Spring successes for Big 7 boys

After last week’s look at the achievements made by teams and individuals from the girls side of the Big 7, we look today at how the boys have fared this spring in track, wrestling, golf, tennis and soccer. As you will read, it has certainly been a successful spring for both teams and individuals by the boys as well.
Several boys have put up excellent individual performances that ended with recognition at the state level with one athlete still competing as of press time. There were also a few teams that took care of things on the district level.

Sharyland High’s Diego Heredia has had quite the season on the track for the Rattlers. The junior finished fourth in the 3200 meter run at the District 31-5A meet in McAllen in late March, the last spot allowed to move on to the Area meet in Mercedes in mid-April. A third place finish there put him in the Regional field in San Antonio two weeks ago. Another third place finish put his season in jeopardy but his qualifying time, an impressive 9:18.75, placed him first among the state’s other regional meet third place finishers and with it, a spot in this morning’s 3200 meter state final in Austin. In fact, his time at regionals placed him third among the nine individuals running in today’s race. Heredia also finished fourth in Regionals in the 1600 meter run.

Two Big 7 athletes who have already wrapped up top finishes in state competition this spring are Mission High’s Dante Lopez and Sharyland High’s Paolo Miranda, both on the wrestling mat. Lopez, a senior, took fourth in the state wrestling meet two weeks ago in Cypress in the Class 6A 285 lb. weight class. Lopez won his first two matches in the tournament before falling in the semi-finals and third place match. Miranda, a sophomore, lost his opening match in the Class 5A 106 lb. division before rebounding with three wins to take fifth. Last month, the Rattlers boys won the team title in District 16-5A. The Rattlers are coached by Sam Mangum.
The Regional track meet also produced a number of other solid performances. In the shot put, Sharyland High’s Javier Ayala finished fourth and Pioneer’s Evan Thompson finished fifth in Class 5A. La Joya Palmview’s Tony Villarreal (400 meter run) and Adan Torres (high jump) also had fifth place finishes. Mission Veteran’s Jaythan Barrera placed sixth in the 300 meter hurdles and Pioneer’s Ryan Servantes finished in the top half of the field in the 800 meter run. In the 6A division, Mission High got top half finishes from Rogelio Aguirre (1600 meters, 3200 meters), Jose Ortiz (shot put) and Tajh Jones (long jump).

The Big 7 was also well represented at the Class 5A regional golf tournament in San Antonio two weeks ago after strong district meet performances. Mission Veterans, coached by Tony Ocana, won the District 30-5A title and finished 12th at the regional tournament. Brett Gerlach won the individual district title for the Patriots and Antonio Ocana IV was the team’s low scorer at the regional tournament. Other team members on the Patriots title winning team are Ayden De Leon, Ever Torres and Vincent Abrego.
La Joya Palmview’s Jeremi Cortez and Ignacio Garcia helped the Lobos finish second to the Patriots at the district meet and 13th in the region. Sharyland Pioneer was the top finishing Big 7 team at the regional tournament with a 6th place finish after finishing second in the District 31-5A tournament. Gabriel Guerrero was the top golfer for the Diamondbacks at both tournaments.

In tennis, Missions Veteran’s Andrew Reyes, the 30-5A boys’ singles champion, won his first round match at the regional tournament in San Antonio last week before falling to the eventual regional champion in the second round. The tournament featured two mixed doubles teams from Big 7 schools as well. The Pioneer team of Alyssa Cantu and Angel Martinez and the Mission Veteran’s team of Natasha Charles and Eduardo Garcia both qualified for the regional tournament with second place finishes in district play. Cantu and Martinez opened the tournament with a victory and were eliminated by the eventual regional runner-up, while Charles and Garcia lost to the eventual regional champion.

Accolades earned by Big 7 soccer players were also recently announced and to no one’s surprise the District 31-6A champion La Joya Juarez-Lincoln Huskies, under the direction of coach Victor Ramos, won a number of top awards.

The Huskies’ Marco Veliz was the district’s Most Valuable Player while Emilio Bocanegra was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Justin Puente was one of the two players recognized as the Offensive Player of the Year. Mission High’s Vicente Salazar was the district Utility Player of the Year.

On the 5A level, La Joya Palmview’s Delvin Gomez was named the District 30-5A MVP and Mission Veteran’s Zahid Sanchez was the Utility Player of the Year. In District 31-5A, Sharyland Pioneer’s Gus Sandoval was the Offensive Player of the Year and Sharyland High’s Angel Tellez was Co-Defenisve Player of the Year. Both teams had their goalkeepers (David Alanis from Pioneer and Marte De Alejandro from Sharyland) recognized for their play in net as well. In addition, the schools that make up the Big 7 had a total of 18 players named to their respective districts First teams.

One can only conclude from the successes of both the boys and girls teams from the Big 7 that it has been a fantastic season in virtually every sport and it may not be over yet!

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