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In terms of post-season appearances, the sports teams at La Joya shied a bit from that accomplishment as they competed in 30-5A. However, through the course of the 2010-11 season, plenty of individuals showed their coaches, teams, school and fans that their hard work and preparation paid off.
Starting with football in the fall, Ray Trdla's team showed it had plenty of athletes. On offense, quarterback Victor Leanos, halfback Ives Santisteban, tackle Jonathan Cortez, tight end Baldimir Salinas and kicker Jesse Martinez all achieved honorable mention status.
Martinez perhaps proved to be the team's top overall athlete. Not only did Martinez earn the offensive honor, but was also named to the First Team All-District for his punting duties. Further, the kicker/punter garnered honorable mention as an outside linebacker. Joining Martinez were defensive end Gerardo Elizondo, center Devid Benavides and safety Jorge Aguilar.
Like football, the volleyball team did not have the strong season it was hoping for. However, Melissa Cienega was a bright spot for first year Coach Lyrissa Molina as she earned her place as Second Team All-District middle blocker. Teammate Lauren Moreno received honorable mention for her play.
The other fall sport was cross country. The lone star for the Coyotes in distance running was Michael Guerrero. The athlete finished eighth at district with a time of 17:02.66.
The winter was a bit cold to the boys and girls basketball teams. Both teams had solid seasons, but each found themselves one spot out of the coveted fourth place – failing to make the playoffs.
However, the teams were rewarded with some significant honors as both squads produced the Newcomer of the Year. For the boys, junior Mario Tamez was honored with the distinction, while freshman Karla Trevino was won the award for the girls. Trevino's teammate Elva Hinojosa was honored to the First Team All-District squad for her superb ability as a point guard. Ricky Castillo and Ricky Salinas garnered honorable mention.
In wrestling, the lone bright spot was Victoria Leanos. The female athlete was the sole Coyote wrestler to make it to Austin at state, competing in the 185-pound weight class. Though she lost her only matches in Austin, the wrestler made the memorable trip by taking third at the Region IV Championships.
Like the basketball teams, the boys and girls soccer squads missed post season play, but had strong representation on the all-district teams. In fact, at least for the boys, an all-valley placing was achieved. The honoree was defender Eddie Santiongo who was a third team selection. Teammates Jorge Cantu and Eduardo Diaz got their recognition on the all-district team as Cantu was named the Offensive Player of the Year and Diaz was placed on the second team for his defense.
The girls team had four players make the all-district list with all four on the second team. Goalie Elizabeth Gomez and defender Leyda Montoya were selected for their defense, while forwards Edna Gaytan and Ana Lara made it for their offensive production.
Track and field's lone star was Karina Silva who finished third at the District 30-5A Championships in the triple jump. Silva's distance was 35-0.
Though they would have preferred to have gotten out of the first playoff round, the baseball team had a strong year, finishing third. Despite losing to Eagle Pass Winn in bi-district, the Coyote hitters had year-long strong performances by pitchers Edgar Flores and Gabriel Barrera while shortstop Lee Ramirez did a great job hitting and fielding.
In conclusion, it is true the La Joya teams struggled to reach it to bi-district. However, within those teams there were plenty of athletes to cheer for. Athletes who showed their fans and their families that hard work pays off.
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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.