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2020 in hindsight – Part 2

A look back at the year in Big 7 sports – Post-UIL shutdown

Last week we took a look back at our sports stories for the year and we featured those that included accomplishments by Big 7 teams and individual athletes that we felt were worthy of revisiting. They were stories written by yours truly, Luciano Guerra, and John Hamann before the UIL suspended all high school sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We included highly condensed versions of those stories in order to give you, the reader, an idea of the accomplishments included in each story. This week we’re doing the same thing but with stories written subsequent to the resumption of Big 7 sports through the end of 2020.

The stories listed here are all available for viewing online on our website, Therefore if you missed any of these stories at the time they were published, you can go online and read them now. Or you can simply revisit some of your favorite stories and possibly share them with family and friends.*

Lady Eagles soaring – John Hamann, Oct. 30, 2020 Issue

The Mission High Lady Eagles volleyball team wrapped up their first round of district contests with a head-to-head matchup against the La Joya Lady Coyotes at Neuhaus Gym.  The Lady Eagles 3-0 victory (25-14, 25-8, 25-23) over the Lady Coyotes kept the team in a first place tie with Edinburg North, both of whom had 6-1 district records. Mission was 8-2 overall at that time.

Running like girls – Luciano Guerra, Nov. 6, 2020 Issue

The Sharyland Lady Rattlers cross-country team, who continued their winning ways by claiming their third consecutive district championship, scored a nearly perfect 20 points in the District 31-5A meet. The Mission Veterans Lady Patriots, who claimed their first cross-country district title in 10 years, took six of the top 20 spots for a score of 49 in the District 30-5A meet.

The Lady Rattlers’ Danielle Salinas (junior) took the individual district championship by placing first with a time of 18:30.2. Sharyland’s other top finishers were Daylah Vega (sophomore) who placed second, Sidney Bravo (senior) who placed fourth, Carolyn Tudor (sophomore) who placed fifth and Cecilia Cavazos (freshman) who placed eighth.

The Lady Patriots’ top finisher was Sarah Luna (sophomore) who placed sixth overall. Kassidy Villalobos finished in 10th place while her sister, Kimberly Villalobos (freshman) finished in 11th place. Genevieve Martinez (junior) finished in 12th place for the Lady Patriots and Jocelyn Mora (junior) placed 16th. 

State bound – Luciano Guerra, Nov. 13, 2020 Issue

Palmview High School junior Destiny Quintanilla was the only member of the Lady Lobos’ cross-country team to compete in 2020. Even so, she pushed and willed herself to succeed  by winning an individual district championship and by qualifying for the UIL State Cross-Country meet, both for the second year in a row.

Other Big 7 cross-country runners to qualify for the state meet were Sharyland High junior Danielle Salinas (7th place) and sophomore Daylah Vega (19th place), Mission High’s Rogelio Aguirre (13th place) and Sharyland Pioneer’s Cesar Ramirez (6th place).

Serving up history – Luciano Guerra, Nov. 20, 2020 Issue

The 2020 Palmview Lady Lobos became the first La Joya ISD volleyball team to qualify for the post season since 1999. The Lady Lobos went from having their 2020 season cancelled to a second place finish in District 30-5A.

The 2020 Mission Lady Eagles accomplished something that no Lady Eagles team had accomplished in 29 years; claiming a district title.

Team Tennis Round-up – John Hamann, Nov. 27, 2020 Issue

Led by junior Andrew Reyes and sophomore Isabella Garza, the Mission Veterans team tennis squad finished their regular season with a 3 – 1 record. That was good enough for a second place finish and a trip to the playoffs. Reyes went unbeaten in his district boys singles matches while Garza went 3 – 1 in hers. Reyes and classmate Natasha Charles went 3 – 0 in their district mixed doubles matches and Garza, along with junior Aliyah Rodriguez, did the same in the girls doubles contests.

The Sharyland Rattlers finished second with an overall record of 6 – 1. The girls’ team claimed the girls team district championship. Five players went undefeated with 7 – 0 records in the girls’ singles division: seniors Andrea Fernandez, Marcela Garza and Mariela Castellanos along with juniors Monica Castellanos and Jackie Rage. Three groups went 7 – 0 in the girls doubles division as well: Fernandez and Monica Castellanos, Rage and Mariela Castellanos and juniors Alondra Lopez and Camila Trevino.

Big 7 football: ‘Tis the (second) season – John Hamann, Dec. 11, 2020 Issue

By virtue of their 59 – 40 victory over Mercedes in the District 31-5A championship game, the Pioneer Diamondbacks football team finished the shortened regular season with a 5 – 0 record and their second straight District 16-5A title.

After posting a 4-0 District 31-6A West Zone record, the Mission Eagles fell to Edinburg Vela 24 – 7 in the district championship game to finish the regular season with a 4 – 1 record.  Despite the loss to Vela, Mission entered the postseason as the district’s #1 seed in the Class 6A Div. I Region IV playoff bracket.

Diamondbacks – Last Valley team standing – Luciano Guerra, Dec. 25, 2020 Issue

After posting a perfect 5-0 record against Valley teams, the Pioneer Diamondbacks proved themselves worthy of representing the Rio Grande Valley by advancing into the third round of the playoffs for the second year in a row. They did this by defeating the Medina Valley Panthers (42-23) in the bi-district round of the playoffs and the Marble Falls Mustangs (54-47) in the Area round.


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