By Charles Hill
2019 Winter and Spring Sports
El Paso area teams usually do very well in the UIL Basketball State Playoffs. This was not the case in 2019. Most of the area’s teams were eliminated by the Area Round in the annual state tournament. Americas was an exception as the Trail Blazers reached the Regional Quarter Finals. Clint also reached the Regional Quarter Finals before losing to Levelland.
Bi District: Coronado beat Midland 69-64; Pebble Hills lost to Amarillo Tascosa 66-57; Socorro lost to Permian 55-37; and Americas beat Frenship 55-48
Area: North Crowley defeated Coronado 47-29 and Americas beat Bell 61-51.
Regional Quarter Finals: Permian defeated Americas 39-33.
Bi District: Hanks beat Andress 78-73; Eastwood beat Chapin 56-42; Parkland defeated EPHS 91-65; and Eastlake beat Burges 57-50
Area: Rider defeated Hanks 61-52; Palo Duro defeated Eastwood 66-45; Caprock beat Parkland 72-47; and Monterey defeated Eastlake 51-49
Bi District: San Elizario lost to Monahans 79-40; Fabens lost to Andrews 76-46; Seminole defeated Mountain View 81-36; Clint beat Pecos 88-45
Area: Clint beat Canyon 57-51
Regional Quarter Finals: Levelland beat Clint 46-44
Bi District: Anthony lost to Wall 73-27
The story was the same in girls basketball. Most of the area teams were eliminated from the playoffs by the Area Round. Franklin reached the Regional Quarter Finals before being eliminated by Tascosa.
Bi-District Franklin defeated Midland 52-47; Pebble Hills lost to Tascosa 60-36; Montwood lost to Frenship 63-32; and Americas lost to Odessa 48-34.
Area: Franklin defeated Arlington Bowie 40-36
Regional Quarter Finals: Franklin lost to Tascosa 63-50.
Bi District: Burges beat Bel Air 52-42; Eastlake defeated Jefferson 63-58; Eastwood beat Chapin 58-51; and Andress defeated El Dorado 45-24
Area: Burges was defeated by Aledo 65-46; Amarillo beat Eastlake 87-37; Lubbock Cooper defeated Chapin 87-44; and Andress was defeated by Plain View 48-20
Bi District: Mountain View defeated Fort Stockton 56-36; Andrews beat Fabens 65-26; Clint lost to Seminole 108-23; and San Elizario beat Pecos 50-33
Area: Mountain View lost to Estacado 53-46 and San Elizario lost to Hereford 60-46
Bi District: Tornillo beat Brady 62-50
Area: Shallowater beat Tornillo 55-29
TAPPS Boys Basketball
Bi District: Cathedral defeated Houston Village 57-50
Area: Cathedral lost to Tomball Concordia 108-74
Lydia Patterson lost to Fort Worth Christian 45-38
Baseball was much the same story as football and basketball. El Paso area teams were eliminated by the Regional Quarter Finals.
Bi-District: Americas lost to Frenship 2 games to 1; Midland Lee beat Franklin 2 games to 1; Montwood swept Midland 2 games to none; and Odessa defeated Socorro 2 games to none
Area: Montwood defeated Hurst Bell 2 games to 1
Regional Quarter Finals: Odessa defeated Montwood 2 games to 1
Bi-District: Bel Air defeated Canutillo 2-0; Clint Horizon defeated Andress 2-0; Eastlake defeated Jefferson 2-0; and Ysleta beat Bowie 2-0
Area: Bel Air beat Wylie 2-0 and Amarillo defeated Horizon 2-0; Lubbock Cooper defeated Eastlake 2-1 and Ysleta lost to Monahans 2-0
Regional Quarter Finals: Amarillo defeated Bel Air 2-0
Bi District: Seminole defeated San Elizario 2-1; Andrews beat Mountain View 2-0; Pecos defeated Fabens; and Clint defeated Monahans 2-0
Area: Clint lost to Estacado 2-0 and Hereford beat Pecos 2-0
El Paso area teams dominated the softball playoffs in the early 1990’s but haven’t done much since. Chapin had the best season of any team reaching the Regional Semi Finals before falling to Little Elm 4-2. Montwood made it to the 6A Area round.
Bi-District: Midland defeated Americas 2-1; Odessa beat Franklin; Montwood beat Permian 2-0; and Frenship defeated Socorro 2-0
Area: Montwood lost to Trinity 5-4 in a one game playoff
Bi-District: Eastwood beat Burges 6-3; Hanks defeated Andress 11-6; Eastlake defeated Jefferson 2 games to none; and Chapin beat Del Valle 15-2
Area: Wylie defeated Eastwood 2-0; Hanks lost to Lubbock Coronado 2-0; Eastlake lost to Aledo 2 to 1; and Chapin defeated Monterey 9-4
Regional Quarter Finals: Chapin defeated Aledo 8-0
Regional Semi Finals: Little Elm defeated Chapin 4-2
Bi District: Fort Stockton defeated San Elizario 14-4; Clint lost to Monahans 11-0; Andrews defeated Mountain View 21-0; and Fabens lost to Seminole 16-2
San Elizario boys repeat as 4A State Champions and Bel Air wins first 5A State Championship
El Paso area teams have routinely dominated the UIL Soccer playoffs with several teams winning state championships in the past. Coronado, Del Valle, San Elizario, and Bel Air have all won state titles. San Elizario under the leadership of coach Max Sappenfield has won 3 state titles and back to back in 2018 and 2019.
San Elizario’s Playoff Run
San Elizario compiled an 18-4-4 record this year and won six straight playoff matches after having a bye in the Bi-District round. The Eagles captured their second straight title and third in the last five years. San Elizario defeated Palestine 1-0 in the Semi Finals and beat Midlothian 1-0 in two overtimes to capture the state title. San Elizario is the only team that has beaten Palestine in the last two years and the Eagles have accomplished that twice. The winning goal in the state championship match was scored by Victor Unzueta with about 7 minutes left to play in a final 10 minute period after regulation and two overtime periods. Unzueta was named the Most Valuable Player for his winning goal.
San Elzario’s playoff run to capture the state titled included the following 6 victories and one bye:
Area: defeated Pampa 6-0
Regional Quarter Finals: Defeated Dumas 8-0
Regional Semi Finals: Defeated Argyle 2-1
Regional Final: Defeated Stephenville 4- 2
State Semi Final: Defeated Palestine 1-0
State Final: Defeated Midlothian 1-0 in 2 OT
Bel Air’s Playoff Run
The Bel Air Highlanders made their first appearance in the 5A state playoffs a memorable one. The Highlanders had been a 6A team previously. Bel Air compiled a 28-1 record under the leadership of coach Sergio Delgado. The Highlanders only loss came on January 22nd to Del Valle. Bel Air was 7-0 in the playoffs and defeated two-time state champion Frisco Wakeland 2-1 to capture the 5A title. The winning goal was kicked by Ivan Arroyo with 17 minutes left in the match. Highlander goal keeper, Kevin Pena had 5 saves during the match. Arroyo was named Most Valuable Player. Bel Air’s playoff run included wins over:
Bi District: Defeated Canutillo 4-0
Area: Defeated Amarillo 3-0
Regional Quarter Finals: Defeated Eastlake 5-0
Regional Semi Finals: Defeated Burleson 3-1
Regional Finals: Defeated Lake Dallas 4-1 in 2 overtimes
State Semi Finals: Defeated Pharr Valley View in a shootout 4-2 after finishing regulation tied 3-3
State Final: Defeated Frisco Wakeland 2-1
Bi-District: Montwood was defeated by Midland 1-0; Coronado lost to Frenship 6-3; Odessa defeated Americas 2-1; and Midland Lee defeated Socorro 3-0.
