FOOTBALL: Uvalde answers McCollum’s challenge for win over rival

Coyotes score last three touchdowns after Cowboys gain lead




McCollum and Uvalde are no longer in the same district, but the rivalry remains strong.

Although the final margin wasn’t indicative, the non-district game between former District 29-4A rivals was about as close as could be through three quarters. Uvalde (1-0) scored the last three touchdowns for a 27-8 win Friday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium.

“It’s always a great game,” said Uvalde quarterback Jerry Almaraz, who ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns. “It was fortunate for us it worked out, but it’s a great rivalry. Both teams played hard.”

McCollum (0-1) took an 8-7 lead with 2:40 left in the third quarter when senior quarterback Ralph Vidal scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak. The Cowboys took the lead on a two-point conversion run by Jeff Valdez.

“(Uvalde) is a good team,” said Vidal, who worked out with Almaraz in the offseason. “We knew it’d be a close game. When we came back, we knew they’d come at us.”

Following a 30-yard kickoff return, the Coyotes drove 50 yards to regain the lead. Trae Garcia, who accounted for two of Uvalde’s last three scores, ran seven yards for the clincher, 50 seconds before the third quarter ended.

McCollum’s Noe Trevino returned the second-half kickoff 66 yards to the Coyotes 19. The Cowboys lost a fumble on the next play, but Valdez pounced on a loose ball near midfield six plays later. It launched a 13-play, go-ahead scoring drive.

Uvalde roared 62 yards in four plays after taking the opening kickoff. The Coyotes led 7-0 on a 25-yard run from Almarez. Almaraz ran on the last two plays of drive, covering 45 yards.

McCollum was stopped three times inside Uvalde territory in the first half, twice on fourth down.

“It hurt (Uvalde) a little bit, not having (Zach) Sanchez at full strength,” McCollum coach Juan Hinojosa said. “It made them a little one-dimensional, but Almaraz is a dual threat.”

Cowboys back Mike Ramirez sustained a minor knee injury that kept him out of the fourth quarter, but is expected back next Friday.

FOOTBALL: Week 1 previews (Saturday’s games)

# – denotes current San Antonio South Side Sports area ranking


Floresville (0-0) vs. #7 Highlands (0-0) at Alamo Stadium, 7 p.m.

This should be a good first test for both teams.

Highlands return quarterback John Cervantes, who took the reins when Jordan DeLuna was lost to injury. Cervantes should fortify a ball-controlling ground game, along with De-Morriay Richardson and Quindon Boston.

They’ll run behind a veteran line, led by third-year starter Tristan Zaragoza.

Darian Todd, Denny Peterson and Bruce Moody are candidates to replace a bevy of reliable receivers who graduated.

Owls strong safety Joseph Mangaccat will be tasked with containing Floresville junior quarterback Koby Wilkerson. In his first season as a starter, Wilkerson emerged as a run-pass threat, but was more effective as a runner.

He’ll seek out receiver Troy Hughley. Darnelle Odom and Highlands’ defenders should be effective against a Floresville line that returns just one starter.

The Tigers’ defense has three starters back, including linebackers Preston Taggs and Luke Smith.

Floresville had dominated the series until last year, not only winning the previous three games but winning them by sizable margins. The scales seem to have tilted toward the Owls. 

Series leader (record): Floresville (3-1). 2013 score: Highlands 17, Floresville 14. 2014 favorite: Highlands.

San Antonio Christian (0-0) vs. #1 Holy Cross (0-0) at Alamo Stadium, 7 p.m.

With the Holy Bowl on hiatus, this budding rivalry looms a little larger in the Knights’ hearts and minds, despite the fact that it won’t impact a district race – as it has in the past couple of seasons.

The Lions have stepped up to TAPPS District 2-I while the Knights remain in 3-II. Expect it to remain a tight game and a measuring stick for both programs.

Fans may well see it as a battle of highly-regarded quarterbacks, pitting Holy Cross senior Cisco Flores against San Antonio Christian’s Andrew Hawkins. They are a contrast in styles, but both put up big numbers each game.

Flores and Greg Scott give Holy Cross a big advantage on the ground, while Hawkins aims to fill the air with passes.

The Knights’ defensive front must keep the pressure on Hawkins and prevent him from finding secondary targets. Jeremy Martinez, who had six sacks last year, should lead the charge.

Defensive lineman Jared Ahlstrom and linebacker Hayden Dennis will lead a largely untested defense that will hope to contain Flores and limit his play-action.

San Antonio Christian is coached by former Fox Tech coach Denny Peel.

Holy Cross has won each of the last two seasons, including a 25-23 nailbiter in 2012.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: Holy Cross 22, San Antonio Christian 14. 2014 favorite: Holy Cross.

FOOTBALL: Week 1 previews (Friday’s games)

# – denotes current San Antonio South Side Sports area ranking


Brooks Academy (0-0) vs. Leakey (0-0) at Butch Wools Stadium, D’Hanis, 7:30 p.m.

This season is something of a fresh start for Brooks Academy, with a new quarterback and several young players. The Bengals will want to make it a good one.

Leakey returns each starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s 2-7 team. The Eagles have in advantage in that starting quarterback Lorenzo Rodriguez is returning. He’ll be a player to watch on offense, along with Dimitri Perez. Linebacker Dee Bort is a defensive standout for the District 15-2A Division II squad.

Brooks Academy is looking for its first win since 2009.

The Bengals will look to quarterback Dennis Perales and lineman Christien Pedraza for leadership. Alejandro Gonzalez could be a player to watch.

Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Leakey.

#15 Burbank (0-0) at Southside (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

It’s the first game for Southside coach Ricky Lock, who has fashioned an impressive resume and likes the challenge of rebuilding. After guiding Gonzales to its second Class 3A quarterfinal appearance in his five years at the school, Lock is trying to make his mark with the Cardinals.

The rebuilding project at Burbank is in its third year under Mark Perez and has come along quite nicely. The Bulldogs qualified for the postseason for the first time since 1978 last year.

Burbank senior quarterback Daniel Tello has had flashes of brilliance during his first two seasons. He also lost most of last year to injury. If healthy, Tello could be a difference maker in this non-district battle.

Southside junior Johnny Trevino returns with a year of experience and a chance to be an impact player.

Offensively, it may come down to which team can move the chains most consistently.

The Cardinals have won the last eight games in the series, which has been o hold since 2010.

Series leader (record): Southside (13-3). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Burbank.

Carrizo Springs (0-0) vs. #12 Memorial (0-0) at Edgewood Veterans Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Both teams were hit hard by graduation, but Memorial has an ace in the hole. Quarterback Alfred Ramos is back for his third year as a starter.

The Minutemen will need to develop a couple of new playmakers as the season goes on. Junior receiver Adam Villanueva is one candidate.

Defensively, Memorial should be solid with Jose Pargas and Greg Bolden returning.

Carrizo Springs will have a new coach this year. Backup quarterback Jesse Rodriguez and No. 3 rusher Angel Gonzales will step into larger roles.

The Wildcats defeated Edison in Week 1 last year and should be capable of keeping the game close.

The teams have not played since 1991. 

Series leader (record): Carrizo Springs (4-0). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Memorial.

Holmes (0-0) at #11 South San (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

South San coach Marcus Booker is in his third year with the program and has made tangible progress. Coming off a winless season, Holmes offers a chance for the Bobcats to get off to a 1-0 start and use it to build toward greater signs of success.

With linemen Adrian Diaz and Robert Sifuentes back, South San should have the makings of a consistent ground game. Justin Acosta and Willie Sanchez will be counted upon to carry the ball.

Moving the ball through the air has been a challenge for South San in recent seasons. The task will fall to senior Isaiah Gutierrez this season.

Holmes defensive end Josh Gilmore is a threat to keep pressure on Gutierrez. The Huskies will try to achieve consistency themselves with six returning starters. Chris Rios could be a player to watch.

The teams haven’t played since 2009, but South San has a two-game winning streak in the series. 

Series leader (record): Holmes (6-4). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: South San.

Jay (0-0) vs. #5 Brackenridge (0-0) at Alamo Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Oklahoma State recruit Ramon Richards would seem to be an irreplaceable loss for Brackenridge. But quarterback Antonio Lopez doesn’t have to replicate Richards. He just needs to build on his successes in spot duty last year.

The Eagles may be a little stronger on defense than offense this year, led by Robert Allen, Eric Moya and Frank Soto. Make mistake, though, Brack has athletes on offense.

In his third varsity season, Trey Mathis is an explosive back. Lopez will have a good cadre of targets to throw to.

Jay will try to control the ball on the ground and look for deep strikes from junior quarterback Moses Reynolds. The Mustangs could have a dangerous offense.

They also feature a solid cover cornerback in Tre Fontenot.

Jay and Brack have met once, and only once, in 1992. Wheatley is not Brackenridge.

The Mustangs won that game 27-24. This one could be as close.

Series leader (record): Jay (1-0). 2013 score:  did not play. 2014 favorite: Brackenridge.

Jefferson (0-0) at Antonian (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Jefferson has been slow out of the gate in the past couple of football seasons. This year’s Mustangs have a little more experience and should have better results.

That may not start in Week 1, however, as Antonian will be a formidable opening opponent.

The Apaches, under former MacArthur coach Van Fuschak, are favored to win TAPPS District 2-I after taking second in 2013. Antonian returns just three offensive starters but has a good contingent back on defense, including defensive tackle Brandon Latham and linebackers Sam Bishop and Noah Burns.

The Apaches have an outstanding back in speedy junior Daniel Rosenfield, who ran for 1,919 last year.

Jefferson quarterback Weston Redding, son of coach Doyle Redding, is back for his third varsity season. The Mustangs also have a returning 1,000-yard-plus back in Jesse Flores.

Offensive execution will be key for Jefferson. The Mustangs also will need to put pressure on Apaches quarterback Peyton Bryan.

Series leader (record): none, first meeting. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Antonian.

#14 Kennedy (0-0) vs. Victoria East (0-0) at Victoria Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

The Rockets have chosen a tough opener for first-year coach Michael Inco.

Victoria East has been a playoff contender the last two years in District 30-4A. Although that will be a tougher task to accomplish in the revamped 30-5A, but they’ll pose a formidable challenge for Kennedy.

That could be a benefit for the Rockets, as they prepare for rugged 27-5A.

The Titans return 5-foot-7 quarterback Jonathan Ortega, who ran for more than 1,000 yards and passed for nearly 1,500 last year. He’s a Texas State baseball commit.

Running back Laken Williams is another Titan to watch.

If last year is the guide, the Titans will look to win shootouts this year.

Kennedy may not be up to that at this point, but returning quarterback Eric Lira is promising.

Series leader (record): none, first meeting. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Victoria East.

Pleasanton (0-0) vs. #9 Edison (0-0) at SAISD Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Edison looked good in 7-on-7 competition with returning quarterback Jonathan Hernandez and is aiming for a better season in 2014.

Pleasanton, under coach Tab Dumont, always is solid – as are the Golden Bears under Albert Torres – so this should be a good opener for Edison.

The Eagles will be strong on the offensive line with all-stater Crockett Mokry and three-year starter Emanuel Leija. Sophomore John Lopez may start at quarterback.

Pleasanton also has size on the defensive side with 290-pounder Colton Knapp.

Edison’s small, quick line will need to rise to the challenge.

Defensive improvement will be crucial to Edison’s playoff hopes, and the Bears have the personnel to be much stronger in that area with seven returning starters. Defensive lineman Steven Sanchez is a force up front.

Edison’s last win in what has become a traditional season opener was 26-23 in 2010. Pleasanton has won the last three meetings.

Series leader (record): Pleasanton (3-1). 2013 score: Pleasanton 40, Edison 7. 2014 favorite: Edison.

#13 Sam Houston (0-0) at Bandera (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

When the Hurricanes were in Class 3A, they didn’t back down from the challenge of playing the best in the class. That trend continues, although what was 3A is now 4A and Sam Houston has moved up to 5A … if you follow me.

Bandera traditionally has had one of the area’s strongest 4A programs.

The Bulldogs are led by backs Landon Ventura and Alex Willoughby Gonzalez. Linebacker Averie Mansfield leads Bandera’s defense.

Sam Houston will have more stability offensively, with talented junior Raymonte Prime back for his second year at quarterback. Back Devin Harris and receiver Travon Vaughns should be improved.

The Hurricanes defense, which returns just two starters, should face a stern test from the Bulldogs.

Bandera and Sam Houston, remarkably, haven’t played since 1951.

Series leader (record): Bandera (3-1). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Bandera.

San Marcos (0-0) at #3 East Central (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

The Hornets begin their second season under East Central alum Clint Hartman with a young team but one that should fit well into the spread offense he favors.

Quarterback Justin Upshaw-Mendoza was impressive in limited duty last year, as was back Javion Polk. Wideout Wanya Ward is one of the area’s most exciting players.

The defense will be built around lineman Blake Nichols. Cornerback Colin Padalecki should be a player to watch.

San Marcos also was hit hard by graduation, but the Rattlers return quarterback David Hamilton, who started two years ago.

While the UIL changed its classifications this year, San Marcos remained in Class 5A. Under coach Mark Soto, the Rattlers made strides in their district. They should be competitive in murderous District 28-5A.

This stacks up as a game worth watching. win Saturday.

Series leader (record): East Central (7-3). 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: East Central.

Uvalde (0-0) vs. #8 McCollum (0-0) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

They are no longer district rivals, but the action on the field should be just as intense.

McCollum-Uvalde games aren’t always close – the Cowboys’ 56-14 win in 2012 is an example – but they’re always intriguing.

