Wednesday, August 15, 2018
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Sports

Seventeen Big 7 wrestlers state-bound

20180219 Wrestling SPHS State Qualifiers LG-01The seven high schools from the Mission, Sharyland and La Joya school districts, otherwise known as the Big 7, will be sending 17 wrestlers to the UIL State Wrestling Tournament being held next weekend at the Berry Center in Cypress, Texas. With 17 state qualifiers this year and 16 qualifiers in each of the previous two years, the Big 7 schools’ wrestling programs have proven that they are doing a good job of keeping up with the competition, at least at the district and regional levels.

 

While keeping up with the competition, when the competition continues to improve, is hard enough, there is one Big 7 school whose wrestling programs are actually leaving the competition in their dust; the Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks and Lady Diamondbacks wrestling programs.

 

Case in point, of the 17 Big 7 schools’ wrestlers that qualified for the state tournament, and of the 10 5A wrestlers that qualified, five are Diamondbacks and four are Lady Diamondbacks for a total of nine qualifiers. That is up from Pioneer’s four state qualifiers last year and three the year before. La Joya High is second among the Big 7 schools with four state qualifiers, Mission High is third with two, while Juarez-Lincoln and Sharyland High each have one wrestler going to state.

Read more: Seventeen Big 7 wrestlers state-bound

Pioneer High School hosts annual Special Olympics basketball competition

20180217 STOpening-CeremonyMore than 1,000 Special Olympians gathered at Sharyland Pioneer High School last Saturday to display their skills on the court as Pioneer hosted the annual Rio Grande Valley Special Olympics basketball competition for the third consecutive year.

 

RGV Special Olympics Area 1 Director Lauro Garza said the competition has grown every year and Pioneer High’s five basketball courts gives the athletes plenty of room to have fun while showcasing their dribbling, passing and shooting skills.

 

As the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics transforms the lives of 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries through its sports competitions.

Read more: Pioneer High School hosts annual Special Olympics basketball competition

Four Rattlers swimmers headed to state

20180212 Sharyland Boys Swim Team LG-03Four members of the Sharyland Rattlers’ boys swimming team are among the eight Big 7 schools’ swimmers or divers to qualify for the UIL State Swimming and Diving Meet being held this weekend at the University of Texas at Austin. The four are Luciano Farias Ramirez, Javier Suarez, Alvaro Garza and Brandon McCormick.

 

Suarez, Garza and McCormick earned this by being part of the Rattlers’ 200 yard medley and 200 yard freestyle relay teams, both of which placed second at the UIL Region VIII-5A Swimming and Diving meet held two weeks ago at the Corpus Christi ISD Natatorium. As for Ramirez, he is a member of the two relay teams as well, however he also qualified in two individual events; making him a rarely seen four event state qualifier.

 

With only the top two finishers in each event at the Regional meet qualifying for state, it took a complete team effort for the Rattlers to qualify in two of the three relay events.

Read more: Four Rattlers swimmers headed to state

Diamond backs-to-back

20180129 Pioneer Boys Swim Team LG-02One year after claiming the first swimming district championship in school history, the Sharyland Pioneer Diamondback boys’ swim team made it back-to-back district titles by leaving the competition in their wake at last Friday’s 31-5A District Swim Meet held at the Bannworth Aquatic Center in Mission. You could even say that the Diamondbacks, who bettered the second place Sharyland Rattlers by 37 points (171 points to 134 points), swam circles around their district opponents at this meet, but only figuratively of course.

While Pioneer’s dominance over the district runner-up Rattlers was impressive, the fact that they almost doubled the third place Roma Gladiators’ score of 88 points and more than doubled the fourth place Mission Veterans Patriots’ score of 81 points was even more-so. In addition, Diamondbacks swimmers won five individual events and one relay event to take six of the 11 events. The Rattlers took first place in the other five events, three individual events and two relays, giving the two Sharyland teams a first place clean sweep over the remaining 31-5A teams.

Pioneer junior Andrew Adkins took first place in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard freestyle and was a member of the Diamondbacks’ first place 400-yard and the second place 200-yard freestyle relay teams. In only his second year of competitive swimming, Adkins was pleasantly surprised by how well he did at this meet.

Read more: Diamond backs-to-back

Tom Lee to lead Diamondbacks

20180122 TomLeeThe Sharyland ISD school board made its decision Monday when it tapped Pioneer High School Athletic Coordinator Tom Lee to be the new head football coach for the Diamondbacks.

Lee returns to the football field after four years away from the game in which he served as  athletic coordinator and head coach of the Pioneer track team. He said he’s grateful for the opportunity to lead the Diamondbacks out on the football field in the school district that he loves.

“I sat down with my wife about a month ago and talked about whether I wanted to get back to coaching football again,” Lee said. “When you’ve done it for so many years, it’s in your blood. When you get an opportunity to do it in the school district that you love to do it in, it would have been really hard to pass up that opportunity. Getting back in those trenches is going to be an unbelievable experience.”

Read more: Tom Lee to lead Diamondbacks

Pioneer Boys, La Joya Girls take All-Valley Championships

20180122 STWrestling Boys SPHS Team LG-01Sharyland Pioneer High School hosted the All-Valley Wrestling Championships Friday and Saturday of last week. It featured 25 boys teams and 24 girls teams from all over the Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi including six of the seven Mission, Sharyland and La Joya ISD schools’ teams.

With 250 wrestlers competing in the 14 weight classes of the boys’ tournament, the competition was fierce. Yet when all was said and done, the Diamondbacks took their own tournament championship with three of their wrestlers winning their respective weight classes; Diego Serna (106 lbs.), Juvel Castillo (126 lbs.) and Dominique Rodriguez (182 lbs.). The only other Big 7 boys’ wrestlers that won their weight classes at this tournament were both from Mission High; Alberto Juarez (113 lbs.) and Aaron Cuevas (120 lbs.).

Pioneer (547.5 points) took the team championship by a very comfortable margin of 122 points over second place Edinburg High (425.5 points). La Joya’s 361 points earned the Coyotes fifth place, Mission’s 259 points earned the Eagles ninth place, Sharyland’s 179 points earned the Rattlers a tie for 15th place, Palmview’s 76 points earned the Lobos 23rd place and Mission Veterans’ 37 points earned the Patriots 25th place.

Read more: Pioneer Boys, La Joya Girls take All-Valley Championships