Bi- District: Jefferson beat Parkland 2-1; Del Valle defeated Chapin 3-2; Bel Air defeated Canutillo 4-0; and Eastlake defeated Andress 2-1
Area: Wichita Falls defeated Jefferson 1-0; Del Valle defeated Lubbock Cooper 6-1; Bel Air defeated Amarillo 3-0; and Eastlake defeated Rider 1-0
Regional Quarter Finals: Del Valle lost to Wichita Falls 2-1; Bel Air defeated Eastlake 5-0
Regional Semi Finals: Bel Air defeated Burleson 3-1
Regional Finals: Bel Air defeated Lake Dallas 4-1 in 2 ot
State Semi Finals: Bel Air defeated Pharr Valley View 4-2 in a shootout
State Championship: Bel Air defeated Frisco Wakeland 2-1
Bi District: Mountain View, Clint, and San Elizario all had byes
Area: Lake View defeated Mountain View 1-0; Clint beat Canyon 5-0; and San Elizario defeated Pampa 6-0
Regional Quarter Finals: Clint beat Lake View 5-0 and San Elizario defeated Dumas 8-0
Regional Semi Finals: Stephenville beat Clint 3-1 and San Elizario defeated Argyle 2-1
Regional Finals: San Elizario defeated Stepheville 4-2
State Semi Finals: San Elizario defeated Palestine 1-0
State Championship: San Elizario defeated Midlothian 1-0 in two overtimes.
Bi District: Socorro lost to Odessa 3-0; Pebble Hills lost to Permian 2-1; Americas lost to Frenship 8-0; and Franklin beat Midland 1-0
Area: Franklin defeated Bell 3-0
Regional Quarter Finals: Franklin lost to Frenship 2-1
Bi District: EPHS defeated Del Valle 2-0; Eastwood beat Canutillo 3-2; El Dorado defeated Andress 5-1; and Chapin beat Bel Air 1-0
Area: El Dorado beat Wylie in double overtime 5-4; Aledo beat Chapin 5-1; Rider defeated EPHS 2-1; and Lubbock Coronado defeated Eastwood 4-0
Regional Quarter Finals: Aledo defeated El Dorado 3-2
Bi District: Mountain View, Clint, and San Elizario had byes
Area: Lake View defeated Mountain View 1-0; Canyon beat Clint 5-0; and San Elizario defeated Pampa 4-1
Regional Quarter Finals: San Elizario defeated Dumas 5-0
Regional Semi Finals: Stephenville defeated San Elizario 8-1
Track and Field
Grant Levesque, Etiwe Omajuwa, Jenelle Jaeger Darkjy, Edwin Gomez, Leo Gerardo, and Brandon Seagraves Win Gold Medals
El Paso area public schools have never won a state championship in Track and Field and unfortunately that trend continued in 2019. Several area athletes did have outstanding performances at the recent UIL and TAPPS state track meets.
6A Track and Field
Grant Levesque of Coronado High School won a gold medal in the Pole Vault with a winning jump of 16 feet and 6 inches. He later finished 9th in the 110 meter hurdles. Franklin High School’s Etiwe Omajuwa won the gold medal in the 400 meter dash with a winning time of 46.51 seconds. Coronado’s Jenelle Jaeger Darakjy won the gold medal in the Girl’s 800 meter run with a winning time of 2:07.40.
Other outstanding finishes in 6A were Liam Walsh of Coronado who finished 4th in the 800 meter run and 6th in the 1600 meter run.
The Coronado boy’s team finished the state meet in 15th place while Franklin took 19th place. The Coronado girls took 16th place.
5A Track and Field
There were no gold medals won by 5A athletes but there were still some outstanding performances. Christian Matamoros of Burges took 7th place in the High Jump. Donta Hayes of Parkland finished 7th in the Triple Jump. Michael Abeyta of Hanks finished 4th in the 800 meter run and 3rd in the 1600 meter run. Joshua White of Burges took 3rd place in the 400 meter dash. Makeia Ray of Eastlake finished third in the High Jump. Meghan Tualamalii to the silver medal (2nd place) in the Shot Put. Ang Maruffo Lujan of Parkland finished 5th in the 800 meter run and Aerial Garcia of Eastlake finished 9th in the 1600 meter run.
Hanks High School finished in 20th place in the boy’s state rankings and Chapin and Eastlake finished 22nd and 29th respectively in the girl’s state rankings.
4A Track and Field-Edwin Gomez of San Elizario had an outstanding state meet. He finished 3rd in the 3200 meter run and 3rd in the 1600 meter run. He finished 1st in the 800 meter run. San Elizario placed 22nd in the team standings.
6A TAPPS Track and Field
Brandon Seagraves won two gold medals at the TAPP’s state meet. Seagraves took first place in the 1600 meter run in 4:29.48 and also in the 3200 meter run in 9:16.25. Leo Gerardo of Cathedral finished first in the 800 meter run and 6th in the 400 meter dash. He was also part of Cathedral’s 4x400 meter Relay team that finished in 5th place. Other relay members were Daniel Sanchez, Brandon Seagraves, Johnny Githin Amprayril, and Juan Pablo Lopez. Cathedral finished the 6A State Meet in 9th place.
Loretto Academy took 19th place in the 6A Girl’s meet. Marisa Garcia finished in 8th place in the Discus Throw and Emma Presley finished in 8th place in the Triple Jump.
El Paso area teams won 7 gold medals, 1 silver medals, and 5 bronze medals.
2019 was not a kind year for El Paso area high school golfers. No team from the area qualified for the state tournament. Only three teams from each region can compete for the state title. Eastwood had the best finish of any area team. The Troopers sent their Blue and Gold teams to the Regional meet but neither qualified for the state meet. Eastwood’s long-time coach, Kim Smith retired at the end of the school year so a new era will begin for the Troopers next school year. El Paso High and Andress also competed at the Regional meet. First day scores for the El Paso teams were Eastwood Gold 308, Eastwood Blue 375, EPHS 380, and Andress 403. The Eastwood Gold team was only 10 shots out of a playoff spot in the state tournament at the end of the first day of competition but the second day wasn’t kind.
I didn’t find any information on the internet for the 6A teams but I know that none qualified for the state tournament.
The story of El Paso area tennis is much the same as golf. I could only find one area player that qualified for the state tournament. El Paso High’s Isaac Cordova made the final 8 in boy’s singles but lost his opening match to Nederland’s Brandon Do 6-1, 6-2. Brandon Do won the state title for 5A Boy’s Singles. Still an impressive for the Tiger netter.
Coronado and Franklin were the top two teams in 6A Tennis. Coronado won the district championship and Franklin finished second. Each team qualified multiple players for the Regional Tournament. Competing for Coronado were:
Mixed Doubles: Jordan Katz and Naomi Katz; Mixed Doubles: Kike Andujo and Skyler Stogner; Boys Doubles- Alex Spurbeck and Santi Sotelo; Girls Doubles-Ariana Lowenberg and Isabel Cardenas; and Girls Singles-Kate Gilcrease
Competing for Franklin were: Boy’s Singles-Dylan Parsley; Girl’s Singles-Isabella Sambrano; Boy’s Doubles-Antonio Borunda and Carlos De Leon; Girl’s Doubles- Alissa Ortiz and Madeline Snell
Cathedral Consecutive TAPPS State Swimming Championships Comes to an End
Probably the biggest story in El Paso area swimming is for something that didn’t happen. Cathedral had won the TAPPS Division I Swimming Championship every year since 1990. The Irish had won 30 straight titles and 32 over-all. That streak was stopped in 2019. Cathedral finished in 2nd place with 283 points and placed runner up to St. Thomas High School with 292 points. Cathedral swimmers still had an outstanding meet. Xavier Navarro took 1st place in the 100 yard freestyle and 3rd place in the 50 yard freestyle. Manuel Armante took home a pair of bronze medals in the 100 yard butterfly and 100 yard backstroke. Adrian Prieto finished 2nd in the 500 yard freestyle.