The Cowboys have senior three-year starter Ralph Leal healthy again at quarterback. Coupled with junior back Mike Ramirez and speedy Jeff Valdez, who’ll see an increased role, and the Cowboys should hold their own and then some offensively.

With Jacob Valdez and Jeffrey Trevino, should be able to keep pressure on run-pass threat Jerry Almaraz, the Coyotes’ quarterback. Almaraz is one of 15 returning starters from Uvalde’s 29-4A playoff team.

Nine are on the offensive side of the ball, including leading rusher Zach Sanchez.

Watch out for fourth-quarter fireworks. The Cowboys topped 50 points against Uvalde in 2011 and 2012, winning both games. The winning team has scored more than 40 points each of the last five years.

Series leader (record): Uvalde (6-4). 2013 score: Uvalde 41, McCollum 24. 2014 favorite: Uvalde.

Victoria West (0-0) at #2 Southwest (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

The Dragons launch into the season with an intriguing matchup against athletic Victoria West.

Southwest needs to make no apologies in that regard, but it’s skill-position players are somewhat young, whereas the Warriors will be counting on veterans.

Senior quarterback Bowen Crisp returns for his second season at the controls and should be a valued leader for the Dragons.

Exciting sophomore Tyrone Middleton will join experienced Reilly Riggs in the backfield. Under Southwest coach Peter Wagner, the Dragons have always been deep at that position.

Crisp must become more of a threat through the air for Southwest to keep defenses honest. With four returning linemen, expect that to materialize.

With only two defensive starters back, West will challenge the Dragons. Back Zevaughn Shelton racked up more than 1,300 rushing yards and receiver Gamarquis Girdy is a sprint champion.

The more consistent defense is likely to win this game.

Series leader (record): none, first meeting. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Victoria West.

FOOTBALL: Central Catholic blanks Lanier in Green’s debut

Suh emerges as Buttons’ featured back

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Central Catholic, Lanier.

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:

Central Catholic vs Lanier HS played on 28 Aug at Alamo Stadium
Central Catholic back Jimin Suh carried the ball 16 times for 102 yards.
















Lanier back Julian Castillo ran 23 times for 84 yards.

Lanier back Julian Castillo ran 23 times for 84 yards.


Central Catholic tacklers swarm to the ball in their shutout of Lanier. Zachary Frey and Cesar Castro bring down the  Voks' Julian Castillo.
Central Catholic tacklers swarm to the ball in their shutout of Lanier. Zachary Frey and Cesar Castro bring down the
Voks’ Julian Castillo.



















Jimin Suh was visiting his native South Korea this summer when he got the news he would have a different football coach when he returned stateside.

Suh and his Central Catholic teammates seemed to have thrived under new coach L.D. Green’s regime. The former Buttons assistant returned in June after Don Byrd retired following his second season at the school.

Central Catholic (1-0) not only won Green’s head coaching debut, and the season opener for both teams. The Buttons pitched a shutout for the first time since last Oct. 25, defeating Lanier (0-1) 30-0 in the first game at venerable Alamo Stadium in two seasons.

“When Coach Byrd (retired), I wasn’t even thinking about who the new coach would be,” Suh said. “But Coach Green is really good at motivating. He’s a really good coach. I appreciate his work ethic, what he’s taught us and how he loves us.”

Suh was one of three Buttons who scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions coming out of halftime. Central Catholic crowded all of its scoring into the middle two quarters at the renovated Rock Pile.

“We had to get all the butterflies out,” Green said. “We made too many mistakes, but we showed great composure and played all four quarters. We didn’t give up. We played within ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Lanier threatened to score early, but crossed midfield just once in the second half. The Buttons held the Voks to 154 total yards and five first downs.

“The defense played hard,” Central Catholic senior quarterback Joseph Nava said. “They deserve all the credit for the second half .”

Central Catholic established a 10-0 halftime lead, then dominated the second half.

The Buttons increased their lead to more than two touchdowns with 6:35 left in the third quarter. Nava completed a 20-yard pass to Joe Barrera early in the drive and a critical 21-yard throw to Jaime Nava on fourth-and-8 that kept the series alive.

Tyler Acosta ran two yards for the score.

Suh (102 yards, 16 carries) recorded the next touchdown little more than three minutes later on a nine-yard run. The senior gained all 35 yards on drive on three carries after a short punt.

About two weeks ago, Green had tinkered with the idea of rotating several backs. Last year, Suh shared the position with junior Jacob Rodriguez, who’s concentrating on defense. Although sophomore Thomas Palomera (55 yards, 10 carries) played well in a backup role Thursday, the job is Suh’s.

“Jimin is a tough runner,” Green said. “He knows how to hit the hole very hard. He really stepped up and became the guy.”

Central Catholic increased its lead to 30 points with 40 seconds left in the third quarter, when Joseph Nava (51 yards, 14 attempts) scored on a 19-yard touchdown ramble.

Suh credited the Buttons’ second-half push to their offseason weight program, run by Buttons assistants Danny Sanchez and Randy Walker, before Green was hired.

“Our team worked really hard in the summer,” Suh said. “I think that’s what got us to win. We’re more used to the end – in hot conditions. I think that was the main thing.”

The Voks didn’t cross the 50 until less than three minutes remained. Phoenix Perez did the honors with a 16-yard scamper.

“I’m pretty proud of how those guys came together,” Green said of his defense. “One of our goals was to win third down. Winning third down was pretty important. We got a couple of takeaways, which helped us.”

Lanier took a shot at the end zone in its second possession, following an interception from Steve Torres. However, Jeremiah Esquivel (51 passing yards) was unable to connect with his pass.

Esquivel later had a 42-yard completion to Elijah Cortez, but the drive ended with a fumble at the Central Catholic 13.

While Esquivel made his first start under center, Julian Castillo (84 yards, 23 carries) was called on to be the Voks’ workhouse back. Joe Orta, who led the team in rushing last year as a sophomore, did not play.

Central Catholic took the lead five seconds into the second quarter on a 31-yard field goal from junior Ryan McColley-Perez.

The teams traded fumbles midway through the second quarter. Lanier’s Juan Palomino came up with the ball at the Voks 44. Following a Lanier penalty, Central Catholic reclaimed it and scored.

Acosta recovered the fumble at the Voks 31. One play later, Joseph Nava (9 of 21, 138 yards) threw a 31-yard scoring pass to Jaime Nava. The Buttons led 10-0 with 5:50 remaining in the half.

Tyler Acosta fumble recovery, shortly after fumble recovery by Lanier’s Juan Palomino.

“Something changed when we were able to take it over the top and get in the end zone,” Green said. “That was the turning point.”

Central Catholic didn’t capitalize immediately. The Buttons lost the ball on downs and Nava threw his second interception before the half ended.

“We were still up 10,” Joseph Nava said. “We were just trying to push through to the second half.”

The Buttons committed three first-half turnovers, while Lanier lost two.

“We got all that first game nervousness out,” Joseph Nava said. “We had a rough start, but we were really clicking by the second quarter.”

Troy Lozano made three receptions covering 62 yards for the Buttons.

FOOTBALL: Week 1 previews (Thursday’s games)

# – denotes current San Antonio South Side Sports area ranking



#6 Central Catholic (0-0) vs. #10 Lanier (0-0) at Alamo Stadium, 7 p.m.

There seem to be a lot of variables that could factor into this game, which is how you know it’s Week 1, I guess.

Central Catholic has a fairly veteran squad, with 10 returning starters (five on each side of the ball), but the Buttons have a coach (L.D. Green) who was an assistant at Trinity University last year.

Lanier coach Don Gatian heads into his 17th season as Voks coach with 12 returning lettermen, but are essentially a young team with two talented and experienced running backs.

Senior backs Joe Orta and junior Julian Castillo may have to carry the Voks’ offensive load, figuratively and literally, until first-year starting quarterback Carlos Gutierrez gets his bearings. Fortunately for Lanier, it returns three starting linemen to make the transition from graduated QB Nicholas Garcia a little easier.

Lanier also graduated its top four receivers, so the passing game may be a work in progress this week.

Defensively, the Voks have good experience in the secondary, but not up front or in the linebacking corps. A strong performance in those areas will be important because Central Catholic quarterback Joseph Nava is a adept both at scrambling and finding receivers on short routes.

The Buttons also have an experienced line. Although Green was waiting to see which backs and receivers would step forward a couple of weeks ago, Central Catholic has no shortage of talent at those positions. Look for either Jacob Rodriguez or Jimin Suh to step forward as a ballcarrier.

Central Catholic will count on its new defensive alignment to prevent
Orta and Castillo from enabling the Voks to control the ball.

Lanier won the series’ first meeting 48-21 in 2006. Central Catholic took the rematch, and most recent meeting, 21-20 in 2007.

Series leader (record): even (1-1). 2013 score: none. 2014 favorite: Central Catholic.


Devine (0-0) vs. #4 Harlandale (0-0) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

The first-ever meeting between two powerhouse programs promises to be exciting, and close.

This game officially begins life without quarterback Brandon Ramon for Harlandale, but signal calling should remain a strength In the Indians’ long-term prognosis. Left-handed junior QB Jacob Delgado is tall (6-foot-3) and talented.

The question left to be answered is how long Delgado’s indoctrination period will last. One key tonight could be how much pressure Devine’s defensive front can put on Delgado.

Senior Ian Martinez (788 receiving yards in 2013) will make Delgado’s task easier. Ramon, though, wasn’t the Indians only big offensive loss. Two-year starter Nick Martinez will leave a bit of a void, but John Aguirre should be capable of filling it as a workhorse back.

Senior free safety Ramzey Martinez, Harlandale coach Isaac Martinez’s son, along with returning defensive tackles Caleb Aguirre and Rene Huerta form the foundation of what should be a solid defense.

While Harlandale is considered a co-favorite with Brackenridge in District 28-5A, the Warhorses are the outright favorite to win District 14-4A Division II.

Quarterback Hunter DuBose will be a player to watch for Devine. He split time in the job last year and showed poise in a backup role. Under DuBose’s guidance, the Warhorses might throw a little more than they traditionally have.

Devine always is strong on the ground. Dillon Ricord and Joe Guerrero may be the primary ballcarriers. They’ll run behind a veteran line.

The Warhorses are perennial playoff qualifiers, so they can be expected to rise to the challenge with eight returning starters on both sides of the ball. Expect a close game with lots of scoring.

Series leader (record): none, first game. 2013 score: none. 2014 favorite: Harlandale.

BULLETIN: Sam Houston girls basketball coach Lamkin dies




San Antonio South Side Sports extends our most sincere condolences to the family, friends and current and former players of Sam Houston girls basketball coach Milyse Lamkin — as well as the entire Hurricanes community.

Coach Lamkin, an alumna of the school who served many years at Sam Houston, died of cancer Thursday morning at age 52 after a three- to four-year battle. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all whose lives she touched.

“We lost a champion,” Sam Houston football coach and boys athletic coordinator Gary Green said. “She fought very, very hard, as she always has.”

In her nine years as Hurricanes coach, Lamkin guided the team to a 172-118 record and six district titles.

The 2013-14 Hurricanes qualified for the Class 3A playoffs and finished second in District 28-3A despite starting the season with a 2-15 record. Lamkin had missed more than a month of the season, due to an unanticipated hip surgery. Her team’s turnaround coincided with her return to the bench.

It was hard for me, because I wasn’t able to be there for the girls,” Lamkin said last February of the leave of absence, “but I left it in the Lord’s hands.”

Interim SAISD athletic director Frank Arnold confirmed that Lamkin was on a leave of absence from her teaching position at the time of her death,

She was one heck of a coach and a great person,” SAISD assistant athletic director Brian Clancy said. “This is a great loss for the district and for the young women on the east side of town.”

After her playing career ended at Sam Houston, Lamkin was a member of St. Mary’s University’s 1986 NAIA championship softball team. In 1999, she was inducted into the athletic hall of fame at St. Mary’s.

NOTE: I am currently working on a remembrance of coach Lamkin to be posted this weekend.

FOOTBALL: Southside Reporter preview links

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED IN THIS POST: Brackenridge, Brooks Academy, Burbank, Central Catholic, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, Sam Houston, South San, Southside, Southwest.

Southside Reporter


Football Preview


Links to previews for each area team


Brackenridge –


Brooks Academy –


Burbank –


Central Catholic –


East Central –


Edison –


Harlandale –


Highlands –


Holy Cross –


Jefferson –


Kennedy –


Lanier –


McCollum –


Memorial –


Sam Houston –


South San –


Southside –


Southwest –

FOOTBALL: Holy Bowl in dormant mode after 46th renewal

Central Catholic & Holy Cross each hope to resume series in future

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Central Catholic, Holy Cross.


There will be a hole in the Holy Bowl series.

The Holy Bowl was first played in 1963 and continued every year until its only previous hiatus, from 1993 to 1998. The Central Catholic-Holy Cross series will be interrupted again for at least the next two years. Neither school could find a mutually agreeable playing date in the 2014 season.

“It’s a hard thing for me to talk about, because we really wanted to play,” Holy Cross football coach/athletic director Mike Harrison said. “We did try to work it out for this year. It’s unfortunate that it didn’t work out.”

The second hiatus in the 46-year series comes at a time when it was at its competitive peak.

Although Central Catholic has a commanding 35-11 lead in series victories, the teams have proved to be fairly even in the 21st century. The Buttons have won eight of 14 games since 2000 and has a 310-282 scoring advantage in that stretch of the series.

New Central Catholic coach L.D. Green wasn’t on the Buttons staff when the 2014 schedule was created. He was hired in June. However, the former Trinity University assistant coach knows the rivalry’s intensity first-hand.

Green was an assistant to current Central Catholic athletic director Carlos Enrico from 2007 to 2010. Although, coincidentally, they haven’t won a series battle since, the Buttons won each of those four games.

