A group of multisport stars are in the running for Class 6A Female Athlete of the Year and Sub-6A Female Athlete of the Year.
The winners will be announced at the 2017 All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet on June 10 at Mario’s Banquet & Conference Center in Mission.
Former San Antonio Spurs forward Robert Horry will be the keynote speaker at the event, which is being put on with help from presenting sponsor Lone Star National Bank.
The nominees for Class 6A Female Athlete of the Year:
>> Taylor Marburger, McAllen Memorial: The Monitor’s All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year, Marburger led her team to the Sweet 16. As a setter, she was second on the team with 232 kills. The District 30-6A MVP finished the year with 200 assists, 166 digs, 39 blocks and 37 aces. She was also a part of the McAllen Memorial girls track 1,600-meter relay team that qualified for regionals and won district and area titles.
>> Jaida Muhammad, Edinburg Vela: Muhammad led her volleyball team to an undefeated district season and a District 31-6A title. She had 348 kills, 330 digs, 21 blocks and 17 aces. She led her basketball team to a share of the district title averaging 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 3.3 assists.
>> Tanya Prazelini, Los Fresnos: Prazelini, a forward, scored 68 goals during the 2017 soccer season, which is believed to be a Valley girls single-season all-time record. She was a main reason the Los Fresnos girls won district for the fifth time in seven years and advanced to the regional tournament for the sixth time in eight seasons. Prazelini scored at least two goals in each District 32-6A match this season as the Lady Falcons won the 32-6A title with a 14-0 record and finished 27-3 overall. She was voted overall MVP in 32-6A. She also advanced to regionals in track on relay squads for the Lady Falcons.
The nominees for Sub-6A Female Athlete of the Year:
>> Jackie Howell, Mission Veterans: Howell averaged 15.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game on the basketball team to rank near the top of the Valley in both categories. As a middle hitter on the volleyball team, she put up 151 kills, 126 digs, 31 aces and 13 blocks in district play alone.
>> Jordan Rudd, Brownsville Veterans: Rudd led the Lady Chargers to a school-record 30 wins, a District 32-5A title (including an unbeaten 14-0 record) and to the area round of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. The senior point guard earned back-to-back All-Metro MVP’s from The Brownsville Herald after she averaged 18.8 points, 7.6 assists, 7.1 steals, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Rudd, a national finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman, finished her career with 1,768 points, 825 rebounds, 542 assists, 233 blocks and 585 steals and helped her teams win 109 games, including four playoff games in four years. Rudd also competed in track and field.
>> Tina Sierra, La Feria: Sierra, a senior, has been a force at La Feria ever since she was a freshman. This season, she qualified for state in cross country and finished sixth. She also qualified for the state meet in three events in track: the 800-, 1,600- and 3200-meter runs.
The Banquet, hosted by RGVSports.com and AIM Media Texas in conjunction with the RGV Sports Hall of Fame, will see 33 awards presented to standout athletes, coaches and teams across all 12 UIL sports. The highly prestigious Tom Landry Award of Excellence will honor a student-athlete for outstanding achievements on and off the field.
The Monitor, Valley Morning Star, The Brownsville Herald, Mid-Valley Town Crier and RGV Sports Hall of Fame will vote to determine the winners in the sports categories. While The Monitor, the Star and the Herald have previously named their All-Area teams in certain sports, the All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet will recognize the very best across all three coverage areas.
Tickets for the catered banquet, which will run 6 to 8 p.m., are available through each newspaper’s website at a cost of $40 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, contact Marcia Kitten at 956-683-4463.
Horry won seven NBA Championships and earned the moniker “Big Shot Rob” for clutch performances during his 16-year NBA career that included stints with the Spurs, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers.
Lone Star National Bank, first opened in Pharr in 1983, has grown to include more than 600 employees at 33 locations across South Texas. As part of its mission statement, Lone Star National Bank is committed to “helping our communities grow, and serving them with pride and integrity,” according to the bank’s website.
“Lone Star National Bank has a history of being a great community steward,” The Monitor Publisher Stephan Wingert said. “We are pleased to announce that Lone Star National Bank will be the presenting sponsor for the 2017 All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet. Thanks to their support, we will be able to celebrate the Valley’s best and brightest student-athletes.”