Loretto Academy finished the state meet in 4th place with 142 points. Mary Furlong took a bronze medal in 200 yard Individual Medley. She also took a silver medal in the 100 yard butterfly. She finished her meet as part of Loretto’s 400 yard freestyle relay team that finished 4th.
Two Franklin High School swimmers, Marcelo Chauvet Gonzalez and Danielle Gonzales, were the El Paso area’s lone representatives in the 6A Swimming and Diving Championships. Marcelo Gonzalez competed in the 50 yard freestyle and finished in 22nd place. Danielle Gonzalez competed in the 100 yard breaststroke where she finished in 22nd place.
The local 5A swimmers from El Paso High and Eastwood had a better day at the UIL 5A Swimming and Diving Championships but no medals were won by either school. The El Paso High girls finished 17th at the state meet with 54 points while the Tiger boys finished in 40th place with 13 points. The Eastwood girls finished in 26th place with 25 points while the Trooper boys finished in 23rd place with 26 points.
5A Girls Swimming Recap:
200 yard medley relay: EPHS 5th place (Noemi Melendez, Isabella Valles, Francesca Baca, and Mackenzie Tovar) Eastwood 13th place (Yesenia Calvillo, Estrella Martinez, Lauren Melendez, and Ava Fraga)
200 yard Individual Medley Eastwood Lauren Melendez 11th place
100 yard Butterfly Noemi Melendez EPHS 6th place and Lauren Melendez Eastwood 14th place
200 yard Freestyle Relay Eastwood 1th place (Lauren Salas, Amirani Hernandez, Ava Fraga, Cerise Saucedo)
100 yard Backstroke El Paso High Noemi Melendez 14th place
100 yard Breaststroke Isabella Valles EPHS 13th place
400 yard Freestyle Relay EPHS 14th place (Emily Lugo, Francesca Baca Noemi Melendez, Mackenzie Tovar) and Eastwood 15th place (Ava Fraga, Lauren Salas, Lauren Melendez, Amirani Hernandez)
5A Boys Swimming
200 yard Freestyle Eastwood Giancarlo Saint Lo 12th place
200 yard Individual Medley Eastwood Eduardo Saint Lo 19th place
50 yard Freestyle Eastwood Jon Michael Hollister 16th place and EPHS Adrian Aguirre 20th place
100 yard Butterfly EPHS Roberto Griffith 21st place
100 yard Freestyle Eastwood Evan Vicencio 24th place
500 yard Freestyle EPHS Roberto Griffith 16th place and Eastwood Giancarlo Saint Lo 18th place
200 yard Freestyle Relay EPHS 11th place (Adrian Aguirre, Vincent Pedregon, Kevin Bohls, Roberto Griffith) and Eastwood 14th place (Hollister, Vicencio, E. Saint lo, and G. Saint Lo)
100 yard Backstroke EPHS Adrian Aguirre 17th place
100 yard Breaststroke Eastwood Eduardo Saint Lo 18th place
400 yard Freestyle Relay Eastwood 10th place (Vicencio, Hollister, Saint lo, and Saint Lo)
Several El Paso area swimmers were named to All State teams in at least one event and most in multiple events.
Loretto Academy Mary Furlong and Celeste Hirschi; Cathedral High Xavier Navarro, Adrian Prieto, Javier Terrazas, Manuel Armente, Elijah Villalva
EPHS Mackenzie Tovar, Noemi Melendez, Isabella Valles, Roberto Griffith, Adrian Aguirre
Eastwood Lauren Melendez, Giancarlo Saint Lo, Eduardo Saint Lo
Franklin Danielle Gonzales
Several boys and girls relay teams from each school were named to All State teams.
Hanks Girls win 6th Straight 5A State Championship
The Hanks High School girls continued their 5A dynasty in Girl’s Wrestling winning their 6th straight state title. No area school had ever won a state team title in wrestling prior to 2014. Now Hanks has done it six times in a row. Leading the way for the Lady Knights were: Isabella Gonzalez (Gold Medal 128 pounds), , Victoria Nunez (Silver Medal 110 pounds), Annette Enciso (5th place 119 pounds), Abigail Anaya (6th place 138 pounds), Victoria Hinojo (3rd 148 pounds) Hanks won the state title accumulating 96.5 points.
Isabella Gonzalez and Danielle Saldivar win Gold Medals
Hanks 96.5 points (Team State Champion), Eastwood 35 points 13th place, Parkland 13th place 35 points, Jefferson 23rd place 22 points, and Burges 25th place 21 points.
Other 5A girls and their finishes:
Danielle Saldivar Eastwood Gold Medal 165 pounds
Zoe Hankins Parkland Silver Medal (2nd place) 185 pounds
Skyeler Marius Chapin 4th place 102 pounds
Eileen Macias Del Valle 5th place 102 pounds
Stephanie Morales Parkland 6th place 119 pounds
Kayani Ayala Burges 4th place 148 pounds
Emily Arreola Jefferson 3rd place 215 pounds
Mason Purvis wins Gold Medal
Hanks 19th place 30 points, Chapin 24th place 25.5 points, EPHS 31st place 18 points, Del Valle 31st place 18 points, Parkland 35th place 16 points
Mason Purvis Chapin Gold Medal (1st place) 120 pounds
Marcos Abraham Hinojosa Hanks 2nd place 182 pounds
Javier Duchene Del Valle 3rd place 113 pounds
Brandon Camacho EPHS 3rd place 138 pounds
Dimitri Villanueva Parkland 4th place 126 pounds
Corbin Phelps Hanks 6th place 195 pounds
Esther Walker wins Gold Medal
Montwood 12th place 40 points, Franklin 40th place 8 points, Pebble Hills 40th place 8 points
Esther Walker Montwood 1st Place (gold medal) 95 pounds
Cassy Favela Montowood 6th place 138 pounds
Franklin 5th place 59 points, Coronado 6th place 55 points, Montwood 21st place 24 points
Kobe Nelms Franklin 3rd place 126 pounds
Domenic Melendez Pebble Hills 6th place 132 pounds
Joshua Jimenez Coronado 2nd place 145 pounds
Kaleb Jewett Franklin 6th place 145 pounds
Tereus Henry Montwood 2nd place 182 pounds
David Powers Franklin 2nd place 195 pounds
Prasad Dalvi Coronado 4th 220 pounds
Dom Varela Coronado 4th place 285 pounds
Final Medal Count Wrestling
1 Team State Championship
4 Individual Gold Medals
6 Individual Silver Medals
5 Individual Bronze Medals
2018-2019 Final Count
4 Team State Championships
Eastwood 5A Cross-Country
Bel Air 5A Soccer
San Elizario 4A Soccer
Hanks 5A Girls Wrestling
Cathedral High Swimming Team
San Elizario Cross-Country
13 Individual Gold Medals
Brandon Seagraves 1 Cross Country
Brandon Seagraves 2 Track and Field
Grant Levesque Track and Field
Jenelle Jaegar Darakjy Track and Field
Etiwe Omajuwa Track and Field
Edwin Gomez Track and Field
Leo Gerardo Track and Field
Isabella Gonzalez Wrestling
Danielle Saldivar Wrestling
Mason Purvis Wrestling
Esther Walker Wrestling
Xavier Navarro Swimming
10 Individual Silver Medals
Victoria Nunez Wrestling
Zoe Hankins Wrestling
Marcos Hinojosa Wrestling
Joshua Jimenez Wrestling
Tereus Henry Wrestling
David Powers Wrestling
Meaghan Tualamalii Track and Field
Adrian Prieto Swimming
Mary Furlong Swimming
Edwin Gomez Cross-Country
14 Individual Bronze Medals
Victoria Hinojo Wrestling
Emily Arreola Wrestling
Javier Duchene Wrestling
Brandon Camacho Wrestling
Kobe Nelms Wrestling
Michael Abeyta Track and Field
Joshua White Track and Field
Makeia Ray Track and Field
Edwin Gomez 2 Track and Field
Xavier Navarro Swimming
Mary Furlong Swimming
Manuel Armenta (2) Swimming
2018 El Paso Spring Sports recap
The spring sports begin with basketball which actually begins its’ season in the late fall and runs through early March. Other spring sports are baseball, softball, wrestling, swimming, tennis, soccer, track and field, and golf. El Paso area high schools had an outstanding spring season winning team titles and individual titles in most sports. Faith Christian won TAPPS titles in both Basketball and Baseball. El Paso Home School won the SWCAA Basketball Championship. Cathedral continued its dominance in TAPPS Swimming winning its 32nd state title. Cathedral also won individual championships in Swimming and Track and Field. San Elizario won its second UIL 4A Soccer title as well as individual titles in Track and Field. Hanks High School continued its dominance in 5A Girls Wrestling winning their 5th consecutive state title as well as several other individual titles. Hanks was not the only school to shine in Wrestling. Several other schools had athletes claim individual titles at the UIL State Wrestling Championships.
Basketball Faith Christian and El Paso Home School win State Championships
El Paso area high schools have a proud tradition in the sport of basketball. El Paso High, Eastwood, Cathedral, Faith Christian Academy, and El Paso Home School have all won state championships in the past. Several other high schools like Bowie, Austin, Andress, and Riverside have made appearances in the Final Four. Andress High School has carried the torch lately making deep play off runs the last few years. The El Paso area public schools had several good teams this past season but the traditional deep play off runs didn’t happen. Two private schools, Faith Christian and El Paso Home School did win state championships in 2018. Here is a recap of the 2017-2018 season:
I will start with the private schools because two of the schools won state championships within their own associations. El Paso Faith Christian Academy has a long, proud tradition in basketball and several other sports, especially baseball where the school’s team has won four straight state championships. Faith Academy has also won several state basketball championships in the 2000’s. Readers should be aware that Faith Academy routinely beats some of the best teams in the El Paso area and has done so for many years. The Lions of 2017-2018 beat Andress, Cathedral, Ysleta, Americas, Riverside, Fabens, and Clint. The only negative that I can find about Faith is that the school keeps changing the associations that it plays in, This year, the Lions competed in TAAPS Division 3. The Academy was 17-3 this season and beat the Highlands 60-37, Abilene Christian 70-51, Calvary Christian 48-43, Yavneh Academy 62-49 and Our Lady of the Hills 69-40 to win the championship. Yavneh Academy was the defending state champion and was previously undefeated before playing Faith Academy. Congratulations to the Lions.
I don’t know much about El Paso Home School other than they compete in the SWCAA and have won that association’s state basketball championship for the past several years. The school’s website states that El Paso Home School has won the title for the past six years. The Panthers were 20-7 this past season and beat Radford 64-52, Harmony Science Academy 50-42, and Radford 74-66 to win the title. Congratulations to the Panthers.
Pebble Hills, Montwood, Coronado, and Americas dominated 6A play during the season. Unfortunately, only Americas was able to win a bi district championship. Americas defeated Frenship 69-60 to advance to the Area round of the playoffs. Tascosa beat Pebble Hills 76-74, Odessa defeated Montwood 59-54, and Permian ousted Coronado 52-38 in othe bi district games.
Americas’ season came to an end the following week in the Area round when they lost to Arlington Bowie 54-34.
Usually two or three schools from the El Paso area 5A schools make deep playoff runs. El Paso schools have played each other in the Regional Quarter Finals the past few years. Such was not the case this season. All El Paso area representatives were eliminated from the state playoff chase by the end of the Quarter Finals.
Bi District action saw Andress beat Hanks 79-60; Canutillo defeated EPHS 65-60; Eastlake topped Chapin 72-61; and Burges defeated Bel Air 88-54.
El Paso teams held their own in Area round. Burges was defeated by Randall 48-43; Amarillo beat Canutillo 40-39; Andress defeated Caprock 72-52; and Eastlake outlasted Palo Duro 68-58.
Both El Paso area teams saw their season’s come to an end in the Quarter Finals. Andress was defeated by Amarillo 44-43 and Eastlake was beaten by Randall 41-39.
The story was much the same for the 4A boys. Bi district action saw Fort Stockton getting by Mountain View 69-43; Clint beat Greenwood 76-55; Andrews beat San Elizario 67-44; and Monahans defeated Fabens 86-61.
Clint was defeated in the Area round by Seminole 51-48.
Tornillo lost its bi district game to Ballinger 63-48.
Anthony has made deep playoff runs the past two seasons but that wasn’t the case this year. Anthony won their bi district game against Smyer 56-41 but lost in the Area round to Forsan 59-49.
Pebble Hills, Eastwood, El Dorado, and Franklin were the El Paso area’s 6A representatives in the state playoffs. Pebble Hills was the only team to win its bi district game when the Trailblazers beat Midland 48-42. Tascosa defeated Eastwood 53-51; Frenship ousted El Dorado 51-42; and Midland Lee beat Franklin 51-45.
Pebble Hills’ season came to an end in the Area round with a 67-47 loss to Arlington Bowie.
Bi district action saw Burges defeating Hanks 47-41; Eastlake beat Chapin 74-72; Bel Air ousted Jefferson 59-34; and Andress topped Parkland 59-55.
All El Paso area teams were defeated in the Area round. Plainview beat Andress 44-42; Amarillo beat Bel Air 69-23; Randall over Burges 54-45; and Canyon topped Eastlake 73-34.
Bi district actions saw Greenwood beating Mountain View 67-25; San Elizario beat Fort Stockton 48-39; Clint defeated Monahans 57-51; and Fabens ousted Pecos 67-59.
Seminole would defeat Fabens 58-41 in the Area round while Levelland beat Clint 88-43.San Elizario lost to Denver City 78-31.
Tornillo beat Grape Creek 45-24 to win its bi district game but lost to Roosevelt 61-44 in the Area round.
El Paso area teams win 2 state championships in basketball.
Baseball Faith Christian wins TAPPS Division IV Class 3A Championship
Faith Christian Academy has been a dominant force in baseball the past few years in the TCAL Athletic Association. The Lions switched to TAPPS in 2018 but the dominance continued. Faith Christian won their fourth straight state championship when they defeated Pasedena First Baptist 9-0 to capture the TAPPS Division IV Class 3A title. Matthew Paz struck out 10 batters and pitched a one hitter to lead the Lions to the title. Robert Frayre hit a two run homerun in the first inning to stake Paz to an early lead. Faith sent ten batters to the plate in the second inning and scored four more runs. The game was essentially over by the end of the second inning. Faith also had playoff victories over Willow Park Trinity Christian 15-0, Dallas Covenant 4-0, and Denton Calvary 7-1.
The only teams to win a UIL baseball championship were the Bowie Bears in 1949 and the Socorro Bulldogs in 2009. That trend would continue in 2018.
