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Javier Femat has made a lasting mark on both Palmview High School and District 30-5A athletics. The now former starting quarterback is getting set to graduate, never to take a football snap for the Lobos again. While his plays will be solely confined to the highlight reel, Femat's legacy will live on in the record books as the school's all-time leading rusher and passer.
The Valley Offensive Player of the Year and 30-5A MVP headlined all Lobo athletic achievements for his bruising style of play and ability to find the end zone. However, Femat was not the only Palmview Lobo to find success in the realm of athletics. There were plenty more who made their stamp in the Lobo legacy.
For one, Femat was not alone in his heroics. Teammate and wide receiver Gerry Villarreal was often the guy on the other end of Femat's touchdown passes or helping block on the designed quarterback draws and reads. For his sure hands and other intangibles, Villarreal was recognized as a 30-5A First Team Offense selection. In addition, offensive guard Daniel Rios made the second team for his superb protection of his quarterback.
While Femat and his football teammates garnered much of the spotlight during the fall sports season, it was actually the boys and girls cross country teams who made the biggest noise in district competition. Whereas the football team fell just one spot out making the playoffs, both cross country squads finished in the top two at the district championships. The girls took their first district cross country title, while the boys were just five points away from knocking off district winner Sharyland,
The girls, however, they were able to take it to the Rattlers, winning the championship on their home course. Led by Kathia Esquivel, Jackie Villarreal, Bobbie Ochoa and Roxanna Vidaurri, the Lobo distance runners gave Head Coach Claudia Bazan a championship after finishing dead last just two years previously. In the district race, Villarreal finished second with a time of 12:18.35.
While the boys barely finished behind Sharyland, Jaime Carlos and Luis Guerrero finished numbers two and three, respectively. Carlos' time was 16:30.55 while Guerrero finished just behind with a time of 16:32.15.
While football and cross country highlighted the sports year for Palmview, there were plenty of individual players who stood out on the other sports teams. Though volleyball and basketball both struggled, Marlissa Ochoa proved to be a team leader as she was rewarded with an all-district first team selection in volleyball and a third-time selection in basketball. Dominic Garza of the boys basketball team was recognized on the second team.
For the spring sports, there were plenty of honors to go around. Though no soccer teams made it to the top four in their respective standings, individuals garnered recognition. For the boys, Jaime Mendoza was named the 30-5A's Utility Player of the Year as well as on the third team for the All-Valley selections. Joining Mendoza on the all-district lists were defenders Erasmo Gonzalez and Felix Castaneda.
The girls also had three players who made the all-district team, one each as a defender, midfielder and forward. Yolanda Reyes made it for her defense, Abigail Mata as a midfielder and Jessica Salazar for her scoring ability as forward.
In track and field, the Lobos would shine like they did in cross country, though both teams had to settle for second place district finishes. The girls had district first place finishes by Diana Najera in the long jump, Kimberly Ochoa in the triple jump, Roxanna Vidaurri in the 800 meter run, Cynthia Flores in the 100 dash and 200 dash. In addition, the girls got first in the 400 and 800 relay.
On the boys end, Jose Jaime and Carlos Cano both got first place finishes. Jaime ran a time of 10:07.32 in the 3200 and Cano timed in at 39.24 in the 300 hurdles.
Baseball was also able to produce some strong talented fielders and hitters. Joey Marquez pitched well from the mound while players such as Chris Polanko and Dago Rodriguez provided hits from the plate.
Yes, to conclude, Javier Femat was the story of the year. The quarterback's heroics brought the school recognition. Yet, the girls cross country team brought home the most hardware, and individual performances in other sports proved the Lobos have plenty of good athletes.
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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.