Who Will Win 32-5A?
956sports.com wants to know what you think about district 32-5A. Who do you think will win the whole thing? Pick the top four spots in 32-5A and see if you know best. Winners will receive prizes, coupons, or other special offers through out the season.[gravityform id=5 name=PICK32-5A ajax=true]
Pete Vela HOF
Good Luck Coach!
The ink is barely dry. It was only a week ago. Normally at this time of year I wouldn’t be seeing him anyway. He’s leaving for London in a few days to get the Great Britain National Team ready for Eurobasket 2011.
Still, I think about it.
I already miss him.
Last week, Coach Finch was promoted to assistant coach for the Houston Rockets.
To say the very least, it’s a well deserved promotion. He is one of the best coaches in the world. Everything he touches turns to gold (remember, before he arrived the Vipers were 21-29 two years running). He’s a basketball genius, but he also knows how to deal with people.
He arrived on the hectic eve of the first ever RGV Rocket Launch back in October of 2009. One of the TV reporters found out when he was landing and was waiting for him, camera in hand. Imagine flying from Belgium to McAllen. You’d probably be pretty tired, perhaps even grumpy. Chris took it in stride and was happy to do an interview.
Then it was game day – Rockets vs. Celtics. Chris had quite a whirlwind to deal with. A pre-game press conference, addressing the fans from center court during a timeout, and interviews for countless TV live shots. Again, he handled it all well. In fact, right after he was hired, he was even willing to call-in to Inside the Vipers Nest for a segment, despite a drastic time change and not having yet being in the Valley. Wait, it gets better… he thanked us for getting him involved.
I had an idea at that point he might be a good hire (well, that and the incredible resume).
My suspicions were confirmed on October 13, 2009. I asked him if he would come with me to a Weslaco High School volleyball game. He was exhausted. Still on Belgian time (he didn’t want to completely adjust to the Central Time Zone yet since he first had to go back to get his stuff) and living at the Embassy Suites (he and his wife were still house hunting). I can’t imagine he wanted to go out at all, much less to a game for which he had no rooting interest. If he didn’t want to go, though, I would have never known. He was happy to. He understood the importance of getting out in the community and said he’d do whatever we needed (took him to a bunch of rotary lunches that week too).
While we were sitting in the stands, we were talking about everything, from the time he had to play a basketball game on field turf (yeah, you read that correctly) to my own living situation. I had recently moved into a new apartment, and I wasn’t really happy there. It wasn’t far from work or anything like that, but I just didn’t feel overly comfortable there. I had not signed the lease, but my apartment-mate had and I didn’t want to leave him hanging out to dry. On the other side, a friend of mine had just had an apartment-mate move away and was looking to fill that empty bedroom (read: split the rent). This place was a little farther from work (from an 8-1o minute drive to a 15-18 minute drive), but had a washer and dryer and didn’t cost that much more. I was torn. I wanted to move, but I felt guilty about even considering it. Chris asked me about the situation, and when I told him, I spoke a bit glowingly about the place I could move to, and I remember him asking, “then what’s the problem?” When I said I felt bad, he told me that, sometimes in life you need to do what’s best for you. You can’t always worry about everyone else. If I’m going to be happier by moving, then I have to move, it’s not even a question. He broke it down into such simple terms and made me realize what I needed to. Without ever having seen him on the court, I already had an idea of what kind of coach he would be.
Sometimes it was big things like that… other times it was small things, like always making sure I got invited to go eat with the rest of the staff when we were on the road. He helped me to get comfortable traveling with the team pretty quickly. Or there was the time I wasn’t standing by the luggage carousel, so he grabbed my bag. Or when we went to the Toros-Legends game the night before playing at Texas and the cab back was one seat short. I offered to sit on the floor, but he would have none of that. He sat on the floor. Head coach of the best team in AAA basketball and future Rockets assistant coach, and he’s sitting on the floor of a cab. The same thing happened in Baskerfield when they sent one van and an SUV to pick us all up so two people had to sit in the trunk space of the SUV, and he willingly sat there (we made enough trips back and forth there this year that we ended up switching off so everyone sat there at one point, but it was an even distribution).
