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Wed - Mostly Clear. High: 98 Low: 79
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Requenez returns to lead Lobos

20140805 PHS Football Key Players lg-01Just two games into last year’s Palmview Lobos’ football district schedule the La Joya Independent School District’s (LJISD’s) Athletic Office announced the reassignment of head coach Manuel Flores and named Margarito “Mage” Requenez as the team’s interim head football coach. Upon the completion of the season Requenez had “interim” removed from his title and he became only the second head football coach in Palmview High School (PHS) history.

Determined to make the most of his first head coaching opportunity, Requenez has been working hard to bring the PHS football program up to the standard he and the Lobos’ fans can take pride in. Coming off a 1-9 season, Requenez knew he’d have his work cut out for him but he saw the first step in this process as getting more students to come out for the football team. That’s because as a general rule, the more players on a team the better the pool of talent the coach has to choose from.

“We have had the luxury of having more kids out here than we’ve had before,” explained Requenez. “As a result we haven’t had to split the kids when it’s time for them to go to either the offense or the defense. That has maximized the time allotted on both sides of the ball and that’s a very big plus. We had an average of 60-plus players in the weight room each day during the summer and we can tell that it’s paying off already.”

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Patriots prepare for new season, new district and new rivals

20140731 VMHS Football Key Players lg-01For the past two seasons, the Mission High School (MHS) Eagles and the Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) Patriots football teams have been district rivals. However, after the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL’s) most recent re-alignment, that is no longer the case. MHS up to District 30-6A and VMHS to District 31-5A. Despite this being a non-district game, the inter-city rivalry between the Eagles and Patriots will fuel the two teams’ intensity and desire to win.

While the Eagles do hold an advantage over the Patriots in their overall series record, for the past four seasons the series is split 2-2. With MHS taking the most recent match-up by a score of 44-16, the Patriots will be out for revenge when they take to the field against the Eagles in both teams’ non-district openers Aug. 29.

Adding to the significance of this inter-city face-off, this will be the first athletic event of any kind to be played on Tom Landry Stadium’s new artificial turf. And that new turf features the National Football League Hall of Fame logo on it in honor of Mission native and former Dallas Cowboys head football coach Tom Landry.

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Valley native Mikey López debuts for Sporting KC in first regular-season MLS game

20140801 Mikey-Lopez-1 Courtesy-of-Gary-RohmanKANSAS CITY – Almost a year ago Mission native Mikey López stood at a podium before a national audience when he was selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. On July 16, the Valley midfielder made his professional debut for Sporting Kansas City in a regular-season MLS match against Columbus at Crew Stadium.

López started and played 64 minutes in Sporting KC’s 2-1 victory over the Crew. He had two shots in the match.

“It felt amazing, it honestly took a load off my shoulders because I had put so much pressure on myself to make my debut and to perform well,” López said. “It was truly an amazing feeling to get my debut and to perform the way I did. I just have to keep getting better every single day in training and keep getting better in every game that I am a part of.”

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MCISD top 10 sports achievements of the year

20140506 MHS Discus Tony Salinas lg-10Athletically speaking, the 2013-14 school year was one to remember for both Mission high schools. With an individual state championship, team district, bi-district and area championships, and one team holding the No. 1 state ranking for over 12 weeks, Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) and Mission High School (MHS) teams and athletes achieved excellence in a wide variety of sports.

With the Patriots and the Eagles competing in the same district for the second year in a row, the two schools’ teams oftentimes found themselves going head-to-head for district titles or playoff berths. In some sports the Patriots got the better of the Eagles, but in others it was the Eagles that rose to the occasion and bettered the Patriots.

With a friendly rivalry between the two schools both schools’ athletes looked forward to facing off against their cross-town rivals every chance they got. With that in mind, here are the VMHS and MHS top 10 sports achievements of the year:

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VMHS tops RGV Sports Hall of Fame awards nominations

20131115 Volleyball CedarPark vs VMHS lg-21Sometimes it seems as if sports awards are a dime a dozen. Some organizations and associations out there give out sports awards almost as if they’re handing out candy to the neighborhood kids at Halloween.

While oversaturation may have caused some sports awards to lose their luster, that is certainly not the case when it comes to the annual Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame awards. Their awards, and to a somewhat lesser degree their nominations, are so hard to come by that they are among the most highly coveted awards that any South Texas high school sports program, team or individual athlete can receive.

So what makes the RGV Sports Hall of Fame awards among the most exclusive of all local high school varsity sports awards? It’s actually two things. First, each of their awards includes all sports, and second, they are Valleywide. As a result each nominee is selected from, and each winner has to beat out, athletes or teams from all sports from all across the Valley.

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Chris Rocha named Pitcher of the Year

20140510 Baseball Palmvew vs PSJA lg-67The La Joya Palmview Lobos baseball team had a season to remember. With their first district, bi-district and area championships, Coach Manuel “Ricky” Garcia’s boys attained heights never before reached by any team in any sport at Palmview High School.

As the Lobos’ ace on the mound, Chris Rocha had as much to do with Palmview’s unprecedented success as anybody. The fact that he was recently named District 30-5A’s Pitcher of the Year is a testament to the fact that he is the best in the district bar none.

Selected as the district’s Coach of the Year himself, Garcia had high praises to sing of his star pitcher both on and off the mound.

“Chris is a great kid and a great leader,” said Garcia. “He is one of the best pitchers in the Valley, if not the best. He proved himself worthy of the selection by the other coaches in the district simply by the fact that he was a threat to win every time he took the mound. As a result I knew that he was going to get something big.”

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