“I wasn’t here,” Green said, “but I was (surprised) Holy Cross wasn’t on the schedule. The Holy Bowl, I thought, was a pretty good deal. In the four years I was here, it was a very competitive game.

“The kids prepared for it and stepped up their games. I hope it doesn’t end up like the Chili Bowl. I’d like to see it come back but, if it doesn’t happen, we’ll move forward.”

The Chili Bowl, pitting Fox Tech against Lanier, was the city’s oldest high school rivalry at the time of its termination in 2009. The end of that 67-year-old series was necessitated when Fox Tech eliminated its football program.

With its 51st renewal scheduled for Nov. 7, the Frontier Bowl – featuring Harlandale and McCollum – is San Antonio’s premier active rivalry. The Holy Bowl is the second-oldest.

As with the University of Texas-Texas A&M University football series, outside factors contributed to the paus e in Holy Bowl history. Like the Aggies and Longhorns, the Buttons and Knights found themselves in separate leagues.

Both tidal waves hit the respective fan bases in fall 2012. The difference was that Central Catholic and Holy Cross found a way to extend their series two more years, while the future of Texas-A&M was washed away – possibly forever.

“Back when they were in our district, it was a big deal,” Enrico said. “You were playing for something. When it got to be a non-district game, we kept it up as a good, old rivalry.

“The kids got to play in front of, like, 10,000 fans. They just had to look at the crowd to know it was a big game.”

Three of the last seven Holy Bowls, including the two most-recent contests, were decided by a touchdown, or fewer, points. Since 2000, the series has fallen into a pattern with Central Catholic winning four-consecutive games and Holy Cross winning next three.

The Knights’ 21-14 win in 2013 stretched their winning streak to three games.

“We were on a roll,” Harrison said. “We had high hopes that it would continue.”

Until 2011, Central Catholic and Holy Cross both were in TAPPS 2-I and the game was the regular-season finale. The Buttons remained in the Class 5A district but realignment dropped the Knights to TAPPS 3-II, where they have remained.

The last two Holy Bowls were played in the first week of the season.

Last year, Holy Cross canceled the junior varsity game, according to Enrico. The Central Catholic athletic director said he wanted to make sure that the teams would compete on the underclass levels as well. He suggested that they target Sept. 19.

“That was the big reason we wanted to moved to Week (4),” Enrico said. “But I got a letter from Holy Cross’ president (Brother Stanley Culotta) and he told me that it was the weekend of their big (Blue & Gold) gala.”

Enrico said he then finalized Central Catholic’s schedule with a Sept. 19 home game against Class 4A Devine.

“We felt that it should be a Week 1 game,” Harrison said. “That was our standard from the get-go. When they didn’t want to do that, we looked around to see if there were other days available.

Holy Cross will play at Class 4A Hondo on Sept. 19. He said the Knights plan to continue their traditional Holy Bowl tailgate party.

“I’ll tell you now, to our boosters the Holy Bowl was a huge game to our boosters,” said Harrison, who indicated he’s amenable to resuming the series in the future. “We’ll try to replicate it with other games.”

Because of realignment and scheduling conflicts, the gap in the series will remain for at least the next two years.

“If it could be worked out,” Enrico said, “I’d like to play them. That’s a really good-dollar gate for both schools.”

Even if it doesn’t happen during the season’s opening week, Buttons and Knights alums and fans are certain to feel a void at some point this year. Chances are, it will kick in around Sept. 19.



Central Catholic 8 wins

Holy Cross 6 wins

(winner in boldface)

Date         Central Catholic         Holy Cross

2000                    14                                10               

2001                    28                                  9               

2002                    17                                15               

2003                    34                                  0               

2004                    20                                31               

2005                     7                                  30               

2006                     7                                  28               

2007                     13                                 9               

2008                     41                                 7               

2009                      34                              14               

2010                      42                              14               

2011                      27                              57               

2012                      32                              37               

2013                      14                              21               


Total points       310                           282               

Overall series record:

Central Catholic 35 wins

Holy Cross 11 wins

MULTIPLE SPORTS: Refurbished Alamo Stadium showcases modern amenities, history

Historic stadium’s mystique remains the same

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Fox Tech, Highlands, Jefferson, Lanier, Sam Houston.

Photos taken by Mark Lieberman, courtesy of MDLblog. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:

Fox Tech’s contingent prepares to march in at the beginning of the Alamo Stadium re-dedication.











The outstanding Sam Houston band marches in as part of the Alamo Stadium re-dedication ceremony.
The outstanding Sam Houston band plays a marching cadence as it marches in as part of the Alamo Stadium re-dedication ceremony.















Brackenridge's contingent sings the school song at the Alamo Stadium re-dedication ceremony.
Brackenridge’s contingent has just finished singing the school song at the Alamo Stadium re-dedication ceremony.













The blue ribbon panel of current and former SAISD athletes, coaches and administrators who spoke at the re-dedication ceremony.  KSAT-12 sportscaster Greg Simmons served as master of ceremonies.
The blue ribbon panel of current and former SAISD athletes, coaches and administrators who spoke at the re-dedication ceremony. KSAT-12 sportscaster Greg Simmons served as master of ceremonies.















The words Burbank alum Cathy Tijerina spoke Aug. 16 would fall like sweet music on the ears of the folks from Joeris Contractors/Hunt Construction.

The one-time Bulldogs band member shared her first impressions of Alamo Stadium during the mult-use facility’s re-dedication ceremony. In her mind, though, Tijerina also recalled where she sat in the Rock Pile her high school band days.

“It’s new and improved,” she said simply yet eloquently, “but it hasn’t changed.”

That essentially was what the construction company was aiming for when it took on the job in 2010 as part of a $35 million bond project to renovate Alamo Stadium and the adjacent Alamo Convocation Center.

SAISD assistant athletic director Brian Clancy said the mission was preserving the basic look and feel of the original stadium – as it was in 1940, when it was built — yet to bringing it up to speed with relatively new showcase venues like the Northeast ISD’s Heroes Stadium and Northside ISD’s Farris Stadium.

“You can’t tell the old rock from the new rock,” Clancy said. “They did a great job of matching it to the existing rock. They also cleaned up and re-tapped all that rock.

“Even the palm tree entrance and the entry corridor has been freshly landscaped.”

The stadium sacrificed some of its 23,000-seat capacity to widen the playing field for soccer. No longer Texas’ largest stadium, it’s still in the top 10 at about 18,000.

After putting a fresh face on it, the SAISD was selling relics from the old stadium like chairs, bricks and turf shadow boxes to the nostalgic and community-minded.

Guadalupe Cobarrubias Jr., a 1988 Edison grad, and his family were there to embrace the changes.

Cobarrubias’ son, Joseph Flores Jr., will play football and soccer at the stadium for the Golden Bears. His daughter, Christina Cobarrubias, was looking forward to playing soccer and running track at the rejuvenated stadium.

“It’s what we were hoping for,” Mr. Cobarrubias said. “We went to the board meeting and really pushed for it.”

The most visible modification is a 45 foot by 24 foot Daktronics scoreboard, considered the second-largest in San Antonio. Reproducation on the replay screens is said to be comparable with major-college boards.

The east entrance will be home to the new SAISD Sports Hall of Fame. Spotlighted plaques of the inductees, whom the public can nominate until Sept. 1 at, will grace the commons area.

Coaches and athletes will appreciate that both the home and visitors locker rooms are equipped with multiple whiteboards and feature game clocks on the wall. Even the filming area on the third level is more user-friendly.

“It’s really special for me,” said interim SAISD athletic director Frank Arnold, who wore a Burbank football uniform at the stadium in the late 1950s. “It’s going back home, to know the history of the place. It’s great for our student-athletes to have this facility.”

Harlandale coach Isaac Martinez, whose team will play three games there, is happiest about the new FieldTurf playing surface.

“We’re kind of excited about (the renovation),” said Martinez, whose home field was upgraded a couple of seasons ago. “It’s a 15-minute drive one way and we’re at beautiful Alamo Stadium. And a five-minute drive the other way and we’re at our beautiful Harlandale Memorial Stadium.”

With the new and old intermingling at Alamo Stadium, it was impossible during the re-dedication ceremony for SAISD alumni to fend off their memories.

Gus Tijerina, Cathy’s husband and a 1988 Burbank alum, was reminded of a Brackenridge playoff game he attended as a youngster, not knowing he’d play at the Rock Pile during his Bulldogs football career.

“I just love it,” said Tijerina, whose son Augie is a Burbank junior and band member. “All of my best and worst football memories happened right here.

“I guess, in 20 years when he has kids, my son will be able to come back here and reminisce about his high school years.”

VOLLEYBALL: This week’s results (thru Aug. 30)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface


Games of Aug. 24-30


Monday’s results


No matches scheduled

Tuesday’s results

District 27-5A
Alamo Heights (14-5, 1-0) 3, Kerrville Tivy (10-4, 0-1) 1 (25-17, 25-16, 23-25, 25-19)
Kennedy (3-7, 1-0) 3, Memorial (2-16 ???, 0-1) 2 (25-22, 25-16, 18-25, 20-25, 15-7)
Lockhart (11-8, 1-0) 3, San Marcos (10-8, 0-1) 0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-23)
Boerne Champion (7-8, 1-0) 3, Seguin (7-10, 0-1) 0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-19)
District 28-5A
Brackenridge (3-11, 1-0) 3, Edison (4-11, 0-1) 1 (25-11, 26-24, 22-25, 25-17)
Jefferson (14-4, 1-0) 3, Harlandale (7-9, 0-1) 0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-20)
Sam Houston (9-6, 1-0) 3, Burbank (6-12, 0-1) 1 (25-11, 26-24, 22-25, 25-17)
McCollum (3-5, 1-0) 3, Lanier (3-9, 0-1) 0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-10)
 Providence (10-7, 1-0) 3, Corpus Christi John Paul II (2-3 ???, 0-1) 0 (25-7, 25-10, 25-10)
Holy Cross (11-4, 2-0) 3, San Antonio Christian (2-7, 0-2) 0 (25-7, 25-10, 25-10)
Corpus Christi Incarnate Word (3-5 ???, 1-1) 3, Laredo St. Augustine (7-4, 0-2) 0 (scores unavailable)

Victoria St. Joseph (18-1, 2-0) 3, TMI (2-3 ???, 1-1) 0 (scores unavailable)


Johnson City (1-0 ???) at Brooks Academy (2-0 ???) (scores unavailable)

Highlands (8-8) 3, Fox Tech (2-14) 0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-16)

Southwest (10-7) 3, Southside (8-8) 1 (25-17, 25-12,23-25, 25-19 )
East Central (6-10) 3, Clemens (7-7) 0 (25-19, 25-10, 26-24)
Madison (11-5) 2, South San (8-6) 0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-14)

Wednesday’s matches

District 4-4A

Victoria St. Joseph (19-1, 3-0) 3, Holy Cross (11-5, 2-1) 0 (25-23, 25-16, 27-25)

Thursday’s matches

Cornerstone Christian (2-4, 1-1) 3, Laredo St. Augustine (7-5, 0-3) 0 (scores unavailable)


Lee (11-8) 3, Providence (10-8) 0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-23)

Longhorn Tournament

At Laredo United

Highlands (7-8) 2, Roma 1 (18-25, 25-22, 15-11)

Highlands (8-8) 2, Laredo United South 0 (25-20, 25-20)

Mizuno Texas Showdown

At Smithson Valley

Madison 2, Brackenridge (3-14) 0 (25-10, 25-11)

Antonian 2, Holy Cross (11-8) 0 (25-18, 25-22)

O’Connor 2, Brackenridge (3-14) 0 (25-9, 25-9)

New Braunfels Canyon 2, Holy Cross (11-8) 0 (25-12, 25-16)

Odessa Permian 2, Holy Cross (11-8) 1 (25-22, 13-25, 25-20)

Judson 2, Brackenridge (3-14) 0 (25-20, 25-17)

Seguin Tournament

McCollum (6-5) 2, Taft 0 (25-23, 25-20)

Navarro 2, Fox Tech (2-16) 0 (25-2, 25-9)

Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway 2, Kennedy (3-10) 0 (25-7, 25-8)

Corpus Christi Flour Bluff 2, Memorial (2-19 ???) 0 (25-6, 25-8)

Victoria East 2, Fox Tech (2-16) 0 (25-6, 25-10)

McCollum (6-5) 2, Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway 1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-19)

Brandeis 2, Memorial (2-19 ???) 0 (25-3, 25-9)

Taft 2, Kennedy (3-10) 0 (25-4, 25-19)

Boerne 2, Memorial (2-19 ???) 0 (25-11, 25-8)

McCollum (6-5) 2, Kennedy (3-10) 0 (25-20, 25-7)

Marshall 2, Fox Tech (2-16) 0 (25-8, 25-7)

Friday’s matches


Sam Houston (10-6) 3, Lanier (3-11) 2 (25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 26-28, 15-12)

Harlandale (8-9) 3, Southside (8-9) 0 (27-25, 25-20, 25-20)

St. Anthony (6-2) 3, Burbank (6-13) 0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-12)

Jefferson (14-4) at Wagner (3-12), 7 p.m. (scores unavailable)

Longhorn Tournament

At Laredo United

Highlands (9-9) 2, Zapata 1 (23-25, 25-4, 15-8)

Del Rio 2, Highlands (9-9) 0 (25-6, 25-12)

Mizuno Texas Showdown

At Smithson Valley

Schulenburg 2, Brackenridge (3-17) 0 (25-17, 25-13)

Houston Cypress Creek 2, Brackenridge (3-17) 0 (25-11, 25-12)

