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Greyhounds Embracing The Pressure Of Third Round Matchup With O’Connor

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The 2017 San Benito football team (12-0) doesn’t mind the comparisons with the 2004 Greyhounds, the last team from the school to make it to the third round of the playoffs unbeaten.

They don’t mind being thought of as the Rio Grande Valley’s best chance to get past a San Antonio squad in the regional semifinals since Harlingen in 2011.

The Hounds have embraced every bit of pressure that has come their way this season, and come out on the other side, undefeated and indefatigable.

So don’t mistake San Benito’s confidence going into Friday’s game in Corpus Christi with San Antonio O’Connor (12-0) as misplaced valor in the face of overwhelming odds. Think of it rather as hard-earned pride in everything they’ve done so far, and a hard-earned belief in themselves for what’s to come.

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Harlingen ISD

Harlingen Pitcher Signs With Oklahoma Wesleyan

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Harlingen Pitcher Signs With Oklahoma Wesleyan

Harlingen pitcher Connor Harlan has a powerful right arm. It goes nicely with his powerful drive to succeed. And in this case, the word “drive” is used most literally. Several months ago, Harlan took off from school to drive 14 hours for a college baseball tryout at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, just outside Tulsa in Bartlesville, OK.

That drive to succeed turned into a drive to success, as, on Friday, Harlan signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the OKWU Eagles and their coach Matt Parker.

Harlan was first team all-District 32-6A as a junior, and the Valley Morning Star’s selection as area pitcher of the year for the 2017 season.

 

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San Benito

San Benito Softball Star Signs With Jarvis Christian College

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San Benito Softball Star Signs With Jarvis Christian College

The San Benito softball program has sent many a star player on to the next level, and on a blustery, bone-chilling December Wednesday, another Lady hound joined those ranks.

Greyhounds first baseman/outfielder Meagan Ybarra signed a letter of intent to play softball for Jarvis Christian College, an NAIA program located in Hawkins, Texas.

Ybarra, first team all-district as a sophomore and the designated player MVP of 32-6A as a junior, joins the pipeline of terrific softball players leaving the Valley to become JCC Bulldogs.

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Football

Realignment Cutoff Numbers Released; Who’s Going Where In RGV Football?

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Realignment Cutoff Numbers Released; Who's Going Where In RGV Football?

The University Interscholastic League released their cutoff numbers for the upcoming 2018-2020 reclassification and realignment Wednesday morning, and it brings some significant changes for Rio Grande Valley football. Here’s a quick overview:

Donna and Donna North move up from 5A to 6A, while PSJA Memorial, PSJA Southwest, and La Joya Palmview move down from 6A to 5A. In the last realignment, PSJA ISD petitioned the UIL to let Southwest move up from 5A to join the other Tri-City schools in 6A. With two schools dropping down, it would seem unlikely that petition will be repeated. La Joya, however, might have good reason to request Palmview stay in 6A this time around. In Laredo, Nixon jumps up from 5A to 6A, putting LISD into an interesting conundrum, as you’ll see.

UPDATE 11:49am: I spoke with La Joya ISD athletic director Alex Guajardo, who says they do not intend to petition the UIL to keep Palmview in 6A.

The biggest change in the next realignment will be the splitting of Class 5A into Division I and II, and here is how that split affects the 17 teams that make up the 5A ranks in the RGV and Laredo.

5A Division I:

Brownsville Lopez, Brownsville Pace, Brownsville Porter, Brownsville Veterans, La Joya Palmview, Laredo Martin, Mission Veterans, PSJA Memorial, PSJA Southwest, Rio Grande City

5A Division II:

Edcouch-Elsa, Laredo Cigarroa, Mercedes, Mission Pioneer, Mission Sharyland, Pharr Valley View, Roma

As you can see, travel in Division I is a definite concern. And as these teams are split via enrollment, not geography, it remains to be seen if anything can be done to alleviate that. While the Edcouch-Elsa-Mercedes rivalry will most likely remain a district contest, it appears  Rio Grande City-Roma will have to become a non-district game.

In Class 4A Division I, not much change, as it appears the current district of Hidalgo, Kingsville King, La Feria, La Grulla, and Zapata will remain intact.

But in 4A DII, changes in the Coastal Bend could make for different districts. Robstown drops down from 4A DI, and geographically, it would seem to make the most sense for the Cotton Pickers to join West Oso, Orange Grove, Port Isabel, Progreso, Raymondville and Rio Hondo in District 16.

In the 3A ranks, Santa Rosa will drop down, joining Monte Alto in Division II, leaving district champ Lyford as the only Valley team in their classification.

Travel just gets worse for our two RGV 2A squads, as La Villa drops down from DI to DII, leaving Santa Maria alone in Division I.

Many questions asked here will be answered when the official realignment and reclassifications are released by the UIL February 1st.

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