El Paso area teams did well in the bi-district round winning 3 out of 4 series matchups. Franklin defeated Midland by scores of 2-7; 3-1; and 14-0. Socorro advanced to the area round by beating Permian 1-0; 1-5; and 8-6. Coronado beat Frenship 4-5; 4-6; and 4-0. Americas lost its bi-district matchup to Odessa 3-2 and 9-3.
Franklin was the only 6A team to win an Area round matchup. The Cougars defeated Paschal 5-3 and 12-3. Keller defeated Socorro 11-3 and 1-0. Timbercreek beat Coronado 8-7 and 3-0.
Franklin’s playoff run ended in the Regional Quarterfinals when the Cougar’s were defeated by Keller in two straight games 10-1 and 7-3.
Bi-District action saw Andress defeat Canutillo 10-7 and 4-2; Bel Air ousted Chapin in their best of three matchup by scores of 5-6; 5-4; and 12-5; Eastlake topped Burges in two straight games 3-2 and 3-0; while Bowie defeated Riverside 4-3 and 2-0.
The Area round wasn’t kind to the El Paso are teams. Only Eastlake would advance to the next stage when the Falcons defeated Monterey in two straight games by identical 9-6 scores. Andress was defeated by Lubbock Coronado 14-2 and 17-4; Amarillo beat Bel Air 4-0 and 15-4; while Bowie was ousted in two straight game by Lubbock Cooper 15-0 and 12-4.
Lubbock Cooper would end Eastlake’s playoff run the following week in two straight games 6-0 and 2-1.
All the El Paso 4A representatives were eliminated in their Bi District matchups. Pecos defeated Mountain View; Andrews ousted Clint; Monahans beat San Elizario; and Greenwood topped Fabens.
Tornillo was defeated by Reagan in their bi-district matchup
Anthony and Fort Hancock had byes in the bi district round but both were eliminated in the Area round. Anthony lost to Albany while Fort Hancock was defeated by Deleon.
No El Paso area team has ever won a championship in softball and that trend would unfortunately continue in 2018.
Coronado would be the only team to advance out of the Bi District stage of the playoffs when the Thunderbirds defeated Midland 2-1. Odessa beat Socorro in two straight games 12-2 and 7-6; Frenship ousted Montwood in two straight 11-3 and 12-2; Permian topped Americas in a best of three series by scores of 7-12; 12-4; and 11-0.
Coronado would see their season end in the Area round when the T-Birds were defeated by Abilene in two straight games 8-1 and 6-4.
Bi-District action aw Hanks defeat Burges; Bel Air beat Andress; Eastlake topped Jefferson; and Chapin ousted Canutillo. Eastlake would win its Area round matchup against Lubbock Coronado winning two straight games 4-3 and 13-3. Lubbock Cooper ousted Chapin in three games 1-0; 4-2; and 5-0. Canyon beat Bel Air inn two straight 10-2 and 4-1
Lubbock Coronado eliminated Eastlake from the playoffs in the Regional Quarter Finals in two straight games 6-3 and 7-4.
All the El Paso 4A representatives were eliminated in their Bi District matchups. Fort Stockton defeated San Elizario; Greenwood ousted Fabens in two straight games; Monahans beat Clint; and Andrews topped Mountain View.
Forsan defeated Anthony in their Bi-District matchup.
El Paso area teams won 1 state championship in baseball.
Soccer San Elizario Wins Class 4A State Championship
El Paso area teams have always excelled in the soccer state playoffs. Cathedral, Coronado, Del Valle, and San Elizario have all won state championships in the past. San Elizario, under the leadership of Coach Max Sappenfield, won the UIL 4A title two years ago and the Eagles repeated the feat in 2018. Yes, San Elizario is once again the 4A state champions.
The Eagles finished the season with a 22-5 record including 6 straight playoff wins where San Elizario played smothering defense not allowing a single goal and scoring 15 themselves. The Eagles started the playoffs by beating Hirschi 4-0 in the Area round following a bye in the Bi-District stage. San Elizario then defeated Decatur 5-0 in the Quarter Finals and Life Oak Cliff 2-0 in the Regional Semi-Finals. Eric Valdez scored the winning goal in double overtime to give San Elizario a 1-0 victory over Bridgeport in the Regional Finals. The Eagles then defeated Madisonville 2-0 in the State Semi Finals setting up their title match against Palestine. Palestine came into the match as defending state champions with a 35-0 record. Martin Rodriguez scored the winning goal to give the Eagles a thrilling 1-0 victory and their second 4A state championship in the last three years. Congratulations to Coach Sappenfield and the Eagles.
Several other teams had outstanding seasons and deep playoff runs. Here is a rundown of the 2018 Boys and Girls soccer seasons in all classifications:
Bi District Matches
Montwood 3 Midland 1; Socorro 2 Odessa 0; Frenship 4 El Dorado 2; Eastwood 2 Midland 0
Socorro 2 Sam Houston 1; Montwood 2 Keller 1; Eastwood 3 Arlington 1
Montwood 1 Socorro 0; Frenship 4 Eastwood 2
Regional Semi Finals
Montwood 2 Irving 2 Irving advances on penalty kicks.
Del Valle 2 Austin 1; Eastlake 1 Irvin 0; Jefferson 3 Bel Air 2; Bowie 1 Riverside 0
Del Valle 1 Monterey 0; Eastlake 3 Palo Duro 2; Caprock 3 Jefferson 1; Bowie 2 Abilene Cooper 0
Del Valle 2 Eastlake 1; Bowie 2 Caprock 1
Regional Semi Finals
Del Valle 1 Rider 0; Aledo 3 Bowie 2
Aledo 3 Del Valle 3 Aledo advances on penalty kicks
On a side note: Two El Paso area teams were eliminated from the playoffs on penalty kicks. Montwood and Del Valle were both defeated by this archaic method of deciding soccer matches. I know that penalty kicks are part of the game that decide matches after overtime has been played but it is unfair to put all the pressure on the goal keeper to stop a penalty kick. It is a 50-50 chance to stop the kick and it ends up making the goal keeper the scape goat for losing a match. Please decide the game on the field no matter how many overtimes that it takes to reach a decision.
I have already described San Elizario’s run to another state title. Here is the rest of the 4A playoff picture:
Mountain View 7 Estacado 0; Clint 1 Borger 1 (Clint wins 4-2 in shootout) ; San Elizario Bye
Stephenville 5 Mountain View 1; Bridgeport 4 Clint 0; San Elizario 4 Hirschi 0
San Elizario 5 DeCatur 0
Regional Semi Finals
San Elizario 2 Life Oak Cliff 0
San Elizario 1 Bridgeport 0 2 ovetimes
San Elizario 2 Madisonville 0; San Elizario 1 Palestine 0
Franklin 1 Midland 0; Odessa 3 Coronado 0; Frenship 4 Eastwood 0; El Dorado 2 Permian 1
Keller 2 El Dorado 1; Mansfield 1 Franklin 0
Burges 2 Eastlake 3; Andress 5 Canutillo 3; Jefferson 4 Del Valle 3; EPHS 2 Bel Air 1
Abilene Cooper 4 Jefferson 3; Monterey 2 EPHS 1; Lubbock Coronado 6 Eastlake 2; Amarillo 1 Andress 0
Pampa 6 Mountainview 0; Estacado 3 Clint 0; San Elizario Bye
San Elizario 0 Wylie 0 Wylie advances on shootout 4-3
Cathedral 3 Nolan 0; St. Thomas Catholic 1 Cathedral 0
El Paso area schools won 1 team state championship in soccer.
Track and Field Michael Abeyta, Edwin Gomez, Ian Smith, Brandon Seagraves win gold medals at UIL and TAPPS State Championships
No El Paso area team has ever won a Track and Field state championship. That is still true at the end of the 2018 season. There were no state team championships but there were several individuals who won gold medals at the UIL and TAPPS state meets. There were also several other individuals that bought home silver or bronze medals and others that competed very well at their state meet.