Fredericksburg 2, Brackenridge (3-17) 0 (25-13, 25-19)

Magnolia 2, Holy Cross (12-10) 0 (25-19, 25-18)

Brennan 2, Holy Cross (12-10) 1 (25-12, 24-26, 25-16)

Holy Cross (12-10) 2, Uvalde 0 (25-18, 25-22)

Ragin’ Rattler Tournament

At San Marcos

East Central (9-10) 2, Kyle Lehman 0 (25-5, 25-6)

East Central (9-10) 2, Manor 0 (25-7, 25-16)

East Central (9-10) 2, Victoria West 0 (25-12, 25-17)

La Vernia 2, Southwest (10-8) 1 (25-15, 16-25, 25-18)

Ft. Bend Christian 2, Edison (4-12) 0 (scores unavailable)

South San (8-6) (scores unavailable)

Seguin Tournament

Taft 2, Fox Tech (2-19) 0 (25-8, 25-15)

Stevens 2, Fox Tech (2-19) 0 (25-7, 25-14)

Corpus Christi Flour Bluff 2, Fox Tech (2-19) 0 (25-11, 25-8)

Brandeis 2, Kennedy (3-13) 0 (25-2, 25-9)

Marshall 2, Kennedy (3-13) 0 (25-6, 25-6)

Seguin 2, Kennedy (3-13) 0 (25-5, 25-11)

Victoria East 2, Memorial (2-22 ???) 0 (25-8, 25-18)

Clemens 2, Memorial (2-22 ???) 0 (25-7, 25-5)

McCollum (8-6) 2, Victoria East 0 (25-14, 25-23)

McCollum (8-6) 2, Memorial (2-22 ???) 0 (25-13, 25-15)

Clemens 2, McCollum (8-6) 0 (25-17, 25-23)

Saturday’s matches


Longhorn Tournament

At Laredo United

AREA TEAMS Highlands (9-9). Finals Saturday. (scores unavailable)

Mizuno Texas Showdown

At Smithson Valley

Odessa Permian 2, Brackenridge (3-18) 0 (25-11, 25-13)

Holy Cross (15-10) 2, Bandera 0 (25-16, 25-16)

Holy Cross (15-10) 2, Odessa Permian 0 (25-23, 25-23)

Holy Cross (15-10) 2, Corpus Christi King 1 (25-18, 16-25, 25-15)

Ragin’ Rattler Tournament

At San Marcos

Edison (5-13) 2, Austin Stephen F. Austin 0 (25-20, 25-16)

Lockhart 2, Edison (5-13) 0 (25-12, 25-11)

South San (10-7) 2, Austin Akins 0 (25-22, 25-21)

Southwest (12-9) 2, South San (10-7) 1 (25-19, 24-26, 25-19)

Weatherford 2, South San (10-7) 0 (21-25, 25-23, 25-19)

Canyon Lake 2, Southwest (12-9) 0 (25-6, 25-19)

Southwest (12-9) 2, Cuero 1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-13)

East Central (11-11) 2, Giddings 0 (25-17, 25-21)

East Central (11-11) 2, Keller Fossil Ridge 0 (25-23, 25-21)


Mansfield Summit 2, East Central (11-11) 1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-15)

Seguin Tournament

AREA TEAMS Fox Tech (2-19), Kennedy (3-13), Memorial (2-22 ???), McCollum (8-6). Finals Saturday.

Taft 2, McCollum (8-8) 0 (25-23, 25-19)

Brandeis 2, McCollum (8-8) 0 (25-15, 25-21)

Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway 2, Fox Tech (2-21) 0 (25-5, 25-4)

Stockdale 2, Kennedy (3-15) 0 (25-20, 25-17)

Victoria East 2, Kennedy (3-15) 0 (25-13, 25-18)

Memorial 2, Fox Tech (2-21) 1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-21)

Stockdale 2, Memorial (2-24 ???) 0 (25-12, 25-14)

Seguin 2, Memorial (2-24 ???) 0 (25-21, 25-7)

VOLLEYBALL: Guardians’ guided-missile serves lead to win over Providence

Promising Provets can’t hold Game 5 lead






In the first game of Schertz John Paul II’s first match, the Guardians were in a reactive mode. Thereafter, they were the aggressors, starting with their serves.

John Paul (then 1-0) attacked Providence’s back line with its serves as the match progressed Aug. 19 with good results. The Provets (then 5-3) won the first game 25-16. claimed the next two games 25-17 and 25-21 before Providence recovered to win Game 4 26-24 and extend the match in its home gym.

The Guardians won the decisive game 15-12 on a kill from sophomore Alyssa Fabac through a block attempt. Fabac led John Paul with five kills and four digs.

“Our coach focus on serving,” Fabac said. “We try to serve to a (specific) spot. Once we get there, we keep serving to the same spot and challenge them to pick it up.”

The Provets were coming off a 25-17, 25-22, 25-22 win over Sam Houston Aug. 18. They went on to finish fourth at the Jaguar Classic in Floresville last weekend.

Freshman Jazzmyne Williams (14 kills) served the first of her three aces on the match’s first point, beginning a four-point run that allowed Providence to lead throughout the match. The lead reached 10-4 on two of Hannah Sasser’s 14 kills.

The Guardians closed within 11-8, but Providence gradually pulled away and finished the game with Williams’ fifth kill.

“When we can pass the ball and make good connections, then we get a good result,” Providence coach Elise Denoux said. “I’m looking for that consistency. They have some good players. We knew they’d be ready to play.”

John Paul’s winning serving strategy began to take effect in Game 2. The Guardians served four aces in the game, two from Fabac. Kayla Kowalick served two aces in Game 3.

“If we can get a team out of system and make them move,” Schertz John Paul II coach Danielle Gonzalez explained, “then the setter’s not able to set the ball as easily. Also, we did a good job of blocking. We got our hands on a lot of balls.”

Providence jumped out to a 9-2 lead behind two aces from freshman Balleigh Creighton, but had to fend off John Paul to win. The Guardians built a 24-22 lead with help from back-to-back aces by Emily McCabe, but made two consecutive errors on match point. Williams seized the opportunity, tying it 24-24 on a kill and a tip. A kill from Christianna Howell put Providence over the hump.

In Game 5, a block from Sasser helped the Provets take a 6-4 lead. A kill by Fabac factored in a Guardians surge that put them ahead, 11-7. Kowalik put down a kill that enabled John Paul to reach another match point.

“We have a lot to look forward to,” Denoux said. “We’re working to develop our underclassmen. We have great team enthusiasm and our returning players are giving them a lot of encouragement.

“For three weeks into the season, we’re not bad.”

Providence senior defensive specialist Mital Patel was credited with 24 digs. Freshman Mia Ybarra recorded 15 assists. Sasser added a team-high four blocks.


VOLLEYBALL: Area teams hit their stride at SAISD Tourney

South San, Southwest win bracket championships

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, South San, Southside, Southwest, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:

Southwest senior middle blocker Kassy Cruz
Southwest senior middle blocker Kassy Cruz

















Holy Cross sophomore libero Daisy Flores executes a pass.
Holy Cross sophomore defensive specialist Daisy Flores executes a pass.






















Highlands setter Analisa Garza (13) readies a backset, possibly for Sara Denton (7)
Highlands junior Analisa Garza (13) readies a backset, possibly for Sara Denton (7)



















Because of the caliber of competition and the number of matches played in a short period of time, tournaments can serve as stepping stones to an outstanding season. That may have happened for three of the eight area teams entered last weekend at the SAISD Tournament.

District rivals Southwest (9-7) and South San (8-5) emerged as champions, winning the Bronze and Silver pools, respectively. SAISD representative Highlands (6-8) was the top finisher in the Gold Pool, which determined the overall champion. The Owls placed third in the two-day tournament, which took place at the Alamo Convocation Center and Highlands.

“I feel like this tournament helped a lot,” Southwest sophomore Aashlyn Sulaica said. “We were able to make mistakes, then come out and fix them. It’s going pretty well. We’re excited for district.”

McAllen (15-2) was the Gold Pool champion. Holy Cross (10-4) lost its last two matches, including a two-game decision against Highlands, and finished fourth in the pool.

Highlands defeated the Knights 25-17, 26-24.

“The girls played really well at the Laredo tournament last year and that was the turning point of our season,” Highlands coach Jaci Barrientes said. “We’re hoping this was the turning point for this year, a week earlier. We just want to carry this through and keep getting stronger.”

South San, on the heels of a good showing at the Harlandale ISD Tournament a week earlier, breezed to four wins in the Bronze Pool after dropping two matches Friday. The Bobcats defeated Wagner (3-10) 25-16, 23-25, 25-16 in a pivotal match that decided first place.

“We worked hard together all summer,” said South San junior setter Erica Jimenez, an all-tournament selection. “We’re coming together as a team. We have some goals in mind and we’re working hard all the time.”


The Dragons took a 2-6 record into the weekend. They lost a three-game match to Holy Cross 27-25, 21-25, 25-13 that dropped them into the Silver Pool. Southwest never lost again, winning their last four matches in two games.

Southwest defeated pool runner-up Schertz John Paul II (5-2), 25-11, 25-14. Southside (8-7) finished third and Jefferson (13-4), which entered the tournament undefeated, took fourth.

Dragons senior Yasmine Garcia helped seal the fourth win with a nine-point service run that included three aces against Brackenridge (2-11). Another Southwest setter, Dori Martinez, delivered a seven-point run that finished with an ace in Game 1 against Jefferson. The Dragons beat the Mustangs 25-17, 25-23.

“They put forth the effort and put the ball where you want it,” Southwest coach Erin Morgal said of her three setters, including Angie Aguilar. “The hitters help them out, (communicating with) them.”

South San

In their pool, which included Young Women’s Leadership Academy, the Bobcats won the other three matches in two games. South San coach Dyanne Martinez-Munoz is an assistant athletic director at the school. She accepted the position after Sanando Molina was hired at Poteet over the summer.

“The girls showed a lot of character today,” said Martinez-Munoz, who hasn’t coached volleyball since 1980. “They made up for what they should have done Friday.”

Martinez-Munoz has coached seven sports during her career.


` The Owls tied Holy Cross 22-22 on a block from senior Jenelle Rodriguez after the Knights had established a 17-13 advantage behind the hitting of Henrianna Ibarra (6 kills in the game). Holy Cross missed five serves in the game, which helped Highlands push through in Game 2.

Kills from Bryten Mitchan and Emily Pearce punctuated the win.

“We made some changes coming into the weekend,” Barrientes said, “and they seem to be working. When we get everything going, we’re hard to stop.”

Holy Cross was the only team in the pool to take McAllen to three games (25-21, 17-25, 25-23), but lost both of its matches Saturday.

“We rely so heavily on our serving, that really hurt us,” Holy Cross coach Ruben Calderon said. “Highlands played a very good game and made adjustments. We didn’t react to that.”


VOLLEYBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Hurricanes get set for 28-5A season with pair of wins

Providence snares fourth at Jaguar Classic

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Lanier, Memorial, Providence, Sam Houston.



Sam Houston (8-6) prepared for its District 28-5A season by winning two of its last three matches at the Devine Arabian Round-up.

The Hurricanes came back through the consolation bracket Saturday after winning one match on their first day at the three-day tournament. Sam Houston dumped Sabinal 25-16, 25-14 and FEAST 22-25, 25-20, 25-18 on Saturday. It also lost a close match to Cotulla 27-25, 25-20.

Sam Houston also defeated former district rival Poteet for the second time this season on Friday. The Hurricanes prevailed 19-24, 25-21, 25-22.

Lanier (3-9) won one of five matches at the tournament. The Voks defeated Sabinal 25-13, 25-13 Thursday. No tournament statistics were unavailable for either Lanier or Sam Houston.

Jaguar Classic

Providence (9-7) was the top finisher among six area teams at the Jaguar Classic in Floresville. The Provets won their first two matches Saturday to reach the semifinals and placed fourth in their first appearance at the tournament in recent years.

The Provets split their four matches Friday, defeating Eagle Pass 25-10, 25-17 and Burbank (6-11) 25-15, 25-16. Harlandale (7-8) outlasted Providence for a 25-17, 22-25, 25-17 win and Lockhart also defeated Providence in three games, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20.

Providence got off to a flying start in bracket play Saturday. The Provets defeated Edinburg North 25-20, 14-25, 25-23 and Randolph 25-15, 25-16 to advance. Holmes downed Providence 25-12, 25-14 in the semifinals and Lockhart recorded another win over the Provets 25-16, 25-20 in the third-place match.

Alexandra Howard led Lockhart in the third-place match with nine kills, eight digs and three aces. Harlandale also won its first two matches Saturday, defeating Randolph 25-17, 25-14 and Jay 25-19, 14-25, 28-26. The Indians lost in three games to Laredo United and in two to Holmes.

On Friday, the Indians defeated Burbank 25-5, 25-21and Eagle Pass 25-12, 15-25, 25-13.

Edison (4-10) had a rough first day at the tournament, but claimed three wins on Saturday. The Golden Bears defeated 28-5A rival Burbank 25-13, 25-21, Floresville’s junior varsity 25-12, 25-10 and Memorial (2-15) 25-20, 25-12.

No tournament statistics were available for any of the area teams.

Gator Classic

East Central had a strong start at the highly competitive tournament in Dickinson, a Houston suburb, but the Hornets (5-10) experienced a difficult final day. East Central lost each of its last three matches Saturday.

The Hornets lost only to eventual runner-up Alvin in three matches Thursday. East Central smashed Pasadena Memorial 25-11, 25-9 and defeated Clear Brook 25-20, 25-18.

Kaylin Mills led the Hornets with 11 set assists and three aces against Pasadena Memorial. Freshman Skeyler Embry hammered seven kills. Nichole West added five digs.