It was always being willing to get me a sound byte or two on camera so I could feed it back from wherever we were to the local TV stations.
It was always coming out for the post-game interview, even if the outcome wasn’t the way he would’ve liked it. This included a game in Springfield, when he had to find his way to the press box at the top of the stands. But he always came up.
It was forcing me to become a better interviewer by intentionally answering a question with one word. When we were in Iowa in February, at the start of my pre-game interview I made some sort of general statement about the previous night’s game. I’d fallen into doing that since I knew it gave Chris room to pretty much say whatever he wanted about that game. This time he just said ,”yeah,” forcing me to adapt on the fly. He told me he did it on purpose to make me get better. I remember asking him about that again towards the end of the season, and he said I’d made big strides since then and that he didn’t feel to need that to do that again.
Chris Finch has been a big influence in my life. I can’t imagine how different the last two years would have been without him.
So, I miss him, but I also wish him a ton of luck. And I have no doubt our paths will cross again, but in case they don’t, I want to thank him for being him. I want to thank him for always representing me, the Vipers and the Rio Grande Valley in the best possible way.
Now go get ‘em.Share this post:
2011 Football Schedules
956sports.com is pleased to release the 2011 football schedules. Live broadcasts and radio broadcasts will be released in the next couple weeks. 956sports.com will be using a flex schedules for our games of the week. Live video broadcasts will be during scheduled Thursday and Saturday games. Friday games will be taped delayed on the website due to UIL regulations.
[table id=13 /]Share this post:
Edinburg vs Terry
Edinburg and Houston Terry played in the rain for their final pool play game. The rain kept the score low with Terry pulling off the victory.Share this post:
Edinburg vs. Lake Dallas
Edinburg faced off with Lake Dallas in their second game of pool play. Lake Dallas used their size and speed to get the victory.Share this post:
Edinburg vs Klein Collins
In the first game of pool play, the Bobcats found themselves playing catch up with Klein Collins. Klein Collins craved up Edinburg’s defense.Share this post:
Weslaco vs Paschal
Weslaco came from 19 points down to tie the game, but Paschal used a crucial drive to get the winning score.Share this post:
Weslaco vs CY Falls
Weslaco vs Willis
Weslaco came in as the champions of the Mission State Qualifier but were no match for 17-4A’s offensive MVP Fred Nixon. Nixon and the Wildkats carved up Weslaco on both sides of the field.Share this post:
La Villa vs Aubrey
The Cardinals ran into a well composed Aubrey team in the Elite 8 of the championship bracket. Aubrey used their size and speed to capitalize on stalled La Villa drives.Share this post:
La Villa vs Sonora
La Villa battled with Sonora in the second game of the championship bracket Saturday. AJ Garza and Ricky Cantu lead an entire team effort in the victory.Share this post:
La Villa vs West Orange – Stark
La Villa faced off with West Orange- Stark in the first round of the championship bracket Saturday morning. Using a crisp passing attack La Villa forced West Orange- Stark out of their comfort zone and pulled away in the second half.Share this post:
La Villa vs Burnet
After two high scoring games the La Villa let the defense do the talking in their third pool game. La Villa shut down Burnet’s high scoring offense and defeated them 27-18.Share this post:
La Villa vs Boyd
In their second game of pool I the Cardinals faced Boyd. Boyd came out firing, capitalizing on long pass plays and poor coverage. La Villa kept pace and pulled away in the second half.
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La Villa vs. Austin St. Andrew’s
La Villa battled in game one against Austin St. Andrew’s and their Miami Hurricane bound quarterback Preston Dewey. AJ Garza and Dewey battled back in forth with Garza and the Cardinals putting it together late to take a 41-35 victory.Share this post:
Sal Martinez Defensive Back
Edinburg defensive back Sal Martinez talks about the upcoming season and whether or not he thinks he is the best player in the valley.Share this post: