Best Valley programs named as finalists

If a team is greater than the sum of its athletes that means it’s achieving more than expected. The same can be said for a program that is greater than the makeup of its teams. The programs below were certainly great this past school year.

Below are the finalists for the Boys and Girls Sub-6A Teams of the Year. Winners will be announced tonight at the All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet, co-presented by DHR Health and Lone Star National Bank. Finalists are listed in alphabetical order.

6A PROGRAM OF THEY YEAR

Edinburg Vela: Edinburg Vela was a deep playoff team in almost every sport. Boys cross country advanced to regionals, the volleyball team was codistrict champions, football was a regional finalist and undefeated district champ and the list goes on: Girls basketball — area qualifies; boys basketball — codistrict champs, boys wrestling — four state qualifiers, including a sixth-place for Robby Silva (and three district champs); girls wrestling had a district champ. Swimming — both teams were second in district; team tennis, undefeated district champs and bi-district champs. The softball team was the last team standing in 6A in the Valley and was 31-6A district champs and still playing and baseball was the undefeated district champs.

Harlingen South: South, which has the smallest enrollment in District 32-6A, made the playoffs in each sport. Highlighting the program was the Lady Hawks soccer team, which marched its way to the Region IV-6A final. The softball team reached the Sweet 16, and boys track won a co-district championship.

Los Fresnos: The school finished first in District 32-6A in volleyball, boys basketball, girls soccer, girls swimming, boys swimming and girls track & field. The baseball team finished third in district and reached the third round of the playoffs. The softball and girls basketball teams placed third. The Los Fresnos Falcons’ girls team swept the Class 6A competition, bringing home its fifth straight state title. A girls wrestler, Katherine Castro, finished second at regionals.

SUB 6A PROGRAM OF YEAR

Brownsville Veterans: Brownsville Veterans had another solid year making the playoffs in all but one major team sport this season. Those runs to the postseason included District 32-5A titles in including district titles in boys basketball, softball, baseball, girls golf, girls swimming and boys track and field. The boys soccer team made a run to the Region IV-5A Regional final and the boys basketball team made it to the regional quarterfinals. The softball team made it to the area round.

Hidalgo: The Pirates made the playoff in both boys and girls soccer, made playoffs in both boys and girls basketball. The baseball team finished second in district and they were the only Class 4A team remaining in the third round of the playoffs.

Lyford: Lyford reached the playoffs in football, volleyball, girls and boys basketball, baseball, softball. Won district titles in baseball, softball and girls basketball. Softball completed an undefeated regular season, reached fourth in the state poll and lost in the third round of the playoff to the defending state champion. Also had an athlete reach state in tennis and golf.

Sharyland Pioneer: The Diamondbacks qualified for the postseason in 21 of 21 possible sports as the Pioneer athletics program continued its rise. The baseball team finished the year 37-9 and reached the state tournament, the first RGV baseball team to do so since 2007. Both the boys and girls basketball teams won district championships, while the girls soccer team won the 31-5A title. The boys and girls wrestling teams also took home district titles and sent 17 wrestlers to regionals. The boys and girls track team also brought home two district championships and qualified one boy and girl athlete to compete at the state meet in Austin.

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.

Dallas Cowboys great Randy White, a Super Bowl MVP and NFL Hall of Famer, will be the guest speaker.

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 for $40 per person. For more information, call Marcia Kitten at (956) 6834463 or email mkitten@ aimmediatx.com.