Against Clear Brook, Mills supplied nine assists, four aces and four digs. Senior Brandi Campos made six digs. Lindsey Lubianski and Embry each finished with four kills.

VOLLEYBALL: Area rankings (thru Aug. 23)

Through Aug. 23

TOP 15:


1. Holy Cross

2. Southwest

3. Highlands

4. East Central

5. Southside

6. Jefferson

7. McCollum

8. South San

9. Providence

10. Harlandale

11. Edison

12. Sam Houston

13. Burbank

14. Brackenridge

15. Young Women’s Leadership Academy

FOOTBALL: This week’s results (thru Aug. 30)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface


(Aug. 28-30)

Thursday’s results


Central Catholic (1-0) 30, Lanier (0-1) 0

Harlandale (1-0) 17, Devine (0-1) 7

Non-district (out of area)

Corpus Christi Carroll (1-0) 35, Corpus Christi Miller (0-1) 10

Laredo United South (1-0) 20, Laredo Nixon (0-1) 0 

Friday’s results


Leakey (1-0) 38, Brooks Academy (0-1) 0

Southside (1-0), 36, Burbank (0-1) 13

Carrizo Springs (1-0) 30, Memorial (0-1) 8

South San (1-0) 14, Holmes (0-1) 6

Jay (1-0) 66, Brackenridge (0-1) 45

Antonian (1-0) 41, Jefferson (0-1) 17

Victoria East (1-0) 43, Kennedy (0-1) 14

Pleasanton (1-0) 13, Edison (0-1) 7

Bandera (1-0) 21, Sam Houston (0-1) 15

San Marcos (1-0) 59, East Central (0-1) 56

Uvalde (1-0) 27, McCollum (0-1) 8

Victoria West (1-0) 26, Southwest (0-1) 14

Non-district (out of area)

Lockhart (1-0) 46, Austin Reagan (0-1) 26

Austin Regents (1-0) 30, Waco Reicher (0-1) 14

Cornerstone Christian (1-0) 26, Austin St. Dominic Savio (0-1) 21

Lago Vista (1-0) 27, Austin St. Michael’s (0-1) 20

Mathis (1-0) 34, Banquete (0-1) 21

Cedar Park Vista Ridge (1-0) 54, Seguin (0-1) 21

Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (1-0) 31, Corpus Christi King (0-1) 13

Laredo Johnson (1-0) 28, Eagle Pass Winn (0-1) 14

West Columbia (1-0) 31, Hallettsville (0-1) 20

Boerne Champion (1-0) 44, Hays (0-1) 27

Corpus Christi Ray (1-0) 35, Laredo Martin (0-1) 0

Navarro (1-0), 20, Medina Valley (0-1) 12

Alamo Heights (1-0) 31, New Braunfels (0-1) 0

Brownsville St. Joseph (1-0) 38, Raymondville (0-1) 34

TMI (1-0) 20, St. Anthony (0-1) 12

San Diego (1-0) 21, George West (0-1) 0

Skidmore-Tynan (1-0) 41, Corpus Christi John Paul II (0-1) 0

Port Lavaca Calhoun (1-0) 60, Somerset (0-1) 41

Goliad (1-0) 52, Victoria St. Joseph (0-1) 0

Laredo Cigarroa (1-0) 62, Zapata (0-1) 36

Saturday’s results


Floresville (1-0) 13, Highlands (0-1) 7

Holy Cross (1-0) 31, San Antonio Christian (0-1) 13

Non-district (out of area)

Big Spring (1-0) 58, Kerrville Tivy (0-1) 56

FOOTBALL: Jefferson vs. Laredo United scrimmage photo gallery, Aug. 22, 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:


Jefferson's defense puts a pass run on against Laredo United.
Jefferson’s defense (in red) puts a pass run on against Laredo United.














A wide-angle view between plays of the Jefferson-Laredo United scrimmage with the new Alamo Stadium video board in the background.
A wide-angle view between plays of the Jefferson-Laredo United scrimmage with the new Alamo Stadium video board in the background.



















VOLLEYBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: Jefferson stays unbeaten with win at Jay

Southwest sweeps to two wins; Southside edges Brack

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Edison, Fox Tech, Highlands, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Lanier, South San, Southside, Southwest, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Southwest setter Angie Aguilar distributes one of her 10 assists.
Southwest setter Angie Aguilar distributes one of her 10 assists.






















Highlands senior Emily Pearce makes a back row attack. Pearce made 18 digs against Southside.  Libero Kiara Pesina (2) watches.
Highlands senior Emily Pearce makes a back row attack. Pearce made 18 digs against Southside. Libero Kiara Pesina (2) watches.






















Southwest's Aashlyn Sulaica demonstrates the proper form while making one of her 13 digs.
Southwest’s Aashlyn Sulaica demonstrates the proper form while making one of her 13 digs.






















Jefferson (11-0) needed to work overtime Tuesday to preserve its spotless record at Jay (4-4), but they were able to prevail in the non-district match.

The Mustangs lost the first game 17-25, but won the next two by identical 25-22 scores. Jay, whose mascot also is the Mustangs, forced a fifth game with a 25-15 win.

Fifth games usually are only to 15 points, but the winning team must win by at least two points. Jefferson couldn’t pull out the match until the game score reached 19-17.

Senior Cecilia Campos led Jefferson with 30 digs. Gabby Vasquez recorded 16 kills and four service aces. Madelyn Chavez and Marissa Vargas each notched two blocks.

Jefferson will try to maintain its unblemished record this weekend at the challenging SAISD Tournament.


Southwest (4-6) has picked up a pair of wins so far this week. The Dragons defeated Highlands (0-0) at Monday and Harlandale (2-5) Wednesday, both in three games and at Southwest.

Against Harlandale, the Dragons won 25-19, 25-17, 30-28. Defense set the tone as three Southwest players recorded more than 10 digs. Junior Megan Hernandez finished with 13. Brandy Martinez and Amanda Solis chipped in 11 apiece.

Southwest received nine kills from Kassandra Cruz and eight from Aashlyn Sulaica. Angie Aguilar contributed 16 assists and two aces. Yasmine Garcia dealt six assists. Six-foot sophomore Brie-Anna Armstrong recorded two blocks.

For Harlandale, sophomores Tanya Ramos and Valeria Stokes each made five blocks. Kianna Sandoval contributed 11 assists, 10 digs and three aces. Dominique Delgado also added 10 digs.

In the Highlands match, Sulaica contributed 13 digs and nine kills, leading the Dragons to a 25-21, 25-13, 25-20 victory.

Cruz also slammed nine kills. Martinez led with 17 digs. Aguilar dealt 10 assists and Dori Martinez provided eight in Southwest’s 6-2 offense. Hernandez served three aces.

Highlands received 13 digs from sophomore libero Kiara Pesina. Jazmine Jackson finished with eight kills. Analisa Garza distributed 10 assists.

The Owls lost a tough match 25-23, 16-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-11 to Roosevelt (4-8) Wednesday at Littleton Gym.

Highlands senior Emily Pearce led the Owls with 17 digs and shared the team lead with Sara Denton in blocks (3 each). Senior Angela Garcia dished 17 assists. Bryten Mitchan pounded 16 kills.

Southside 3, Brackenridge 2

The Cardinals (5-4) had won four of their last five matches after prevailing 24-26, 25-19. 18-25, 25-13, 15-9 over Brackenridge (1-6) Tuesday at the SAISD school.

The host Eagles had Southside on the ropes, winning two of the first three games. However, the Cardinals finished strong.

Junior Ashley Sanchez led the Cardinals with 16 digs and nine kills. Sophomore Alyssa Gallardo supplied 26 assists and eight digs. Analee Uriegas had 25 digs and served three aces. Mia Soto added team highs of 14 kills and five aces, to go with four digs. Other key contributors were: Tyler Bolton (12 assists, 2 blocks), Chloe Davis (4 kills), Briana Martinez (10 kills, 5 digs) and Brianna Rodriguez (8 assists, 3 aces).

Brackenridge was led by seniors Jacky Nevarez (16 digs, 14 assists, 2 aces) and Kathy Sifuentes (26 digs, 4 aces). Skyler Reyna led the Eagles with seven kills and made 19 digs. Emily Martinez tracked down 17 digs. Courtney Hansford finished with three blocks while Eshe Malone had two.

East Central 3, Roosevelt 0

The Hornets (3-6) roared to an impressive 25-14, 25-19, 25-12 win over Roosevelt Tuesday at East Central.

East Central freshman Skyeler Embry played a strong all-around game with 16 kills, 10 digs and three aces. Senior Madison Simon recorded nine kills and six digs. Dual setters Kaylin Mills (8 digs, 4 kills) and Alex Pena (6 digs) each finished with 16 assists. Brandi Campos tracked down 17 digs. Christie Cosper added four kills and 2.5 blocks.

South San 3, Burbank 0

The Bobcats (5-3) bounced back from a three-game loss to tough Antonian Monday to down the Bulldogs (4-6) a day later. South San won 25-17, 25-11, 25-8 at Burbank.

Seniors Mariah Gonzalez and Nicolette Lopez each served four aces for South San. Kaitlyn Serna led the Bobcats with four blocks. Lauren Estrada and Erica Jimenez produced a team highs with six kills and 12 assists.

Burbank received 12 digs from Katherine Regalado and two blocks from Yesenia Munoz.

Holy Cross 3, Edison 0

The Knights (6-1) thumped Edison (1-6) 25-7, 25-13, 25-12 Tuesday at location.

A pair of sophomores led Holy Cross. Henrianna Ibarra hammered 14 kills and Daisy Flores served seven aces. Victoria Gonzalez made 15 digs. Stella Ramirez distributed 12 assistgs.

Edison received eight digs and four assists from sophomore Marissa Cortinas.

Lanier 3, Pearsall 0

The Voks (2-5) notched their second win Monday in a non-district match at Pearsall. Lanier closed out the victory in three games, 25-21, 26-24, 25-19.

Sophomore setter Rae Ann Douglas was the Voks’ pacesetter with 19 assists and three service aces. Junior Jenny Flores contributed nine kills. Esmi Garza added seven digs.

VOLLEYBALL: Highlands vs. Southwest photo gallery, Aug. 18, 2014 (photos by KJ Toso)

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:

Southwest sophomore Brie-Anna Armstrong had one block in the Dragons' 25-21, 25-13, 25-20 win over Highlands at Southwest.
Southwest sophomore Brie-Anna Armstrong had one block in the Dragons’ 25-21, 25-13, 25-20 win over Highlands at Southwest.























Highlands freshman Jazlyn Losoya prepares to set one of her hitters as Samara Kennedy (16) looks on.
Highlands freshman Jazlyn Losoya prepares to set one of her hitters as Samara Kennedy (16) looks on.

















Southwest's Aashlyn Sulaica demonstrates the proper form while making one of her 13 digs.
Southwest’s Aashlyn Sulaica demonstrates the proper form while making one of her 13 digs.






















Jazmine Jackson, a powerful hitter for Highlands, goes up to punch one of her 8 kills.
Jazmine Jackson, a powerful hitter for Highlands, goes up to punch one of her 8 kills.






















Southwest setter Angie Aguilar distributes one of her 10 assists.
Southwest setter Angie Aguilar distributes one of her 10 assists.






















VOLLEYBALL: This week’s results (thru Aug. 23)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Games of Aug. 17-23

Monday’s results


Seguin (4-5) 3, McCollum (2-4) 1 (18-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-19)

Providence (5-2) 3, Sam Houston (5-3) 0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-22)

Fox Tech (0-6) vs. Kennedy (2-6) (scores unavailable)

Southwest (3-6) 3, Highlands (3-5) 0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-20)

Austin Crockett (1-1) 3, Memorial (2-7) 0 (scores unavailable)

Antonian (8-1) 3, South San (4-3) 0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-8)

Lanier (2-4) 3, Pearsall (3-3 ???) 0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-19)

Tuesday’s results


Brooks Academy (2-0) at Gervin Academy (0-0 ???), 5 p.m. (scores unavailable)

Young Women’s Leadership Academy (3-7) 2, Fox Tech (1-7) 1 (24-26, 25-17, 25-19)

Southside (5-4) 3, Brackenridge (1-6) 2 (24-26, 25-19, 18-25, 25-13, 15-9)

East Central (3-6) 3, Roosevelt (3-8) 0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-12)

Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-7) at Hawkins (1-5)  (scores unavailable)

Schertz John Paul II (1-0) 3, Providence (5-2) 2 (16-25, 25-17, 25-21, 24-26, 15-12)

South San (5-3) 3, Burbank (4-7) 0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-8)

Southwest (4-6) 3, Harlandale (2-5) 0 (25-19, 25-17, 30-28)

Jefferson (11-0) 3, Jay (4-4) 0 (17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-25, 19-17)

Fox Tech (1-7) 2, Hawkins (1-6) 0 (25-10, 25-23)

Holy Cross (6-1) 3, Edison (1-6) 0 (25-7, 25-13, 25-12)

Wednesday’s results


Memorial (2-7) at Eagle Pass Winn (5-3) (scores unavailable)

Roosevelt (4-8) 3, Highlands (3-6) 2 (25-23, 16-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-11)

St. Anthony (4-2) 3, Lanier (2-5) 0 (25-14, 25-10, 25-16)

Thursday’s results


Holy Cross (7-1, 1-0) 3, Cornerstone Christian (0-3 ???, 0-1) 0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-12)

Victoria St. Joseph (12-0, 1-0) 3, San Antonio Christian (2-6, 0-1) 0 (scores unavailable)


Medina Valley (3-3 ???) 3, McCollum (2-5) 2 (25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 14-25, 15-11)

Devine Arabian Round-up

AREA TEAMS Lanier (3-6), Sam Houston (5-3). Finals Saturday.

