WESLACO — A record number of city athletes represented the West squad Saturday night at the Rio Grande Valley Coaches Association annual All-Star Showcase. Joey Caceres and the EHS coaching staff led the effort for the West, which lost 28-17, while 15 area gridders took the field in their last high school action.
The standout was Juan Ramirez of North, as the mighty-mite receiver hauled in three passes for 86 yards, including a 38-yard bomb against double coverage late in the first half. That strike from Cougar teammate Matt Munoz set up a 2-yard TD run to bring the West to within four at 14-10.
On defense, EHS linebacker David Guevara went out with a bang, making six tackles to lead the team. End Joe Fuentes and tackle Bryan Garza of the Bobcats also made some plays, though the West had turnover troubles in the second half and ended up on the short end of the count.
Other city athletes participating: Andrew Fox, Mariano Garza, and Pedro Ornelas of Econ; plus Michael Sepulveda, Ryne Bazan, Marc Elizarraraz, Aaron Sifuentes, Jeremy Salinas, Manny Menchaca, and Steven Trevino for EHS.
ROADRUNNERS BACK IN ACTION
WITH OPENER SET FOR MAY 31
With perfect timing they return, providing a nice reset for local sports as the high school season comes to a close. The Edinburg Roadrunners, playoff combatants a year ago in their return to action after three years as the Coyotes, began official workouts Friday in preparation for the ULB opener May 31.
Once again, the Roadrunners will be led by popular manager Vince Moore and general manager Doug Leary, who won the league’s award for Executive of the Year in 2009. As for onfield talent, a number of stars return to see if they can duplicate last season’s showing, when the team rebounded midseason from a slow start to roar into the postseason.
Foremost among the returnees is pitcher Tim Haines, the Sharyland and UTPA ex who went 9-5 with a glittering 2.68 ERA, fanning 92 and walking just 34 as one of the best hurlers in the loop. Joining him on the staff is Edinburg native Aaron Guerra, also a Bronc alum. Though the four-year vet suffered through an off year by his standards (3-4, 4.60), Guerra is in tip-top shape and wants to bounce back with a vengeance in 2010.
Another long-time familiar face seeking to contribute is Eric Montoya, who won five times last year and is among the leading winners in city pro history.
Among the position players, fans at Edinburg Baseball Stadium will get to see what infielder Wilmer Pino can do over the full 80-game schedule. After joining the club in midseason, the smooth Pino hit .347 in 144 at-bats with 13 stolen bases and excellent fielding. Also back is Carlos Hereaud, who hit well from the get-go last season, driving in 57 runs and ending at .277, while playing multiple infield spots.
One of the most consistent ballplayers a year ago was long and lean outfielder Vincent Blue, who returns after batting .304 in ’09 with 47 RBI, 17 steals, and a plus-20 in the walks-to-strikeouts category. His teammate Robert Matlock, won the MVO award with his finest minor league season, pacing the squad in four categories and hitting .329 as an outfielder/first baseman.
Another Valley native and UTPA ex is catcher Osiel Flores, who did a solid job behind the plate in 2009 and hit .263 with 29 RBI and 11 doubles.
The Roadrunners were set to see their first live action Monday in Harlingen against the White Wings and then have four more exhibitions before the opener at month’s end versus the Wings. That game starts at 7:05 p.m. at the Stadium.
LADY BOBCATS DROP OUT IN REGIONAL SEMIS
The magical run came to an end for the softball team at EHS, as the Lady ‘Cats lost a pair against San Antonio Taft in Laredo over the weekend. After coming up short, 5-3, Friday night, EHS was blanked 7-0 Saturday to end the season 30-6, setting a program record for wins and deepest playoff penetration, into the fourth round.
The team loses just four key seniors from the district co-champion unit, and should be back for more glory in 2011. It defeated Weslaco, Rio Grande City, and San Benito before expiring this year.
Correction: Last week we called Myranda Hinojosa “Myranda Guzman,” incorrectly recalling the former EHS sharpshooting guard in a sudden fit of nostalgia. A thousand pardons.