Michael Abeyta of Hanks High School finished in first place in 5A 800 meter run in a time of 1:53.38. Abeyta also brought home a silver medal in the 5A 3200 meter run with a time of 9:15.50 and another silver medal in the 5A 1600 meter run with a time of 4:16.53.
Edwin Gomez of San Elizario had an outstanding meet at the 4A classification. Gomez won two gold medals in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4:23.14 and the 3200 meter run with a time of 9:38.79.
A pair of Cathedral runners brought home a total of three gold medals for the Irish at the TAPPS Class 6A State Meet. Brandon Seagraves won gold in 1600 meter run with a time of 4:26.05 and the 3200 meter run with a time of 9:29.0. Ian Smith won the TAPPS 800 meter run with a time of 1:57.85.
There were several other individuals who won silver and bronze medals. Grant Levesque of Coronado finished 3rd in the 6A Pole Vault with a jump of 16 feet and 6 inches. Coronado’s Jaeger-Darakjy finished third in the 6A Girls 800 meter run with a time of 2:12.73. Aaron Gilliam of Irvin High School finished 3rd behind Michael Abeyta in the 5A 3200 meter run with a time of 9:24.24.Milos Rios of Eastlake took 2nd place in the 5A High Jump with a jump of 6 feet and 8 inches. Burges High School’s Itzel Alcantar finished in 4th place in the 5A Girls 800 meter run in 2:14.80 and 5th in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:02.99. Eva Jess of Franklin finished in 5th place in the 6A Girls 3200 meter run with a time of 10:50.32. Garrett Stokes of Burges finished in 6th place in the 5A Shot Put with a throw of 51 feet 9 and a quarter inches. Infant Jones of Parkland finished in 5th place in the 5A 300 meter Hurdles with a time of 38.62 seconds. Daniel Amaya of Tornillo finished in 5th place in the 3A 3200 meter run and in 4th place in the 3A 1600 meter run with times of 9:47.45 and 4:28 respectively.
The Hanks High School boys team finished the 5A state meet in 7th place The San Elizario boys team finished in 9th place at the 4a state meet. Cathedral finished in 7th place at the TAPPS 6A meet.
El Paso area athletes won 6 individual gold medals in Track and Field
Tennis Coronado and Franklin Dominate 6A; Jefferson, EPHS, Chapin Control 1-5A; Bel Air, Riverside, Eastlake, Hanks, and Horizon Take 2-5A District Honors; Fort Hancock Girls Doubles Team Finishes 2nd at State Tournament.
The one shining moment for El Paso area tennis teams at the 2018 UIL State Tournament was provided by a team to the east of El Paso. Fort Hancock’s 2-5A Girls Doubles team of Miranda Galindo and Jenna Aguilar won the silver medal at the state meet. The state tournament was no stranger to Galindo and Aguilar as they had finished in fourth place in 2016. The Fort Hancock girls defeated Madalynn Woelfel and Weslynn Boatright of Thrall 6-4 and 6-2 in their first match of the state tournament. They then defeated Shelly Gerner and Ellery Martin of Blue Ridge 6-2; 3-6; and 6-2 in the State Semi Finals. Galindo and Aguilar’s quest for a title came up short as they lost the deciding match to Mason High School’s Kate Gillespie and Reagan Glentz 7-5 and 6-2. Congratulations to Miranda Galindo and Jenna Aguilar for their second place finish in 2-5A Girls Doubles.
El Paso area high schools had high hopes entering the UIL Regional playoffs. Coronado and Franklin both had experience players. Jefferson had just won its first ever spring district tennis title. El Paso High and Chapin both had an outstanding District 1-5A Tournament while Bel Air, Riverside, Hanks, Eastlake, and Horizon could say the same in District 2-5A. The high expectations generated by the various district tournaments faded in Regional play. No individual player or team survived the weekend to advance to the state tournament the following week.
The story in 1-5A tennis was the girls singles match. Jefferson team-mates Jia Diau and Katrina Aguila played each other for the district title. Their story is similar to the story of Franklin’s Sebastian Herrera and Coronado’s David Cenk during last year’s singles match in 6A. Diau and Aguila are good friends and have built up quite a rivalry. The two battled it out for three sets and then a deciding tie breaker. Diau would take top honors by winning 2-6; 6-3; 7-6; and 8-6 in the tie breaker. Both would make the trip to Regionals.
In other 1-5A action:
Boys Singles: Rohan Kamath Chapin defeated Jacob Maese 6-3 and 6-4
Boys Doubles John Jay and Juan Pablo Munoz of EPHS won the title
Girls Singles Jia Diau Jefferson defeated Katrina Aguila Jefferson 2-6; 6-3; 7-6; and 8-6 tb
Girls Doubles Karla Ramos and Sophia Sapien of EPHS won the ttile
Mixed Doubles Cesar Gallardo and Caprice Huitron of Chapin won the title.
Jefferson won the girls team title while EPHS won the boys team title. It was Jefferson’s first ever district team title in Spring tennis.
In 2-5A action:
Boys Singles Mario Gallinar of Bel Air won the title
Boys Doubles David Lopez and Jalen Thomas of Horizon won the title
Girls Singles Denise Melendez of Horizon won the title
Girls Doubles Meagan Vasquez and Evelyn De La Cruz of Hanks won the title
Mixed Doubles Adriana Hinojos and Daniel Vidaurri of Riverside won the title
Bel Air edged out Riverside for Boys Team title while Eastlake, Horizon, and Hanks finished in a three way tie for the Girls Team title
Coronado and Franklin continued their strangle-hold on 6A tennis winning all the district honors:
Boys Singles Sebastian Herrera of Franklin repeated as district champion
Girls Singles Isabella Sambrano won the title
Boys Doubles David Cenk and Nickolas Spurbeck of Coronado won the title
Girls Doubles Elissa Perches and Andrea Andujo of Coronado took the title
Mixed Doubles Ethan Katz and Skyler Stogner of Coronado won the title.
I couldn’t find much information on Regional play but I do know that no one from 5A or 6A qualified for the state tournament.
San Elizario’s Carlos Munoz won his opening round match at the 4A regionals defeating Angel Alaniz of Pecos in boys singles 7-6; 6-1. Munoz would lose his Quarter Finals match to Burkburnett’s Marius Kleckner 6-2 and 6-2. Julie Sotelo of Clint dropped her opening match to Danielle Rangel of Perryton 6-2 and 6-3. In the 2A Regionals Wink’s CJ Mercier and Jonah Smith defeated Mount Enterprise’s Courtney Parsley and Jase Bell in Mixed Doubles 6-1 and 6-2. They would lose to Cason Dudley and Ryli Ruffin of Mason 6-2 and 6-2 in their next match.
Medal CountTennis one silver medal
Golf Eastwood and EPHS dominate Local Golf Scene
Coronado High School use to be the dominant force in El Paso area golf. The T-Birds even won a state championship in 1992. The Thunderbird dominance would appear to be over, at least in 2018. Eastwood was the dominant 6A team in both boys and girls golf. El Paso High was the winner in 1-5A in both boys and girls golf. The Eastlake boys won the 2-5A crown while the Hanks took the 2-5A title in girls golf.