FEAST (5-5) 2, Lanier (3-6) 0 (25-20, 25-23)

Devine (6-0), 2, Lanier (3-6) 0 (25-17, 25-15)

Lanier (3-6) 2, Sabinal (2-4 ???) 0 (25-13, 25-13)

Dickinson Gator Classic

East Central (5-7) 2, Pasadena Memorial (1-2 ???) 0 (25-11, 25-9)

Alvin (7-4) 2, East Central (5-7) 0 (25-10, 25-15)

East Central (5-7) 2, Friendswood Clear Brook (5-7) 0 (25-20, 25-18)

Friday’s matches


Devine Arabian Round-up

AREA TEAMS Lanier (3-6), Sam Houston (5-3). Finals Saturday.

Sam Houston (6-5) 2, Poteet (4-8) 1 (19-24, 25-21, 25-22)

Marion (4-3 ???) 2, Sam Houston (6-5) 0 (25-20, 25-17)

Boerne (10-2), Sam Houston (6-5) 0 (25-14, 25-9)

Dickinson Gator Classic

AREA TEAMS East Central (5-7). Finals Saturday.

Jaguar Classic

At Floresville

Harlandale (5-6) 2, Burbank (4-11) 0 (25-5, 25-21)

Corpus Christi Moody 2, Memorial (2-11) 0 (25-16, 25-15)

Lockhart 2, Providence (7-5) 1 (19-25, 25-22, 25-20)

San Marcos 2, Edison (1-10) 1 (25-17, 14-25, 28-26)

Floresville 2, Fox Tech (2-10) 0 (25-10, 25-4)

Harlandale (5-6) 2, Eagle Pass 1 (25-12, 15-25, 25-13)

Lockhart 2, Burbank (4-11) 0 (25-13, 25-10)

Hondo 2, Memorial (2-11) 0 (25-18, 25-22)

Jay 2, Fox Tech (2-10) 0 (25-6, 25-11)

Providence (7-5) 2, Eagle Pass 0 (25-10, 25-17)

Laredo United 2, Edison (1-10) 0 (25-19, 25-20)

Lytle 2, Memorial (2-11) 0 (25-16, 25-11)

Lockhart 2, Harlandale (5-6) 0 (25-13, 25-19)

Randolph 2, Edison (1-10) 0 (25-21, 25-19)

Eagle Pass 2, Burbank (4-11) 0 (25-7, 25-19)

Fox Tech (2-10) 2, Floresville JV 0 (25-23, 25-15)

Harlandale (5-6) 2, Providence (7-5) 1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-17)

Cole 2, Memorial (2-11) 0 (25-20, 27-25)

Holmes 2, Edison (1-10) 0 (25-12, 25-12)

Edinburg North 2, Fox Tech (2-10) 0 (25-7, 25-18)

Providence (7-5) 2, Burbank (4-11) 0 (25-15, 25-16)

SAISD Tournament

Pool A

At Alamo Convocation Center

Southwest (6-7) 2, Eagle Pass Winn (5-7 ???) 0 (25-10, 25-11)

Holy Cross (10-2) 2, Eagle Pass Winn (5-7 ???) 0 (25-10, 25-21)

Holy Cross (10-2) 2, Southwest (6-7) 1 (27-25, 21-25, 25-13 )

Pool B

At Highlands Court 2

Southside (6-6) 2, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (4-9 ???) 0 (25-14, 25-6)

McAllen (6-3 ???) 2, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (4-9 ???) 0 (25-7, 25-14)

McAllen (6-3 ???) 2, Southside (6-6) 0 (25-11, 25-14)

Pool C

At Highlands Court 1

Highlands (5-7) 2,  South San (6-5) 1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-20)

Schertz John Paul II (3-1) 2,  South San (6-5) 1 (23-25, 26-24, 25-15)

Highlands (5-7) 2, Schertz John Paul II (3-1) 1 (25-22, 24-26, 25-23)

Pool D

At Brackenridge

Brackenridge (2-8) 2, Corpus Christi Miller (0-3 ???) 0 (25-21, 25-16)

Medina Valley (5-3 ???) 2, Corpus Christi Miller (0-3 ???) 0 (25-11, 25-7)

Medina Valley (5-3 ???) 2, Brackenridge (2-8) 0 (25-16, 25-18)

Pool E

At Jefferson

Donna (3-1 ???) 2, Jefferson (12-2) 0 (25-18, 25-14)

Donna (3-1 ???) 2, Wagner (1-9) 1 (18-25, 25-18, 25-11)

 Jefferson (12-2) 2, Wagner (1-9) 1 (25-13, 12-25, 25-14)

Gold Pool

At Alamo Convocation Center

McAllen (6-3 ???) 2, Holy Cross (10-2) 1 (25-22. 17-25, 25-23)

Medina Valley (5-3 ???) 2, Highlands (5-7) 0 (25-22, 25-9)

Holy Cross (10-2) 2, Donna (3-1 ???) 0 (25-22, 25-18)

Silver Pool

At Highlands Court 1

Southwest (6-7) 2, Southside (6-6) 0 (25-21, 25-21)

Schertz John Paul II (3-1) 2, Brackenridge (2-8) 0 (25-14, 26-24)

Southwest (6-7) 2, Jefferson (12-2) 0 (25-17, 25-23)

Bronze Pool

At Highlands Court 2

Young Women’s Leadership Academy (4-9 ???) 2,  Eagle Pass Winn (5-7 ???) 1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-23)

South San (6-5 ???) 2, Corpus Christi Miller (0-3 ???) 0 (25-11, 25-14)

Wagner (1-9) 2, Eagle Pass Winn (5-7 ???) 1 (25-13, 20-25, 25-15)

Saturday’s matches


TMI (2-2 ???, 1-0) 3, Laredo St. Augustine (7-3, 0-1) 0 (scores unavailable)


Devine Arabian Round-up

Boerne 2, Lanier (4-9) 0 (25-5, 25-12)

Lanier (4-9) 2, Sabinal 0 (25-13, 25-13)

Brackettville 2, Lanier (4-9) 0 (26-24, 25-15)

Sam Houston (8-6) 2, Sabinal 0 (25-16, 25-14)

Cotulla 2, Sam Houston (8-6) 0 (27-25, 25-20)

Sam Houston (8-6) 2, FEAST 1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-18)

Dickinson Gator Classic

Brazoswood 2, East Central (5-10) 0 (25-16, 25-20)

Manvel 2, East Central (5-10) 1 (25-14, 25-27, 25-20)

Deer Park 2, East Central (5-10) 1 (25-18, 17-25, 25-19)

Jaguar Classic

At Floresville

Floresville JV 2, Memorial (2-14) 0 (25-22, 25-22)

Burbank (6-12) 2, Memorial (2-14) 0 (25-15, 25-12)

Burbank (6-12) 2, Floresville JV 1 (25-13, 22-25, 25-22)

Eagle Pass 2, Fox Tech (2-13) 0 (25-11, 25-11)

Hondo 2, Fox Tech (2-13) 0 (25-10, 25-12)

Lockhart 2, Fox Tech (2-13) 0 (25-7, 25-8)

Edison (4-10) 2, Burbank (6-12) 0 (25-13, 25-21)

Edison (4-10) 2, Floresville JV 0 (25-12, 25-10)

Edison (4-10) 2, Memorial (2-14) 0 (25-20, 25-12)

Harlandale (7-8) 2, Jay 1 (25-19, 14-25, 28-26)

Harlandale (7-8) 2, Randolph (7-7) 0 (25-17, 25-14)

Holmes 2, Harlandale (7-8) 0 (25-14, 25-6)

Laredo United 2, Harlandale (7-8) 1 (25-10, 23-25, 25-13)

Providence (9-7) 2, Edinburg North 0 (25-20, 14-25, 25-23)

Providence (9-7) 2, Randolph 0 (25-15, 25-16)

Holmes 2, Providence (9-7) 0 (25-12, 25-14)

Lockhart 2, Providence (9-7) 0 (25-16, 25-20)

NOTE: Providence finished fourth

SAISD Tournament

Gold Pool

At Alamo Convocation Center

McAllen (15-2) 2, Highlands (6-8) 0 (25-22, 25-6)

Medina Valley (5-3 ???) 2, Donna (14-5) 0 (26-24, 25-17)

Highlands (6-8) 2, Holy Cross (10-4) 0 (25-17, 26-24)

McAllen (15-2) 2, Donna (14-5) 0 (25-13, 25-19)

Medina Valley (7-4 ???) 2, Holy Cross (10-4) 1 (25-20, 25-22, 25-21)

Highlands (6-8) 2, Donna (14-5) 1 (25-14, 15-25, 25-20)

McAllen (15-2) 2, Medina Valley (7-4 ???) 0 (25-10, 25-19)

NOTE: McAllen wins pool

Silver Pool

At Highlands Court 1

Schertz John Paul II (5-2) 2, Southside (8-7) 1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-23)

Jefferson (13-4) 2, Brackenridge (2-11) 0 (25-14, 26-24)

Southwest (8-7) 2, Schertz John Paul II (5-2) 0 (25-11, 25-14)

Southside (8-7) 2, Jefferson (13-4) 1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-23)

Southwest (8-7) 2, Brackenridge (2-11) 0 (25-10, 25-15)

Schertz John Paul II (5-2) 2, Jefferson (13-4) 0 (25-10, 25-15)

Southside (8-7) 2, Brackenridge (2-11) 0 (25-10, 25-20)

NOTE: Southwest wins pool

Bronze Pool

At Highlands Court 2

South San (8-5) 2, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (5-12 ???) 0 (25-13, 25-11)

Wagner (3-10) 2, Corpus Christi Miller (0-6 ???) 0 (25-9, 25-17)

South San (8-5) 2, Eagle Pass Winn (6-8) 0 (25-18, 25-10)

Wagner (3-10) 2, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (5-12 ???) 0 (25-14, 25-21)

Eagle Pass Winn (6-8) 2, Corpus Christi Miller (0-6 ???) 0 (25-15, 25-16)

South San (8-5) 2, Wagner (3-10) 1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-13)

Young Women’s Leadership Academy (5-12 ???) 2, Corpus Christi Miller (0-6 ???) 0 (25-22, 25-19)

VOLLEYBALL: Area rankings (thru Aug. 17)

Through Aug. 17

TOP 15:


1. Holy Cross

2. East Central

3. Jefferson

4. Highlands

5. Southside

6. McCollum

7. Southwest

8. South San

9. Harlandale

10. Providence

11. Edison

12. Sam Houston

13. Burbank

14. Brackenridge

15. Lanier

VOLLEYBALL: Knights snare first tournament championship

Holy Cross wins first title in 7-year history; Harlandale takes fourth

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Fox Tech, Harlandale, Holy Cross, Lanier, McCollum, Providence, Sam Houston, South San.



Holy Cross’ Harlandale ISD Tournament championship Saturday was a new pinnacle in the seven-year history of the program.

Traditionally an all-boys school, Holy Cross opened its doors to girls seven years ago. To this point, the Knights’ softball team has set the standard for girls-sports excellence. With four straight-sets victories in the two-day tournament – including a 25-15, 25-21 win over Holmes in the title match – the Knights served notice they’re ready to share the glory.

“It helps a lot,” Knights senior captain Megan Hernandez said. “All the time, teams underestimate us. It shows we can play. Other people don’t expect much of us, they want to get us out quick.”

Sophomore Henrianna Ibarra added, “We’ve been working hard all summer. That helped us. Some teams don’t work that hard in the summer. Last year, we came so far. We can get even better this year.”

Holy Cross (5-1) began the season as a bit of a question mark, having graduated 2013 leaders Mallory Ozuna and Julia Ibarra, Henrianna’s sister. It was expected that the Knights would develop into a solid team, but not quite this soon.

“Our senior (setter Stella Ramirez) is doing a great job right now,” Holy Cross coach Ruben Calderon said. “She’s getting the ball to the right places at the right time, and that’s really what we needed.”

Harlandale (2-4) finished fourth in the 16-team tournament, falling 25-20, 25-22 to Del Rio (4-2) in Saturday’s third-place match. The young Indians played without two seniors, Erika Arredondo and Alicia Garcia, and a sophomore (Brittnie Cisneros) who is lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

“Brittnie was one of our subs, who stepped in and started for (Erika),” Harlandale coach Sylvia Cardenas said. “They’re making mental errors when it counts the most. That’s where our lack of experience comes in. Right now, we’re not there.”

Holy Cross

The Knights handed Holmes (5-1) its first loss, controlling the match throughout.

With strong defense, Holy Cross established a 16-7 lead in Game 1. After the Huskies closed to 20-15, Ibarra put it away with a five-point service run which included a kill from her and two from Victoria Gonzalez.

“We rely on our defense a lot,” Hernandez said. “We rely on our teammates being there (in position). We really work hard in practice, so when a team (makes a run), we stay strong.”

Another Ibarra kill, on an outside set from Ramirez (16 assists), provided the Knights with a 16-10 lead in Game 2. Holy Cross had a bit of a lapse and Holmes was within 20-18. Two kills in a three-point stretch from Ibarra put the Knights at match point, leading 24-21.

Gonzalez came up with a dig on the long final point, but it was a heroic dig by Ramirez as she headed toward the back line that sealed the deal. Daisy Flores led the Knights with 24 digs.

“We’re not very tall,” Calderon said. “We have no one taller than 5-foot-8. To even have a chance, we have to not let the ball hit the court. That last point was phenomenal. That was an excellent play”

On the tournament’s opening day, Holy Cross swept Medina Valley and Stevens, the consolation bracket champions.


