The Valley’s top squads in football, basketball, baseball and soccer are in the mix for Class 6A Boys Team of the Year and Sub-6A Boys 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 Boys Team of the Year:
>> La Joya Juarez-Lincoln soccer: The 2017 regional champion Juarez-Lincoln Huskies were strong and dangerous for another season. Seniors Gerardo Reyes, Manuel Castrejon and Leo Pruneda led the group and got help from some newer additions, like freshman Edson Fonseca. In their playoff defeat — a regional semifinal loss to eventual state runners-up San Antonio Reagan — the Huskies heavily outshot and outplayed the Rattlers but weren’t able to beat the keeper or the crossbar.
>> McAllen High baseball: McAllen High rolled through District 30-6A without losing a game, then advanced to the third round of the playoffs. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 among 6A teams in the state by TexasHighSchoolBaseball.com
>> San Benito football: The Hounds steamrolled through a tough District 32-6A with a perfect 7-0 record and were 10-0 on the season. They beat Edinburg North 50-7 in the bi-district round of the playoffs, then beat McAllen Memorial 44-35 in the area round before falling to San Antonio O’Connor 52-43 in the third round.
The nominees for Sub-6A Boys Team of the Year:
>> Mission Veterans football: Thanks to The Monitor’s All-Area Player of the Year (quarterback Landry Gilpin) and The Monitor’s All-Area Newcomer of the Year (wide receiver Mikey Garcia), the Patriots owned the most prolific offense in the Valley. After racing out to an 8-0 start in 2017, Mission Veterans defeated Brownsville Lopez in the bi-district round of the playoffs and advanced to the area round.
>> Santa Rosa basketball: The Warriors won their 14th straight league title and made their second straight UIL state tournament appearance.
>> Valley View soccer: The Tigers were the class of the Valley for 31 perfect games this season. With striker Mario De Los Santos at the helm of the offense, Valley View only went to PKs twice all season. De Los Santos earned the RGV golden boot with 70 tallies on the year. At the state tournament, the Tigers outpassed and maybe even outplayed defending two-time reigning state championships Frisco Wakeland but couldn’t finish in the final third. The Tigers’ run came to an end with a 3-1 loss.
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.