The Valley’s top athletes will come together tomorrow night in Mission for the 2017 All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet to recognize the standouts for their performances over the past year.
The nominees for each award have been narrowed down to the top three in more than 30 categories across 12 UIL sports by various media outlets. The “Big 7” high schools will be sending 15 nominees who are up for 17 awards.
Veterans Memorial’s Diego Hernandez is nominated for two awards this year: Sub-6A Athlete of the Year and Football Player of the Year. The District 31-5A MVP led the Patriots three rounds deep in the playoffs for the first time in program history. Hernandez threw for 4,175 yards and accounted for 45 touchdowns and nine interceptions while running for 11 more TDs. Hernandez also qualified for the UIL Class 5A state meet in golf where he finished in 25th place.
“It’s a huge blessing to represent Veterans and my family’s name,” Hernandez said. “I came into this year knowing that I was going to work so hard that there was no other option other than success, it was just to what degree of success that was going to be. What I will remember most are the relationships created; the achievements will be something we can always talk about together.”
Palmview senior and three-sport athlete Tristen Myende is nominated for the 6A Boys Athlete of the Year for his performance in football, track and field and basketball. Myende set the Valley’s high in the long jump this season with a jump of 23 feet, 2 inches. On the gridiron, the big play weapon finished with 923 receiving yards and 324 rushing yards to go with his 19 total touchdowns.
Sophomore Jackie Howell of Mission Veterans Memorial is nominated as the Sub 6A Female Athlete of the Year for her role on the volleyball and basketball court. Howell led the Lady Patriots to a volleyball district title, totaling 151 kills, 126 digs, 31 aces and 13 blocks in 31-5A play and averaged 15.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game on the basketball court.
The Juarez-Lincoln soccer team is nominated for the Class 6A Boys Team of the Year for their history making season. The Huskies advanced to the state championship where they lost in penalty kicks to Dallas Jesuit after a scoreless regulation and overtime. Led by Head Coach Victor Ramos, the Huskies won the District 30-6A championship and finished the season with a 30-4-1 record.
Nominated for the Boys Soccer Player of the Year is Juarez-Lincoln junior midfielder Manuel Castrejon, District 30-6A’s Most Valuable Player. Castrejon spearheaded the Huskies attack, scoring more than 20 goals on the year. His play led the Huskies to a district title and a spot in the state tournament.
Mission Veterans Memorial senior pitcher Noel Vela is nominated as Boys Player of the Year as he finished with an 8-1 record to go with his 0.94 ERA and 87 strikeouts. The UTRGV baseball commit also posted a .462 batting average with 45 RBIs and two home runs.
Palmview junior Brianna Robles is nominated for two awards—Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year and Girls Cross Country Athlete of the Year, for her standout performance in long distance running. Robles made program history by becoming the first Lady Lobo to qualify for the UIL Class 6A state meet. She worked her way to state in cross country, finishing in seventh place, and in track and field in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs, finishing eighth in both.
Pioneer senior Jordan Wilson is nominated for the Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year for after qualifying for the UIL Class 5A state meet in long jump, where he finished fourth with a jump of 23-00.75. In only his second year of track and field, Wilson was amongst the Valley’s best in the triple jump, high jump, 100-meter dash and 400-meter relay throughout the season.
Sharyland will be well represented in golf, as Jimmy Lee is nominated for Boys Golfer of the Year and Laura Rodriguez for Girls Golfer of the Year. Lee, a sophomore, led his team to a district title at the 31-5A invitational, winning by 19 strokes. He also qualified for the state tournament for the second year in a row. Rodriguez, a junior, finished first overall at the 31-5A Invitational and helped her team qualify for state, where she finished in eighth place, the best amongst Valley golfers.
Pioneer senior Joaquin Delgado is nominated for Boys Tennis Player of the Year after he fought his way back to the state championship match for the second year in a row. Delgado won the District 31-5A singles championship and a silver medal for his second place finish at state. He will continue playing tennis collegiately at Abilene Christian University.
“It’s been an awesome year and I’m really happy with all these awards and it really shows that hard work is paying off. It really motivates me to work harder the rest of the summer.”
Pioneer freshman Trevor Heath is nominated for Boys Swimmer of the Year after a breakout performance in his debut season. Heath helped Pioneer earn its first boys district championship in program history by winning two gold medals.
Mission High’s Guadalupe Rodriguez is nominated for Boys Wrestler of the Year for his showing at the regional tournament where he won a gold medal. Rodriguez’ performance earned him male outstanding wrestler of the Region IV-6A meet.
Pioneer sophomore Diego Serna is nominated for the Boys Wrestler of the Year for his performance in the 106-pound division. Serna helped lead the Diamondbacks to a district championship and earned a gold medal at regionals.
La Joya Senior Rose Ramirez is nominated for the Girls Wrestler of the Year for her performance in her final year. She won a gold medal at the 30-6A meet helping the Lady Coyotes win the district championship. Ramirez also advanced to the championship match in the state meet.
The 2017 All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet will be 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow night at Mario’s Banquet & Conference Center in Mission.
The banquet is hosted by RGVSports.com, AIM Media Texas, in conjunction with the RGV Sports Hall of Fame and presenting sponsor Lone Star National Bank.
Seven-time NBA Champion Robert Horry will be the keynote speaker for the event. Tickets can be purchased for $40.