Holy Cross defeated the Indians 25-18, 25-15 in the semifinals. Harlandale won both of its matches on Thursday, defeating Providence (4-2) 25-18, 25-22 and Eagle Pass 25-15, 27-25.

“I know they’re young and I have to be patient,” Cardenas said. “That’s what these matches are for – to work through the kinks.”

South San

The Bobcats (3-2) put together a big day, winning two early matches to reach the consolation championship match. There, Stevens downed South San 25-13, 26-24.

South San advanced with wins over Eagle Pass (25-13, 25-19) and St. Anthony (25-17, 25-17).

Sam Houston

The Hurricanes (5-2) defeated rival Brackenridge 26-24, 25-18 in the consolation third-place match after struggling against Lanier earlier Saturday.

“We did OK,” Sam Houston coach Courtney Davis said. “We just didn’t play up to the best of our ability.”

After losing their first two matches of its season Friday, Sam Houston held off Lanier for a 25-19, 18-25, 25-21.

“They took it as an eye opener,” Davis said of the losses.

Sam Houston only has four seniors on its roster, including Dajah Thomas, who hasn’t played volleyball since her freshman year. The leaders so far have been senior middle blocker Karisma Mitchell (6-1) and junior setter Rita Davis. Senior Tiaria Mackey should make bigger contributions as she recovers from an ACL injury.

“They don’t give up when the game gets tight,” Davis said. “They can be good if everybody pulls together.”


VOLLEYBALL: Highlands takes punch from Southside, regroups for win

Mitchan’s five kills in Game 5 help rescue Owls

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Highlands, Southside.

Photo taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:

Highlands senior Emily Pearce makes a back row attack. Pearce made 18 digs against Southside.  Libero Kiara Pesina (2) watches.
Highlands senior Emily Pearce makes a back row attack in a recent match. Pearce made 18 digs against Southside. Libero Kiara Pesina (2) watches.

























Someone from Highlands needed to take individual responsibility when Southside pushed the Owls to a fifth game in their season opener Aug. 13.

At least, that’s how Highlands junior Bryten Mitchan felt after the Cardinals rallied from a 2-0 deficit. Mitchan was more than willing to step forward and help the Owls (now 3-4) secure a 25-19, 25-21, 14-25, 17-25, 17-15 victory at Highlands.

“I wanted to get it in three (games),” she said. “We didn’t want to lose our first match of the season. We wanted to be 1-0.

“We wanted to come out strong, and we did. Then we worked together as a team to win.”

Mitchan blasted five kills in the decisive game alone. The last of her nine kills enabled Highlands to break a 15-15 tie against the energized Cardinals (4-4). Owls sophomore Kiara Pesina ended the marathon match on the next serve by delivering her third ace.

Southside also lost its opening match in five games, falling 20-25, 25-17, 21-25, 25-18, 15-13 to Providence Aug. 11. However, Soto said her team raised its game against Highlands.

“It was a very good match,” Southside coach Anna-Rosa Soto said. “We started off slow, but the girls pulled it through. We had first-match jitters against Providence. I also had two girls sitting out. One (Klaryssa Vela) came back today and the other will be back next week.”

The very real threat of losing its first 2014 match resonated with Highlands, as several players returned from the squad that began the season with an 0-10 record last year. One area that Owls coach Jaci Barrientes wanted to see her team improve on was its ability to finish close matches.

“That last game, (Southside) pushed us to the brink,” Barrientes said. “They pulled even at 14-14 and 15-15, but we were able to stay strong and pull it out – and that’s what I was hoping to see.

“In Games 3 and 4, we lost focus. I guess, maybe, we got a little overconfident. Our serve-receive fell apart, taking nothing away from Southside. They kept going at it.”

The Owls controlled the first two games behind the hitting of Jazmine Jackson (12 kills, 1.5 blocks).

Following a powerful kill from Jackson that gave Highlands a three-point lead, a pair of aces from Genesis Garcia gave the Owls a commanding 22-13 lead. Jackson put down another kill after the Cardinals cut the lead to four.

In Game 2, Southside sophomore setter Alyssa Gallardo (11 assists, 9 digs, 4 aces) tied it 20-20 with an ace. Two Southside errors and a pair of consecutive kills from Jackson put Highlands at game point and another finished the win. The junior produced six kills in the game.

Gallardo (11 assists, 9 digs, 4 aces) fueled the Cardinals’ comeback with her defense and serving. A kill from freshman Mia Soto (9 kills, 3 aces), the coach’s daughter, coupled with blocks from Ashley Sanchez (4 kills, 2 blocks) and Chloe Davis kept the pressure on the Owls.

Highlands also was harmed by five missed serves. The Owls missed 15 serves in the match, compared to Southside’s 13, but Highlands’ misses seemed to come at more inconvenient times.

“We had a ton of missed serves,” Barrientes said. “That didn’t help at all. It was the first match for our second setter (Jazlyn Losoya) and one of our hitters Samara, (Kennedy). Even with Jenelle (Rodriguez), it was the first time she was in that role.

“It was a lot of firsts, but we were able to find our way and figure it out.”

In Game 4, two straight kills from Soto gave the Cardinals the lead from the outset. Southside’s Tyler Bolton (7 assists, 5 digs, 3 aces) served back-to-back aces for a 10-5 lead. A back-row kill by the 5-foot Gallardo made it 16-8 in Game 4.

“Alyssa is my leader on the court. She and Analee have some of the best court awareness I’ve seen,” Coach Soto said, referring to Gallardo and libero Analee Uriegas (18 digs). “They’re sophomores, but they play like seniors.”

Two straight aces from Pesina slashed Southside’s lead to 16-11, but that was as close as Highlands came. A block by Soto evened the match at two games apiece.

“Mia made some big plays and had a Happy Birthday,” Anna-Rosa Soto said, referring to a ball left on the net for a kill. “We expect a lot more to come from her.

“Tyler is just a sophomore and its her first year on varsity. She has good court awareness, too, but more than that, it’s her relationship with her hitters. She works well with them.”

Before Game 5, Mitchan talked to Owls setter Analisa Garza (18 assists) about her availability.

“I told her, ‘If it’s a good pass, go to me,’ ” said Mitchan, who added 1.5 blocks. “Let’s get this kill. I put a lot of effort into my swing in the offseason. I wanted to make myself better.”

Highlands senior Emily Pearce contributed 18 digs.

“We had our growing pains and immaturity,” Barrientes said. “We want to use all our weapons, but we’ve got to get better at how to use them, and not change our mindset when we get down.”

Despite some first-match jitters that only kicked in when Southside stepped up its passing, nothing that happened in its opener endangered Highlands’ status as the clearcut favorite in District 28-5A.

“We’re going to get off to a phenomenal start and take it all the way to district,” Mitchan vowed. “I think we went into the season more confident. We’ve been working very hard.”

VOLLEYBALL WEEKEND REPORT: Jefferson sweeps its way to Edgewood ISD title

Southside rallies on final day of Wagner Tourney

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, East Central, Edison, Highlands, Jefferson, Kennedy, Memorial, Southside, Southwest, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.



Any concerns about Jefferson being decimated by heavy graduation losses have officially gone out the window.

The undefeated Mustangs (10-0) lost several key players to graduation including Melanie Ybarra, Courtney Garcia, Selena Garcia, Melanie Sheppard and Krystin Garcia after finishing third in District 28-4A. However, Jefferson adjusted to its losses without skipping a beat, evident by the fact that not only team won each of its first week matches without losing a game.

Jefferson defeated Jourdanton (4-4) 25-22, 25-17 Saturday at Edgewood Gym to complete an nine-match sweep to the Edgewood ISD Tournament.

The Mustands, led by senior standout Gabby Vasquez, defeated Jourdanton, Burbank (4-6) and Kennedy (2-6) each twice on their journey to the championship. They defeated Kennedy 25-13, 25-11 and Burbank 25-9, 25-14 Saturday.

Individual statistics for Jefferson were not available.

Burbank claimed each of its four wins in the tournament. The Bulldogs defeated Eagle Pass Winn 25-18, 25-23 and Kennedy 25-18, 25-20 on Thursday. On Friday, they defeated Memorial (2-6) in a tight match, 25-23, 25-19. Saturday’s win was a 25-27, 25-15, 25-22 decision over Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-7).

Bulldogs sophomore Cory Sepulveda finished with eight kills and Rebekah Valma added six assists against Memorial. Valma led Burbank with seven assists against Kennedy. Senior Aponi Balderas posted a team-best six kills and Katherine Regalado chipped in with five digs.

Co-host Memorial defeated YWLA 25-20, 25-21 Thursday and Jourdanton in a 26-24, 25-23 nailbiter Friday.

Wagner Tournament

Scrappy Southside (4-4) made an impressive third-place showing at the Wagner Tournament, which took place over the weekend at Judson. The Cardinals won two of three matches on Saturday and had four wins in the two-day touranment, which they entered with a winless record.

The Cardinals began the tournament Friday with a resounding 25-15, 25-13 victory over host Wagner (0-6). After a loss to Goliad, which Southside later avenged, it edged Edison (1-5) in three sets. The Golden Bears won the first game 25-23, but the Cardinals prevailed by winning the next two 25-18, 25-7.

Southside began Saturday’s session with a 25-19, 25-21 win over Goliad (4-2). The Cardinals lost 25-21, 25-19 to eventual champion Judson (6-2), but finished with a three-set win against San Antonio Christian (2-5). Southside once again lost Game 1 (25-23), but closed with consecutive 25-21, 25-23 wins.

Highlands (3-4) also gained a bit of momentum on the final day, after losing three matches on Thursday.

The Owls lost only to Goliad in its first match on the final day, then went on to defeat District 28-5A rival Edison and San Antonio Christian. Highlands edged the Golden Bears 19-25, 25-17, 25-23 and San Antonio Christian 25-22, 26-24.

Highlands junior Jazmine Jackson had four kills against San Antonio Christian. Defensive leaders were sophomore Kiara Pesina (14 digs), Genesis Garcia (6) and Emily Pearce (5). Freshman Jazlyn Losoya dealt seven assists.

Against Edison, Jackson and junior Bryten Mitchan each pounded 12 kills. Pesina provided 26 digs and Pearce had 14. Analisa Garza led the Owls with 16 assists and Losoya was credited with 13. Edison statistics from the match were unavailable.

Edison claimed its only tournament win Friday. The Golden Bears defeated Wagner 26-24, 25-15.

No Southside statistics were available for the tournament.

Northside ISD Tournament

It was a rough weekend for East Central and Southwest (both 2-6) at the highly competitive tournament.

The District 28-6A rivals won one match apiece in the two-day tournament. East Central swept MacArthur (4-4) 25-18, 25-21 Friday. Southwest also won in two sets Saturday, defeating Pasadena Dobie 25-22, 25-18.

Southwest received five kills and five digs from junior Megan Hernandez against Dobie. Kassandra Cruz recorded a team-high six kills. Aashlyn Sulaica tracked down six digs. Angie Aguilar and Dori Martinez each distributed six assists.

Senior Brandi Campos supplied 11 digs for East Central in the MacArthur match. Nichole West came through with seven digs and four kills. Alex Pena led the Hornets with eight assists and Kaylin Mills dealt seven, to go with four kills. Freshman Skeyler Embry led East Central with five kills. Lindsey Lubianski contributed two blocks.

VOLLEYBALL MID-WEEK REPORT: South San serves up win over Brack

Brooks, Providence & Sam Houston stay unbeaten

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Brooks Academy, Burbank, East Central, Jefferson, Kennedy, Providence, Sam Houston, Southwest, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.




















South San (1-0) served 16 aces, including a whopping six from Lauren Estrada, to claim a five-set victory Wednesday at Brackenridge (0-2).

Other big servers who helped the Bobcats recover from a Game 1 loss were Erica Jimenez (3 aces), Giselle Mata (2 aces) Angel and Salazar (2 aces). Marquanique Freeman and Anesha Kincheon each delivered two aces for Brackenridge in the non-district match.

Estrada also contributed four kills in the Bobcats’ season-opening 19-25, 25-20, 25-15, 23-25, 15-10 win. Mata produced eight kills and Angel Salazar (2 blocks) added four. Jimenez had a team-high 16 set assists and Kristen Farias dealt five. Miranda Gonzalez was credited with three digs. Kaitlyn Serna smacked three blocks.

For the Eagles, Freeman distributed 33 assists (6.6 per game). Brackenridge received 25 digs from Kathy Sifuentes, 10 from Emily Martinez, nine apiece from Jolicia Shelton-Brown (13 kills) and Freeman and eight from Kincheon. Skyler Reyna finished with eight kills and Eshe Malone had seven.

Sam Houston 3, Poteet 2

In a battle of recent District 28-3A rivals, the Hurricanes (2-0) turned it on in Game 5 at Sam Houston to defeatg Poteet (0-1). Sam Houston will compete in 28-5A this season.

The Hurricanes edged the Aggies 15-13 in the decisive game, after dropping the previous two games 25-18 and 25-21. Sam Houston won the first two games 25-20 and 25-16.

Junior setter Rita Davis dealt 33 assists for Sam Houston. Sophomore libero Datreese Thomas tracked down 11 digs. Karisma Mitchell pounded 16 kills. Natalie Coburn added four blocks. Tiaria Mackey notched two aces.

Brooks Academy 3, St. Gerard 1

The Bengals (2-0) began their 2014 season with non-district wins over Hawkins Tuesday and St. Gerard Wednesday.

Brooks Academy rallied after losing the first game 25-20 to St. Gerard. The Bengals then clicked into gear to end the match 25-15, 25-10, 25-19 at the academy.

