When 32-4A and 30-5A's best fell last weekend in the area round of the state playoffs, it concluded a memorable season that began with much anticipation.
When two-a-days came around in August the community talk centered around questions like: Can Sharyland repeat? How will defending District 32-4A champ Mission fair in the realm of 5A? Can former McAllen Memorial defensive coordinator Ray Trdla turn the program around in La Joya? Are the Patriots capable of competing for a district championship in 32-4A? Will Palmview, behind quarterback Javier Femat, reach bi-district? Is Juarez-Lincoln capable of a playoff appearance as well?
We now know the answers to these questions and more. Sharyland did repeat and did it in dominating fashion (7-0 with only one game—McHi—that was close).
The Eagles struggled in their 5A debut, but also showed they could play with the big boys by beating Pace, La Joya and Donna in convincing fashion.
Ray Trdla didn't turn around La Joya yet. The program struggled to get wins but the team played with an immense amount of passion and there was excitement in the program.
Veterans Memorial was more than capable of competing for the district championship, whooping on district rivals week in and week out before losing to Edcouch-Elsa and settling for sharing the district title with Weslaco East.
The Lobos did not make it to the post-season, falling one spot out of the final four. However, Coach Manny Flores' squad put up record numbers on the offensive side of the ball behind Femat, securing the schools finest season in its short three year history.
The Huskies, like Palmview, fell short of their playoff goals. However, they ended the season on a sweet note by taking down Rio Grande City, 28-14.
Adding to the memorable season were the classic games week by week:
Mission 27, Edcouch-Elsa 7: Fresh off their district championship in 2009, the Eagles continued their dominance of District 32 by beating the Yellow Jackets handily even though officially the team had moved up to 5A.
Veterans Memorial 42, Mission 14: The Patriots took out their big brother Mission in dominating fashion, letting everyone know they would be a force to reckon with come district play.
La Joya 6, Rio Grande City 0: Ray Trdla got his first win as head coach of the Coyotes, helping him and his team forget the ugly game against Edinburg a week previous.
Palmview 58, PSJA Memorial 65: This one counts as a loss but it was an offensive atomic bomb. When all was said and done the two teams combined for 123 points (17 touchdowns), over 1200 yards of total offense and 54 first downs.
La Joya 28, Brownsville Hanna 7: Coach Trdla and the boys got their best win of the season.
Sharyland 45, Rowe 21: The Rattlers responded well to their tough loss to Flour Bluff a week before by taking down the Warriors in what would be their first of seven district wins.
Veterans 33, Mercedes 3: In another sign of things to come, the Patriots took down the Tigers who were suppose to finish higher than Veterans in district.
Palmview 42, Mission 28: The Lobos continued to show off their high octane offense (averaging 48.25 points per game up to this point) and gave the Eagles their first district loss in 5A.
Palmivew 45, La Joya 18: Ray Trdla got his first taste of the young rivalry and it wasn't good. The Huskies offensive power overpowered the first year coach and his young squad.
Sharyland 41, Palmview 13: The defending champs and traditional district powerhouse sent the Lobos back to reality. The Rattlers were the first team to shut down Palmview and their explosive offense.
Sharyland 48, McAllen Memorial 9: Showing their domination over Palmview was no fluke, the Lobos took down the district favorite Mustangs with ease.
Veterans Memorial 21, Weslaco East 14: Who could forget this one? Playing for the district lead, the Patriots came into Bobby Lackey Stadium and took it to the Wildcats, scoring a defensive touchdown (Sergio Saenz) on East's first drive of the game to set the tone for the victory.
Sharyland 50, La Joya 0: The Rattlers recorded their second consecutive shutout by beating the Coyotes and Mission the week before. In the two games the champs outscored the two foes 102-0.
Juarez-Lincoln 28, Rio Grande City 14: The Huskies had a long season, but going out with a dominating win eased the pain.
Sharyland 47, McHi 42: After dominating district all year long, the Rattlers were finally put to the test by the Bulldogs. However, Shary showed it knows how to win in blowouts and in the nail biters.
Sharyland 34, Del Rio 7: This was supposed to be a good game but the Rattlers weren't looking for another close one. Instead the took the “easy” way out and slapped the Rams around.
Veterans Memorial 30, Flour Bluff 24: With a little revenge on their mind after losing to the Hornets in last year's bi-district, the Patriots controlled the ball and the momentum by taking a big lead and then holding on.
Edinburg 31, Sharyland 28: After being up 28-14, the Rattlers uncharacteristically allowed the Bobcats to come back and win at the very end.
Victoria East 54, Veterans Memorial 40: Playing against the odds, the Patriots came out swinging and actually had a 33-31 halftime lead before running out of gas. A 23-0 point advantage for the Titans in the third quarter sealed the deal.
Memorable games aren't without memorable players and there were plenty of them this season.
Quarterback Bobby Moran and running back Ricky Mata of Sharyland proved to be quite the highlight tandem. Moran was efficient in his running of the offense partly because he could rely on Mata to turn typical gains into big time yardage.
The Patriots had plenty of stars, perhaps too many to name. Quarterback Adrian Morales was memorable with his ability to run and pass. With a offensive skill set that had numerous playmakers such as running back Fred Sanchez, Jacob Garza, Kent Warren, Raul Becerril and others, the Patriots were a force to be reckoned with.
Perhaps no player had the season Femat had. Though his team struggled down the stretch, the senior quarterback showed he was capable of throwing the ball as well as he runs it.
Overall, it was a great season of football. Two district champs, big time wins and plenty of human highlight reels made it a memorable one.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.