Wednesday, August 15, 2018
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Pioneer boys, Mission Veterans and Palmview girls bring home area championships

20180427PioneerBoysTrackDistrict. Area. Regionals. State. With each passing meet, the competition gets tougher. Three Big 7 programs proved to be the toughest in their area as the Pioneer boys, Mission Veterans and Palmview girls track teams were crowned Area Champions on April 19 and 20.

It was a clean sweep in the UIL 5A Area 31/32 Track Meet as the Diamondbacks and Lady Patriots pushed their way to first place team finishes, beating out 16 other programs.

Pioneer Diamondbacks
The Pioneer Diamondbacks scored 101 team points, 13 more than second place Brownsville Veterans Memorial, to pick up their second consecutive area title. Led by gold medal performances in the shot put, high jump and the 4x200 and 4x400 relays, the Diamondbacks are sending six athletes to compete in individual competitions, in addition to all three relay teams.

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Three Big 7 softball teams claim titles

Softball-STACK1Last year five of the seven Mission, Sharyland and La Joya schools’ softball teams, the Big 7, extended their seasons into the post season. With only three of the seven qualifying for the state playoffs this year, the Big 7 may not have the quantity of teams in the playoffs, but it certainly has the quality. That’s because unlike last year, when only one of the five playoff teams was a district champion, this year all three teams representing the Big 7 in the playoffs are district champions; one outright and two co-champions. And with one of those three teams having gone undefeated, there’s no telling how deep into the playoffs one or more of those teams may go.

With the bi-district round of the UIL state playoffs being played this weekend, let’s take a look at the three Big 7 teams that earned the right to play-on when so many other teams are already looking forward to next year.

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Big 7 teams atop softball standings La Joya locks up 30-6A title, Pioneer-Mission Veterans chasing 31-5A crown

20180316 STSoftball SHS vs VMHS LG-08The softball season is winding down and the playoff picture is taking shape. The La Joya Lady Coyotes have already locked up the District 30-6A championship, while the Mission Veterans Memorial Lady Patriots and Pioneer Lady Diamondbacks are tied atop District 31-5A with just one game remaining.

With the playoffs approaching, these Big 7 teams are hoping to carry over the high-level of play from the regular season and turn it into a deep postseason run.

La Joya looking for perfect first place finish
The La Joya Lady Coyotes have been dominant all year in district 30-6A and their 11-0 record proves it. The Lady Coyotes picked up district win number 11 Tuesday night in a 3-0 shutout of Nikki Rowe, and can close out the season a perfect 12-0 with a win over Palmview on Friday night, set for 7 p.m. at Palmview High School.

Read more: Big 7 teams atop softball standings La Joya locks up 30-6A title, Pioneer-Mission Veterans chasing...

District 31-5A hoops – Two freshmen receive top honors

20171128 Basketball MHS vs SPHS LG-26When it comes to high school basketball, freshmen rarely get the opportunity to “play with the big boys” (or “girls”). Even the best freshmen players are usually delegated to the junior varsity (JV) where they get more court time than they would on varsity.

From time to time however, a freshman comes along that is just too good to stick on the JV team. This type of player is ready to contribute and compete at the varsity level right away so there is no need to put him or her on the JV squad.

While having a freshman play at the varsity level is rare, what is even rarer is having a freshman play so well at the varsity level that he or she receives post season honors. This ultra-rarity was on display at not one but two District 31-5A basketball teams this year, the Mission Veterans boys and the Pioneer Lady

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Rattlers back in the playoff hunt

20180402 Baseball VVHS vs SHS LG-24On a night in which the NCAA men’s basketball champions were crowned at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio and the Houston Astros raised their World Series championship banner at Minute Maid Park in Houston, a varsity high school baseball game was played at Sharyland High School in Mission between the Valley View Tigers and the Sharyland Rattlers.

While this high school baseball game did not receive the national attention that either Villanova or the Astros received, there was still plenty at stake when the then 7-2 Tigers and the then 7-1 Rattlers faced off Monday night; primarily sole possession of the District 31-5A lead.

Despite the fact that Sharyland came into this game having won seven games in a row and with a half-game lead over Valley View, it just wasn’t the Rattlers’ night as Coach Bart Bickerton’s young, but talented, squad fell to the Tigers, in a 10-run “mercy” rule shortened game, by a score of 11-1.

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Future remains bright for Sharyland girls’ soccer

20180403 Soccer Girls CCVMHS vs SHS LG-19Sharyland’s season came to a close this week as the Lady Rattlers (25-6) fell in the Area Round of the 5A Soccer State playoffs by a score of 3-1 to Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial, but if the past four years are any indication of what’s to come, the future remains just as bright at Sharyland High.

Senior forward Kaitie Watson has been a large part of Sharyland’s success on the soccer field over the past four years, winning four district championships and awards like Newcomer of the Year in 2015 and All-Area Player of the Year in 2016. As fellow seniors Elise Townsend and Adlee Simoneaux call it a career at Sharyland High, Watson said what will stick with her are the memories shared with teammates and coaches, along with the bright future the seniors helped build for the Lady Rattlers.

“It’s unfortunate that we lost tonight, but what’s going to stand out to me is how great a family we were and how close we were,” she said. “This team is young, so it’s not the end, it’s still a developing program. I know they’re going to carry it on in future years without us and they’re going to be just as amazing.”

Read more: Future remains bright for Sharyland girls’ soccer