior captains Cassie Clemons and Sara Stubbs.


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