BY TJ GARCIA
The Texas Sports Writers Association named three dozen Rio Grande Valley football players to its all-state gridiron selections in classes 6A, 5A and 4A.
The TSWA, which announced its teams last week over several days, only had one RGV player on any of its first teams – Port Isabel defensive lineman Christopher Brode. However, scores more players were able to land on second, third and honorable mention lists.
An association of sports reporters and sports editors across the state, TSWA members mostly hail mostly from smaller cities and towns like Temple, Texarkana, Yoakum, San Marcos, Seguin, Baytown and others similar in size.
These selections are different than the Associated Press teams that is named by the news organization in December. For the TWSA list, coaches must nominate players. Then the 100 plus sports writers vote on the nominations based on the stats and merits of the player. The 2016 selection of Valley players were dominated by some of the area’s winning programs such as Edcouch-Elsa, Port Isabel, Edinburg Vela, McAllen Memorial, San Benito, Mission Veterans and Weslaco East – all of which had solid playoff runs.
But conspicuously missing from the list are players from RGV schools like Harlingen, Brownsville Veterans, La Grulla, Sharyland, Economedes, Pioneer, Los Fresnos, St. Joseph, La Feria and other teams with standout players and good records. Perhaps, those players were not nominated. If they are not nominated, they are not considered.
Nevertheless, here’s the list of players 6A, 5A and 4A picked from the Valley. There are some stout and deserving players on this list most of which are seniors, but there are several underclassmen which are coming back for next year.
Emilio Mendez, Sr., RB, McAllen Memorial, 2nd team
Ivan Avila, Sr., DL, McAllen Rowe, 3rd team
Jayden Borjas, So., G, Edinburg Vela, 3rd team
Ray Pedraza, Jr., RB, Weslaco East, 3rd team
Adrian Acosta, Sr., DB, Edinburg Vela, Honorable Mention
John Alvarez, Sr., DL, San Benito, HM
Joey Carreon, Sr., C, Edinburg Vela, HM
Joey Delgado, Sr., DB, McAllen Memorial, HM
Nate Garcia, Jr., QB, Edinburg Vela, HM
Emilio Garza, Sr., LB, San Benito, HM
Robert Guerra, Jr., RB, Edinburg Vela, HM
Edgar Guerrero, Sr., LB, Edinburg High, HM
Jaryd Lara, Sr., LB, McAllen Memorial, HM
Caleb Luna, Sr., G, Edinburg Vela, HM
Julio Pecina, Sr., T, San Benito, HM
Andrew Puente, DB, La Joya Palmview, HM
Eric Retta, Jr., QB, San Benito, HM
Diego Rodriguez, DB, Weslaco High, HM
Campbell Speights, Fr., RB, McAllen Memorial, HM
JC Vargas, Jr., All-Purpose, Weslaco East, HM
Leroy Vasquez, Sr., LB, PSJA North, HM
Ricky Estimbo, Jr., OG, Edcouch-Elsa, 3rd team
Roger Adame III, Jr., LB, Mercedes, HM
Marco Aguinaga, Sr., QB, Edcouch-Elsa, HM
RJ Ayala, Sr., DB, Edcouch-Esla, HM
Joel Cardoza, Sr., DL, Edcouch-Elsa, HM
Roman De Leon, Sr., WR, Mission Veterans, HM
Seth Garcia, Sr., DL, Edcouch-Elsa, HM
Jacob Guerrero, Sr., WR, Mission Veterans, HM
Diego Hernandez, Sr., WR, Mission Veterans, HM
Elijah Sanchez, Sr., C, Edcouch-Elsa, HM
Christopher Bode, Sr, DL, Port Isabel, 1st team
Oscar Del Abra, Sr, OG, Port Isabel, 2nd team
Omar Silva, Sr., RB, Port Isabel, 3rd team