Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Analysis: Big 7 football – a season to remember

20171124 SHSVALICEThe 2017 high school football season marks only the second time in the past six years that a Big 7 team has not advanced into the third round of the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL’s) state playoffs. Does that mean that when it comes to the seven teams from the Mission, Sharyland and La Joya school districts, the 2017 season was a failure? Not at all. There were many positives that occurred during the recently completed season that the majority of the seven teams can look back at with pride even if most of them did not occur during postseason play.


The positives actually began during non-district play when this year’s Big 7 teams combined for identical 5-2 Week 1 and Week 2 records compared to a 1-6 Week 1 and a 3-4 Week 2 record last season. Considering the fact that these games were played against the same opponents both years, such a dramatic improvement served as a pretty good indicator of the fact that the Big 7 as a whole was about to have a pretty good year.


While an improved non-district record does not in-and-of-itself make for a successful season, an improved district record does. So let’s take a look at the four Big 7 teams that did improve over last year’s results in regards to their district records.

Read more: Analysis: Big 7 football – a season to remember

Sharyland's season ends in triple-overtime playoff thriller

20171124 SHSVALICE48 minutes wasn’t enough to decide a winner; neither was a first or second overtime.


The Sharyland Rattlers fought until the final whistle of the third overtime, but ultimately fell short, bringing their season to an end with a 42-39 loss to the Alice Coyotes in the area round of the playoffs at Memorial Stadium in Alice.


“We came out on the short end there on the scoreboard but we’re proud of our boys,” Ron Adame said. “They gave us everything they had today and we talked all week about playing four quarters and if it took overtime, to be ready for that mentally, physically I know they were. I think you had two great teams that were evenly matched today and Alice just found a way to get it done in overtime.”

Read more: Sharyland's season ends in triple-overtime playoff thriller

Mission Vets and Sharyland move on in state playoffs

The first round of the Texas football state playoffs is in the rear view and only two Big 7 teams are left standing--the Mission Veterans Memorial Patriots and the Sharyland Rattlers.


Mission Veterans Memorial Patriots (10-1) punched their ticket into the second-round for the fourth consecutive year with a home-win in a defensive slugfest against the Brownsville Lopez Lobos 25-17. Facing one of the Valley’s top defenses, the Patriots relied on the arm of junior quarterback Landry Gilpin to get the job done. Gilpin, who leads the state of Texas in total yards with 4,430 yards to average 402.7 per game, finished with 303 passing yards and 28 rushing yards to go with two scores.

Read more: Mission Vets and Sharyland move on in state playoffs

Sharyland High basketball programs begin new eras

20171120 Basketball SHS Coaches LG-02Job security is one thing that high school coaches can seldom count on. In what has become a, “What have you done for us lately?”, profession, the percentage of head coaches that keep their jobs long enough to see their athletes go through four years of high school seems to be dwindling each and every year.  


It’s gotten to the point that some schools replace their head coaches so often, it’s not exactly front page news when they do it again. However, when Sharyland High School replaces not one, but both of their basketball head coaches, and they do it in the same year, it’s time to hold the presses! That’s because the two former head basketball coaches at Sharyland, David Keith and Dale Whitaker, had combined total of 30 years of coaching the Rattlers’ boys and girls teams respectively.


Whether Keith and Whitaker decided it was time to move-on on their own or not is not clear, however the fact that both teams are coming off losing seasons could have something to do with the fact that they both have new coaching positions this year; Keith at Edinburg Vela and Whitaker as first assistant with the Rattlers’ boys team.

Read more: Sharyland High basketball programs begin new eras

Four Big 7 teams opening playoffs tonight

20171013 Sharyland-vs-Laredo-Cigarro.GU IMG 8245Entering each and every high school football season, it’s every team’s goal to make the playoffs. Almost without fail, that’s how every head coach and almost every player responds when asked what goal or goals they have set for their team. While that is the standard response, it is, of course, not possible for every team to extend their seasons beyond the regular season by qualifying for the playoffs. Therefore, the teams that do achieve what 64 teams in each of their respective divisions and classifications set out to achieve, should be celebrated for distinguishing themselves as among the best-of-the-best across the Lone Star State.  


While four of the seven varsity football teams in the Mission, Sharyland and La Joya school districts have earned this distinction, two of them, the Veterans Memorial Patriots and the Sharyland Rattlers, are part of an even more exclusive group - district champions.


Now that these four Big 7 teams have earned the right to participate in the playoffs, they’ll have to turn up their play a notch or two in order to win each game and qualify for each successive round. With all four Big 7 teams playing their respective bi-district round games tonight, let’s look at who each team is matched up against and where they’re playing.

Read more: Four Big 7 teams opening playoffs tonight

Sharyland clinches share of district crown

20171110 SHSvRGCThe Sharyland Rattlers locked up a share of the District 31-5A Championship with a 32-24 win over the Rio Grande City Rattlers last night at Richard Thompson Stadium.


Without several starters, the rest of the Rattlers stepped up to earn a win in the team’s homecoming game and send its seniors off with the sweet taste of victory.


Sharyland middle linebacker and team co-captain Noe Cortez said he knew without a few starters, the entire team would have to step up to play their hearts up if they wanted to bring back a gold ball to Sharyland.

Read more: Sharyland clinches share of district crown