No Brooks Academy statistics were available from the Bengals match against the Royals.

Tuesday at Hawkins, senior outside hitter Makayla Quintanilla served five aces for the Bengals.

Providence 3, Burbank 1

The Provets (2-0) triumphed 25-12, 22-25, 25-22, 25-16 Wednesday over Burbank (0-1) in a non-district match at Providence.

Provets freshman setter Mia Ybarra was credited with 21 assists. Sophomore Juliet Alanis was a dual threat with 23 digs and three service aces. Up front, Hannah Sasser contributed six kills and two blocks.

In their season opener, the Bulldogs were led by junior Antwanisha Riddle, who compiled eight blocks and six kills. Rebekah Valma added 12 assists. Laura Morones produced 10 digs.


VOLLEYBALL OPENING-DAY REPORT: Provets outlast Southside for dramatic win

Holy Cross, McCollum win stunners

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Fox Tech, Harlandale, Holy Cross, Kennedy, McCollum, Providence, Sam Houston, Southside, Southwest, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, volleyball.

Southside won the first two games Monday at Providence, but senior setter Sabrina Casares (27 assists, 21 digs) helped the Provets win two in a row, including a 15-13 decision in the decisive game for an opening-day victory.

The Cardinals won the opener 25-20, but Providence recorded the equalizer, winning Game 2, 25-17. Southside was on the verge of victory, after taking Game 3, 25-21. Providence forced a final game with a 25-18 win.

Sophomore Hannah Sasser (4 blocks) and Christi Howell each posted 10 kills for Providence. Juliet Alanis served four aces for the Provets.

Junior Briana Martinez led Southside with 14 kills. Alyssa Gallardo dealt 19 assists. Sophomore Analee Uriegas was credited with 20 digs. Tyler Bolton served a match-best five aces for the Cardinals.

Holy Cross 3, Harlandale 0

The Knights opened their season with a commanding win over Harlandale Monday at their home gym.

Holy Cross swept to a 25-18, 25-14, 25-14 decision as sophomore Henrianna Ibarra hammered 12 kills.

Senior Stella Ramirez distributed 26 assists. Daisy Flores tracked down 13 digs. Megan Hernandez and Anna Zuniga each served three aces.

Tanya Ramos led the Indians with five blocks. Madeline Mendez produced eight kills. Dominque Delgado and Kianna Sandoval each made six digs. Jezell Dimas finished with 11 set assists.

McCollum 3, Southwest 1

The Cowboys won the tight games it needed to and survived the momentum swings Monday at McCollom for an impressive triumph over the Dragons.

McCollum pulled out the marathon first game 28-26. The Cowboys controlled Game 2 for a 25-15 win, but Southwest rallied to smash McCollum 25-13 in the third game. The home team defeated their Class 6A opponent

Cowboys senior leader Neyda Sanchez put down 12 kills. Fellow senior Catie Gonzalez added 13 digs and four aces. Savannah Borjas dealt 16 assists. Victoria Yzaguirre chipped in with three blocks.

Junior Brandy Martinez led the Dragons with 27 digs. Sophomore Brie-Anna Armstrong made 11 kills in her first varsity match. Angie Aguilar finished with 19 assists. Kassandra Cruz had three blocks. Megan Hernandez, who contributed to Southwest state semifinal softball team, served three aces.

Sam Houston 3, Kennedy 0

Junior Rita Davis distributed 18 assists and served two aces, leading the Hurricanes to a 25-12, 25-15, 26-24 win over Kennedy Monday at Sam Houston.

Six-foot-1 senior Karisma Mitchell and Jordyn Stewart each tallied a team-high six kills for Sam Houston. Mitchell also served two aces. Natalie Coburn recorded two blocks.

Senior Amalee Ramos served three aces for the Rockets.

YWLA 3, Fox Tech 0

The Cardinals opened the match with a hard-fought 27-25 win and kept the momentum going to sweep Fox Tech in a matchup of former district rivals.

Young Women’s Leadership Academy claimed the last two games 25-17 and 25-19 Monday at Fox Tech. YWLA statistics were not available.

The Buffaloes were led by junior Liliana Capistran with five digs, two aces, two kills and two assists. Briana Campos and Celeste Hernandez-Marquez also made five digs. Melody Gutierrez recorded a team-high 10 digs. Videlia Acosta added four assists.

MULTIPLE SPORTS: SAISD needs nominees for first hall of fame class

Alamo Stadium re-dedication set for Saturday

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Fox Tech, Highlands, Jefferson, Lanier, Sam Houston, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, football.

Photos taken by Mark Lieberman, courtesy of MDLblog. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:

View of the south end zone at the renovated stadium
View of the south end zone at the renovated stadium












Freshly landscaped entrance to renovated Alamo Stadium. Photo by Mark Lieberman, MDLblog

Freshly landscaped entrance to renovated Alamo Stadium. Photo by Mark Lieberman, MDLblog


View of the north end zone from the VIP suite.

View of the north end zone from the VIP suite.





The San Antonio Independent School District is reaching out to the folks that community it serves, but it isn’t seeking funding. Instead the SAISD is extending invitations to a party this Saturday and help with honoring individuals who’ve made a lasting impact with their athletic contributions.

The district is taking nominations for individuals to become its first hall of fame class tentatively between now and Sept. 1. In the meantime the SAISD is playing host to a re-dedication ceremony for Alamo Stadium, 7 p.m. Saturday at the multi-purpose facility which opened in 1939.

The SAISD is hoping to attract a playoff-sized crowd for the event to allow the public and, especially the taxpayers who passed the $35 million bond package that made renovation possible, to attend. Admission is free.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the community come in and see Alamo Stadium renovated,” said Brian Clancy, SAISD assistant athletic director. “I want the people to see what they voted for and see the new look of Alamo Stadium.

“It belongs to the city of San Antonio and the taxpayers of the SAISD. It’s their stadium.”

The SAISD Hall of Fame also needs assistance from those same taxpayers. The district’s interim athletic director Frank Arnold admitted that, thus far, the number of nominees that have been submitted by district members and the public has been fewer than many had hoped.

“There’s a lot of names that have not been brought forth,” Arnold said. “That’s why I recommend extending the nomination period. At this point, we don’t have as many nominees as we should. I regret that, because this is really important.”

Eligible candidates in the athletes, coaches, administrators and contributors categories each must meet stringent criteria. The nomination form is available online at:

The completed nominating form is and supporting documents may either be mailed to: Frank Arnold, Interim Athletic Director, 110 Tuleta Dr., San Antonio, TX 78212-3197 or e-mailed to: (the e-mail address on the nominating form is incorrect).

“With the history this district has, it’s surprising there wasn’t one sooner,” 17th-year Lanier football coach Don Gatian said. “It has always been (team-oriented). So, I’m glad they did it. There are a lot of people deserving of it.”

Once the inductees are chosen, their plaques will be placed in the hall of fame just inside the east entrance at Alamo Stadium. Details regarding the announcement of the first induction class still are being formulated by Arnold and the selection committee.

Clancy, a committee member, said the number of inductees would be dependent upon the final number of nominations received.

The rededication ceremony will include football, soccer and track athletes from each district school who will compete there. Bands, spirit squads and cheerleaders from all of the SAISD members also will participate.

“It’s going to be an Olympic-type thing,” Arnold said of the ceremony. “It will be a celebration and a chance to see our athletes, bands and spirit squads. The Jumbotron (video board) will be in use and there will be a little presentation on it.”

Clancy is anxious to see the stadium lights turned on again after a year away from the facility.

“It’s going to be a sight to see for all the kids who haven’t seen it,” the former Jefferson football coach said. “The kids who were sophomores in high school (when renovations began) are seniors now. To see what the taxpayers have done for them, it’s going to be amazing.”


VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Having learned lessons in 2013, East Central and Highlands seek district titles

McCollum bears look of 28-5A contender

AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Kennedy, McCollum, Memorial, Southwest, South San, Southside, volleyball.

Photo taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit:




















High school teams can grow up so fast.

East Central, Highlands and McCollum were taking their early-season lumps as inexperienced teams a year ago. Each of them watched close games slip away as they struggled to get over the hump and manufacture a strong finish.

As the 2014 season opened, East Central (21-17, 8-2) was being identified as the title favorite in District 28-6A. Highlands also was the clearcut choice to win its district. The biggest obstacle between the Owls and the District 28-5A championship, however, just might be McCollum.

The Cowboys, like East Central’s Hornets, suddenly are senior-laden.

“We have eight players back from last year and seven were starters,” said second-year East Central coach Todd Dorgan, whose returning starters include 2013 28-5A defensive most valuable player Brandi Campos.

“We’re ready to compete. The girls coming back are seniors that have been on varsity since they were sophomores. They have a really good relationship and comfort zone with each other.”

District 28-6A

Favorite: East Central. Area playoff contenders: Southwest, South San.

East Central promises to be a deep and versatile team, along with its experience.

The Hornets aren’t lacking in talent with returning all-district players Madison Simon and Nichole West and second-teamer Lindsay Lubianski (a 6-foot-3 middle blocker). Setter/outside hitter Kaylin Mills, setter Alex Pena and outside hitter Christie Cosper also will be factors.

“They finally started putting together the first game of district,” Dorgan said. “They bought into my system but, more than that, they believed in themselves.”

Southwest (16-25, 5-5) should be in the playoff mix, along with Corpus Christi Carroll. South San (12-19, 0-10) will angle for the fourth-place berth.

Sophomore right-side hitter Ashlyn Sulaica could be a key for Southwest. Setters Angie Aguilar and Dori Martinez lend experience, as does libero Zoe Marin. Three 5-10 sophomores could be an interesting variable for the Dragons.

“They’re scrappy as all get out,” Dorgan said. “They fight tooth and nail.”

District 28-5A

Favorite: Highlands. Area playoff contenders: McCollum, Harlandale, Edison, Brackenridge. Sleeper: Jefferson.

The light bulb went on for young, talented Highlands (20-21, 13-3) during the District 28-4A season, even after an 0-10 start against a tough schedule. Now that champion Brennan has bumped up to 6A, the Owls seem ready to move up from second place.

Hitters Jazmine Jackson and Bryten Mitchan supply plenty of power, but versatile senior Emily Pearce is the glue that holds Highlands together. Jenelle Rodriguez is a player to watch.

Developing a solid defense to complement its offense will be a key, but the Owls have the depth and versatility to make everything click.

“We have high expectations, but by no means is it going to be easy,” Highlands coach Jaci Barrientes said. “We’re going to have to play good defense and implement our game plan. We’ll have to pinpoint (opponent’s) weaknesses and go at them.”

At McCollum (12-22, 7-7), Martinez has more seniors than she’s had since 2011, her first season as Cowboys coach, and more height at her disposal than ever. The Cowboys return seniors Neyda Sanchez and Emily Solis to pair with 5-10 sophomore Miranda Rich.

“I’m excited,” McCollum coach Rose Ann Martinez said. “We had our first scrimmage over the weekend, and I saw signs of maturity.”

Harlandale (24-12, 10-4) graduated nine seniors, but no one thinks the Indians will fall out of playoff contention under longtime coach Sylvia Cardenas. Senior middle blocker Erica Arredondo and first-year setter Kianna Sandoval should capably fill larger roles. Arredondo (5-11) is one of six Indians who are 5-10 or taller.

“I’m looking at Highlands probably being the strongest,” Martinez said. “I see (Brackenridge) with us and Harlandale. Edison always has athletes.”

Brackenridge (14-26, 10-6) and Jefferson (24-11, 12-4) also were hurt by graduation. Brack has Jolicia Shelton-Brown and Skyler Reyna up front. The Mustangs return probably the district’s best player in senior Gabby Vasquez.

Edison (13-25, 9-7) has height, as usual, with seniors Destiny McCarty and Kalani Wood.

“You’re not going to have any matches where anybody is a little bit down,” Barrientes said. “This year, district should be a fight. You’re going to have to show up every day. It goes back to who fights more and who wants it more.”

TAPPS & other 5A teams

Holy Cross (27-11, 6-3) graduated outstanding leaders Mallory Ozuna and Julia Ibarra, but will put its talented returning core led by junior Victoria Gonzalez and sophomore Henrianna Ibarra to the test against a murderous schedule. And that’s before the Knights embark on a District 4-4A schedule that includes two-time TAPPS state finalist Victoria St. Joseph.

“Now I know how Texas A&M’s coach feels without Johnny Manziel,” Holy Cross coach Ruben Calderon said, referring to Kevin Sumlin. “But they got some experience in the summer and their confidence is good.”

Only three teams will make the playoffs from the Knights’ district, so Calderon hopes going through the crucible of the Harlandale, SAISD and Stillman Valley tournaments will give his team a taste of what to expect in the postseason.

Holy Cross sophomore libero Daisy Flores should fill an important role.

“Victoria St. Joseph is still the king of the district,” Calderon said. “After that, if we do what I think we can do, we’ll have a good shot.”

Southside (6-27, 2-12) is assigned to far-flung District 29-5A, where it will compete against Uvalde, Eagle Pass Winn and three schools from Laredo. The Cardinals may have a chance for a playoff run with juniors Selena Raudales, junior Mayra Sendejo and sophomore Alyssa Gallardo returning.

“I know they play really hard,” said Barrientes, whose Highlands team was scheduled to play Southside Wednesday. “I didn’t get to see them last year, but I saw them in the summer league. They’ve got a lefty that will play right-side hitter who’s pretty strong and pretty tall. She’s going to be one of their go-tos.”

Kennedy (7-24, 2-12) and Memorial (11-26, 2-12) will have their work cut out for them in District 27-5A with perennial powerhouses like Alamo Heights, Boerne Champion and Kerrville Tivy.