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In their first two years of varsity play, the Lady Lobos of Palmview basketball have struggled. Year one the team won zero games. Year two the team slightly improved but mustered only three district wins. Year three is off to a slow start, but the team is showing potential.
New Head Coach Juan Reyna understands the challenge before him and is taking the appropriate steps to rectify the situation.
“The first thing I wanted to do is check where they are mentally,” says Reyna, who has been coaching boys and girls basketball in the Valley for the past 29 years.
To jump into the girls' psyche, Reyna had each girl write him a letter, detailing what she had done in the off season to improve her personal game as well as the team’s. When the results came in, Reyna found out there wasn't much of a workout at all. Specifically, the team didn't join any spring or summer leagues, something Reyna says is critical to a team's success.
Needless to say, the Lady Lobos are a bit behind. The team has only won four games on the year, zero of those coming in their three district games. The new head coach feels his team needs to work hard now and into the off season in order to compete at the 5A level.
However, that is not to say the season is over. The Lady Lobos have some talent to at least compete. Sophomore Amber Garza is not afraid to shoot the ball, especially behind the arc. Wearing number 23, the shooting guard hit three treys against Hidalgo last Tuesday night.
The two players with the most varsity experience are Gabriela Rodriguez and Marli Ochoa. Rodriguez provides her teammates with hustle and a big presence. Ochoa possesses a nice dribble and a solid inside shot. Issel Sosa provides a solid dribble at the point while Belinda Garza provides height for rebounding. Providing help from the bench are Valerie Martinez, IllianaCantu, Perla Hernandez and Myra Calderon who also often starts.
Much of the team's skill is raw and Reyna understands this. The coach shows patience with the team's mistakes and positive reinforcement when the girls make smart choices.
Hopefully, the patience and hard work will pay off and the girls will get some wins this year and into the future.
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The 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.