1st 2 day total 610
Top Individuals Alex Delgadillo Eastwood 149 and Nick Myers Eastwood 150
1st Eastwood A Team 2 day total 650
2nd Eastwood B Team 686
Top individuals Valeria Enriquez Eastwood 157 2 day total and Amanda Portillo Eastwood 162
1st EPHS 783
2nd Burges 807
Top Individual Trey Turner EPHS 161 and Blaise Solem Andress 171
1st EPHS 908
2nd Chapin 975
Top Individual Isabella Armendariz EPHS 180
1st Eastlake 766
2nd Del Valle 772
Top Individuals Roman Guerrero Del Valle 161 and Ethan Jasso Del Valle 170
1st Hanks 812
2nd Eastlake 892
Top Individuals Natalie Sanchez Eastlake 170
No El Paso area golfers or teams qualified for the state tournament after Regional play. Eastwood’s boys team was the top El Paso team at Regionals finishing 10th while Coronado’s boys team finished in 14th place. Alex Delgadillo finished tied for 30th place and team mate Nick Myers finished tied for 42nd place.
Swimming Cathedral wins 30th Straight TAPPS Division I Title and 32nd Overall; El Paso Public Schools Have Outstanding Year
Cathedral High School continued its dominance of TAPPS Division I swimming by winning its 32nd overall state championship and extended their winning streak to 30 straight TAPPS or TCIL swimming titles. Cathedral swimmers won 3 individual gold medals and 2 relay gold medals racking up 190 points to easily out distance second place finisher St. Thomas’ 128 points. Irish swimmers also brought home two silver medals and two bronze medal to add to their over flowing trophy cases. Connor White won two individual gold medals and was part of two gold medal relay teams. Luis Reynoso was the other gold medal winner for Cathedral.
Gold Medal Winning Individuals or Relay Teams
Connor White 200 yard Free Style 1:4463
Connor White 500 yard Free Style 4:42.41
Luis Reynoso 100 yard Backstroke 52.21 seconds
200 yard Medley Relay 1:40.77 Connor White, Jose Guillot, Luis Reynoso, Blake Assi
400 yard Free Style Relay 3:16.53 Xavier Navarro, Manuel Armenta, Connor White, Luis Reynoso
Silver Medal Winners
Luis Reynoso 50 yard Free Style 22.02 seconds
200 yard Free Style Relay Xavier Navarro, Pablo Vega, Skylar Agan, Blake Assi
Bronze Medal Winners
Manuel Armenta 100 yard Butterfly
Xavier Navarro 100 yard Free Style
Other Cathedral Swimmers not mentioned above that scored points or swam at the state meet:
Pablo Vega, Adrian Prieto, Jose Guillot, Vicinte Lopez, David Delgado, Alejandro Cos, Daniel Rivera
Loretto Academy finished in 9th place at the TAPPS Division I state meet scoring a total of 42 points. Celeste Hirschi finished 7th in the 200 yard Free Style. Mary Furlong finished in 6th place in the 200 yard Individual Medley while Luissa Rivera finished 15th in the same event. Mary Furlong finished in 6th place in the 100 yard Butterfly while team-mate Analisa Cortez finished in 16th place in the same event. Celeste Hirschi finished 5th in the 500 yard Free Style. Loretto’s 400 yard Free Style relay team finished in 4th place. Relay members were Mary Furlong, Luissa Rivera, Paulina Quiroz, and Celeste Hirschi.
The El Paso area public schools also had an outstanding season in the pools although no UIL State Meet medals were won. El Paso area swimmers did very well locally and at the various Regional swim meets. Here is a summary of the 2018 swimming season:
1st Eastwood ; 2nd Franklin; 3rd Coronado; 4th Montwood
1st Eastwood; 2nd Franklin; 3rd Coronado; 4th Americas
1st EPHS; 2nd Burges; 3rd Jefferson; 4th Chapin
1st EPHS; 2nd Jefferson; 3rd Chapin; 4th Andress
1st Hanks; 2nd Del Valle; 3rd Eastlake; 4th Bel Air
1st Hanks; 2nd Eastlake; 3rd Del Valle; 4th Ysleta
El Paso area teams and individual swimmers performed very well at the Regional meet. El Paso High probably was the best of the El Paso area teams as the Tigers finished second in the team standings in both the boy’s and girl’s competitions. El Paso High also qualified many individuals for the state meet. Here is a breakdown of the 5A and 6A Regional meets:
5A Girls Meet
200 yard Medley Relay EPHS 1st Place (Rebecca Perez, Isabella Valles, Natalia Villa, and Emily Lugo) 1:52.48
200 yard Free Style Natalia Villa EPHS 1st place 1:58.75
200 yard Individual Medley Andi Acosta Jefferson 1st place 2:10.70
100 yard Free Style Natalia Villa EPHS 1st place 53.78 seconds
200 yard Free Style Relay EPHS 2nd place (Emily Lugo, Emma Perez, Cassandra Wagoner, Mackenzie Tovar) 1:43.45
100 yard Breaststroke Andi Acosta Jefferson 1st place 1:06.44
100 yard Breaststroke Isabella Valles EPHS 2nd place1:10.91
400 yard Free Style Relay EPHS 2nd place (Emily Lugo, Emma Perez, Mackenzie Tovar, Natalia Villa)
5A Girls Team Standings 1) Lubbock 2) EPHS 6) Jefferson 11th) Hanks 13th Del Valle 15th) Ysleta 16th ) Andress 17th) Eastlake 20th) Bel Air
5A Boys Meet
200 yard Medley Relay EPHS 1st place (Adrian Aguirre, Branson Baca, Kevin Bohls, Vincent Pedregon) 1:38.72
200 yard Free Style Armando Flores Bel Air 1st place 1:45.59
200 yard Individual Medley Vittorio Kirken EPHS 2nd 1:59.94
100 yard Butterfly Armando Flores Bel Air 1st place 51.02 seconds
100 yard Butterfly Mohammad Abdeljaber EPHS 2nd place 52.09 seconds
500 yard Free Style Roberto Griffith EPHS 2nd 4:58.07
200 yard Free Style Relay EPHS 1st place (Branson Baca, Roberto Grifith, Vittorio Kirken, Mohammad Abdeljaber) 1:29. 57
100 yard Breaststroke Adrian Aguirre EPHS 1st 52.95 seconds
100 yard Breaststroke Branson Baca EPHS 2nd 1:00.27
400 yard Free Style Relay EPHS 1st (Roberto Griffith, Vincent Pedregon, Vittorio Kirken, Mohammad Abdeljaber)
5A Boys Team Standings 2) EPHS 10th) Del Valle 13th) Bel Air 14th) Jefferson 15th) Hanks 16th) Chapin 17th) Eastlake 18th) Burges 19th) Irvin
All the above mentioned swimmers and relay teams qualified for the state meet.
6A Regional Meet The 6A schools didn’t have quite the results that the 5A schools had but several swimmers did qualify for the state meet:
Rose Barakat of Coronado qualified in two events. She finished in first place in the 100 yard Breaststroke (1:05.81) and in second place in the 50 yard Free Style (24.23 seconds)
Airam Olivia-Aun Franklin won the 100 yard Buuter Fly (59.13 seconds)
Lauren Melendez Eastwood 2nd place 100 yard Butterfly (59.37 seconds)
Omar Torres Eastwood 1st place 100 yard Free Style (46.1 seconds)
State Swim Meet
El Paso area swimmers didn’t win any medals at the state meet but there were some very good performances.
