Programs that made record-setting runs to state highlight the nominees for Class 6A Girls Team of the Year and Sub-6A Girls Team of the Year.
The winners will be announced at the 2018 All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet on June 19 at Mario’s Banquet & Conference Center in Mission. Lone Star National Bank returns as the presenting sponsor of the event for the second consecutive year.
Sean Elliott, a former NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs who now works with the team as a broadcaster, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.
The nominees for Class 6A Girls Team of the Year:
>> Brownsville Rivera volleyball: The Lady Raiders went 29-11 overall and won the District 32-6A title — their first since 2007 — with a 14-0 record. In the process, Rivera earned head coach Elizabeth Avelar-Guerra’s 500th career victory and a trip to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
>> Edinburg High softball: The Bobcats’ domination of District 31-6A continued in 2018 with yet another district title, their second in two years. Edinburg High, which was ranked No. 3 in the final RGVSports.com regular season softball top-10 poll, is 27-1 in district competition since coach Ramon Arciba took over in 2017.
>> McAllen High soccer: The Bulldogs didn’t lose a game in the Valley. With scoring threats like forward Sophia Soto and Mierya Ramirez as well as midfielders Westyn Henderson and Ava Alaniz, McHi’s defense was rarely tested during the regular season. McHi got past Laredo United, Harlingen High and Harlingen South in the playoffs before knocking off San Antonio Johnson and Austin Lake Travis at the regional tournament to become the first Valley girls team in history to advance to state.
>> McAllen Rowe volleyball: The Warriors won the District 30-6A championship outright and advanced to the 2017 UIL Class 6A regional semifinals. Rowe featured The Monitor’s All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year in junior outside hitter Jackelyn Alanis.
The nominees for Sub-6A Girls Team of the Year:
>> Brownsville Pace soccer: The Lady Vikings completed a 14-0 run to their first District 32-5A championship since 2009 and reached the third round of the Class 5A state playoffs for the second straight year. They finished 28-2-1 on the season.
>> Brownsville Veterans Memorial golf: The Chargers earned another District 32-5A title this season, were second in the regional tournament and advanced to state, where they placed 10th out of 12 teams.
>> Sharyland High golf: The Sharyland High girls golf team dominated all year. The Rattlers won the district tournament, then won the regional tournament to advance to state. At the UIL Class 6A girls state tournament, Sharyland High would not be denied, rallying from a fourth-place Day 1 finish to claim second place overall.
>> Sharyland High soccer: Mario Ribera took over the head coaching position, and the Rattlers didn’t miss a beat. Kaitie Watson helped Sharyland remain a top scoring threat in 5A with 51 goals and 21 assists. Elise Townsend was also calm and consistent from her deep defensive position. After Watson and Townsend, Sharyland was an extremely young team. The addition of forward freshman phenom Xochitl Nguma helped relieve the pressure off Watson at the top. Sharyland won District 31-5A with a 15-1 record.
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 athletes, coaches and teams across all 12 UIL sports. The 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.
The banquet, which will run approximately 6 to 8 p.m., returns to Mario’s for a second consecutive year. The venue has a seating capacity of more than 500 people. Tickets are on sale through TheMonitor.com, BrownsvilleHerald.com and ValleyMorningStar.com at a cost of $40 per person. For sponsorship opportunities, call Marcia Kitten at 956-683-4463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.