It was one of those super-fine days, weather perfect and the clamor of sporting events everywhere one looked at EHS Tuesday. In the middle of the complex, the soccer teams were fighting Harlingen South, while on either flank it was diamond business, softball and baseball against P-SJ-A Memorial. No better place to be with Spring Break in the air and plans to break free of the grind marshaling forces in the breeze.
From the staggered start to 2010, soccer is winding up first (or second actually, after basketball) with soc/base neck and neck with track, the whole shooting match to wind up some time in May.
And as for the soccer playoffs, look for both Bobcats and Lady Bobcats in the mix. Luis Cardenas’ boys knocked off the Hawks 3-1 Tuesday and are in the postseason for the first time in five seasons. The ‘Cats were to finish fourth in 31-5A despite the outcome of the season finale Friday against rival North, and that means a date in bi-district with vaunted No. 1 Brownsville Lopez.
For Edinburg, the return to the playoffs is sweet and Cardenas says that although Lopez will be hard to beat, his team is ready.
“All the rest of the good teams are here,” he said Tuesday, holding his hand chest high. “And then Lopez is up here…but we have had a good season. It could have been better really, because we let it go a few times in games we should have won. But overall, we’re happy to be playing on.”
The girls were beaten 3-1 by South, as the Lady Hawks played physical soccer all night and scored three times in the first by finding cracks in an EHS defense that was slow to mark in deep.
Senior Andrea Solis hammered in a free kick to get her team on the board and the Lady ‘Cats shut out South in the second half. But the damage was done, leaving EHS in a scrap for third with North, as the two teams prepared to face off Friday.
Still, it is another playoff appearance for Coach Martin Gonzalez’ team, which looked sharp at the beginning of both halves but could not manage to put the ball in the net despite 10 shots on goal. Going into the last night of the season Friday, Harlingen had a one-point lead on North and two on EHS, with South safely in front for first.
By the time the girls’ game reached the half, the EHS softball girls were done next door, having pounded P-SJ-A Memorial 15-1 in the district opener for both teams. The early exit gave Coach Jesse Banda time to check in on some of his old pals, including seniors Solis and Sam Almanza. While watching, he commented on the softball team’s 11-1 start in 2010.
“We have finally started hitting, which is good because for a while there we were getting by with fielding and pitching,” Banda said. “We were a little worried about the Wolverines because we’d read about their good pitching, but we were like, bomb-bomb-bomb from the beginning tonight.”
The Lady ‘Cats have gotten great pitching from freshmen Sammy Arciga and Myranda Hinojosa, with the only blemish on the record so far being a 5-2 loss to powerful Sharyland.
“And we could have won that too, but we didn’t hit much,” Banda said. “They loaded the bases and got a two-out, two-strike triple. We loaded them up and wouldn’t you know it, we hit into a damn double play, pitcher to home to first…what are the odds on that?”
Banda said that his young and talented crew is clicking along pretty well right now.
“They are more confident lately, they know what they can do and they’re not getting nervous out there,” he reported. “We have been using our speed and athleticism to good advantage, putting the ball in play, taking the extra base, and making the opposing defense work.”
NOTES: The baseball boys dispatched Memorial 4-1 Tuesday behind strong hurling from sophomore Sammy Alvarado and a triple from senior Lee Rios. The Bobcats came into 31-5A play off a pair of losses to end the La Joya Tournament and climbed to 7-7 after the triumph in the league opener.
North got a fine effort from senior Iliana Hinojosa Tuesday, as she struck out 11 batters and hit a two-run home run in a 3-2 win against Harlingen.
On one final note from basketball, Laura Torres of EHS was named to the All-Region Team picked by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.