The top boys teams from the gridiron, pitch and hardwood are up for Class 6A Boys Team of the Year and Sub-6A Boys Team of the Year.
The winners will be announced at the 2017 All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet on Saturday 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 Boys Team of the Year:
>> La Joya Juarez-Lincoln soccer: The Huskies advanced to state for the first time in program history, losing in penalty kicks to Dallas Jesuit after a scoreless regulation and overtime. Juarez-Lincoln finished the season 30-4-1 and went 12-2 in District 30-6A to claim the district championship.
>> Weslaco East football: The Wildcats overcame injuries and a slow start (3-4 overall, 1-3 in District 32-6A) as the smallest school in the Valley’s toughest district, finishing as one of only two Valley 6A teams to reach the third round of the playoffs. East finished the year 8-5 overall and 4-3 in district to continue runs of 10 straight playoff appearances, four trips to the third round in the past seven seasons and nine straight years with seven or more wins.
>> Weslaco High basketball: The Panthers finished the regular season tied for first in District 32-6A with a 13-1 record. They then advanced to the Sweet 16 of the state playoffs with wins over Edinburg Economedes, South San Antonio and Laredo United South.
The nominees for Sub-6A Boys Team of the Year:
>> Brownsville Lopez soccer: The Lobos fought their way out of a highly competitive District 32-5A before winning five games in the state playoffs and reaching the UIL state tournament for a Valley-record fifth time. Lopez finished third in 32-5A and came alive when it mattered most in the postseason, edging Brownsville Veterans 1-0 in the 5A Region IV final to become the first Brownsville school to go to state in back-to-back years in soccer.
>> Progreso soccer: The Red Ants went 24-6-2 this season, advancing to state for the second consecutive year — the first two trips in the program’s history. Progreso was dominant during its playoff run, winning its first five games by a combined 16-1.
>> Santa Rosa basketball: The team won its 13th straight district title, was perfect in league play, finished the season with a 34-3 record and advanced all the way to the UIL Class 3A state semifinals in San Antonio.
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.”