EPHS 200 yard Medley Relay 5th place (Aguirre, Baca, Kirken, Abdeljaber)
EPHS 200 yard Free Style 11th place (Baca, Kirken, Abdeljaber, Pedregon)
Branson Baca EPHS 8th place 100 yard Breaststroke
Mohammad Abdeljaber EPHS 12th place 100 yard Butterfly
Vittorio Kirken EPHS 12th 200 yard IM
Armando Flores Bel Air 10th 200 yard Free Style and 10th 100 yard Butterfly
EPHS 200 yard Free Style Relay 4th place (Villa, Lugo, Perez, Tovar)
Natalia Villa 13th 100 yard Butterfly
EPHS 400 yard Free Style relay 11th place (Villa, Lugo, Tovar, Perez)
Andi Acosta Jefferson 8th 200 yard IM and 10th 100 yard Breaststroke
EPHS Girls team finished in 16th place while Jefferson girls finished 37th
EPHS Boys team finished in 14th place while Bel Air boys finished 34th
Rose Barakat Coronado 16th 50 yard Freestyle and 12th 100 yard Breaststroke
Omar Torres Eastwood 12th 100 yard Free Style
Coronado Girls team finished in 42 place
Eastwood Boys team finished in 50th place
El Paso Area Swimmers Named to All State Team
It was a very good 2018 season for El Paso area swimmers. The following athletes were named to the Texas Interscholastic Swim Coaches All State Team:
Rose Barakat Coronado 2 events
Omar Torres Eastwood
Mackenzie Tovar EPHS
Natalia Villa EPHS 2 events
Andi Acosta Jefferson 2 events
EPHS girls 200 yard Free Style Relay
EPHS girls 400 yard Free Style Relay
Roberto Griffith EPHS
Adrian Aguirre EPHS
Branson Baca EPHS
Vittorio Kirken 2 events
Mohammad Abdeljaber EPHS
Armando Flores Bel Air
EPHS boys 200 yard Free Style Relay
EPHS boys 400 yard Free Style Relay
Celeste Hirschi Loretto Academy 2 events
Mary Furlong Loretto Academy
400 yard Relay Loretto Academy
Luis Reynoso Cathedral 2 events
Xavier Navarro Cathedral 2 events
Connor White Cathedral 2 events
Manuel Armenta Cathedral
Cathedral 200 yard Free Style Relay
Cathedral 200 yard Medley Relay
Cathedral 400 yard Free Style Relay
El Paso area swimmers on 1 state championships and 5 gold medals in individual or relay events.
Wrestling Hanks Girls Win 5th Straight 5A Title and El Paso area Wrestlers Shine at State Meet
The Hanks High School girls wrestling team has become a 5A dynasty. The Lady Knights scored 155.5 points to win their 5th straight UIL 5A Wrestling Championship. Victoria Nunez won a gold medal at 102 pounds. Isabella Gonzalez won a gold medal at 119 pounds. Angelina Baltazar won a silver medal at 128 pounds while Annette Enciso (110 pounds), Sarah Martinez (95 pounds), and Jadyn Sayre Adona (165 pounds) all brought home bronze medals. Victoria Hinojo finished in 5th place at 148 pounds. Congratulations to the Hanks Lady Knights.
Hanks was not the only 5A girls team that did well. Diana Cavey of Chapin finished second at 102 pounds. Kaylee Romo of Burges was 5th at the same weight classification. Melissa De Los Santos of Irvin finished in 5th place at 110 pounds. Miah Kline of Bel Air was third at 128 pounds. Zoe Hankins of Parkland was 5th at 185 pounds. Marlene Avila of Fabens won a gold medal at 110 pounds.
El Paso area teams fared quite well at the state meet. Hanks finished 1st, Bel Air and Chapin finished tied for 22nd place, Irvin finished in 26 place, and Parkland finished in 28th place.
The 6A girls also had a good state tournament. Mia Morales of Americas won a bronze medal at 95 pounds. Esther Walker of Montwood was 4th in the same event. Adrienne Garcia of Americas also won a
bronze medal at 148 pounds. Danielle Saldivar of Eastwood won a silver medal at the 165 pound weight class.
Americas finished the meet in 5th place with Eastwood coming in at 15th place and Montwood finishing the meet in 22nd place.
Christian Hernandez of Bel Air won a gold medal at 145 pounds. Joshua Molinar of Eastlake and Javier Duchene of Del Valle won bronze medals at the 220 pound weight class and 113 pound weight class, respectively. Damian Monreal of Ysleta finished 4th at 106 pounds, Mason Purvis of Chapin placed 4th at 120 pounds, Rene Fierro of Eastlake finished in 6th place at 132 pounds, Elliot Cortes of Del Valle finished in 5th place at 145 pounds, and Terrance Doyle of Austin was 4th at 152 pounds
Eastlake was the top El Paso area 5A team finishing the meet in 18th place. Del Valle finished in 19th place and Bel Air came in at 23rd place.
James McClain Green III of Franklin brought home the gold medal at 132 pounds. Tereus Henry of Montwood won a gold medal at the 182 pound weight class. Isaiah Delgado of Eastwood won a silver medal at the 126 pound weight class. Kalob Jewett of Franklin won a bronze medal at 145 pounds. Other 6A wrestlers that had a good meet were Adrian Rodriguez of Franklin finished in 6th place at 126 pounds, Adrian Zubia of Franklin place 4th at 138 pounds, David Powers of Franklin was 4th at 170 pounds and Dominique Varela of Coronado finished in 6th place at 285 pounds.
Franklin was the El Paso area’s top 6a team finishing in 3rd place. Montwood finished the meet in 18th place and Eastwood placed 19th.
El Paso area wrestlers won a state championship and a total of 6 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 8 bronze medals.
The Final Count For the 2017-2018 School Year
It was a good year for El Paso area high schools. I counted 8 state championships and 19 individual or relay titles.
Football (1) Cathedral
Cross Country (1) San Elizario
Basketball (2) Faith Christian and El Paso Home School
Baseball (1) Faith Christian
Soccer (1) San Elizario
Swimming (1) Cathedral
Wrestling (1) Hanks Girls
Cross Country (2) Edwin Gomez San Elizario and Brandon Seagraves Cathedral
Track and Field (6) Edwin Gomez San Elizario 2; Brandon Seagraves Cathedral 2; Ian Smith Cathedral 1; Michael Abeyta Hanks 1
Swimming (5) Cathedral Connor White 2; Luis Reynoso 1; 2 Relay Events
Wrestling (6) Victoria Nunez Hanks; Isabella Gonzalez Hanks; Marlene Avila Fabens; Christian Hernandez Bel Air; James McClain Green iii Franklin; Tereus Henry Montwood.
2017 El Paso Area Fall Sports Recap
Cathedral and San Elizario win state championships; Brandon Seagraves and Edwin Gomez win individual state titles
Athletes begin training for the fall sports schedule during the long, hot summer days well before the first school bell rings in August. Most fans know about Friday night football but there are several other sports that make up the fall sports scene. Volleyball, Cross Country Track, and Team Tennis also have their seasons in the fall part of the school year.
I once stated that no El Paso area 11 man football team had ever won a state championship in that sport. That changed when Cathedral High School won the 2016 TAPPS Division 5 State Championship. Hampton Hurt’s Irish enjoyed that experience so much that they decided to win another title in 2017. That’s just what they did. Cathedral’s record was only 6-4 in 2017 but two of those wins came in the final two games of the season and the Irish once again claimed the TAPPS Division 5 football championship.
San Elizario High School has quietly become a Texas state power in Class 4A. The Eagles compete well in several sports and they absolutely dominate the division in Cross Country and Soccer. San Elizario won their fourth straight 4A UIL Cross Country title in 2017.
Brandon Seagraves of Cathedral High School is one of the best track athletes in the state. He has won several individual state titles in Cross Country and Track and Field. He repeated as the 2017 TAPPS Division 6A gold medal winner in Cross Country and led his Irish team mates to a second place finish at the state cross country meet.
Here is a recap of how El Paso area teams fared in each sport during 2017:
Anthony High School is the only area team that has ever won a state championship in volleyball and that remained the case in 2017. Several area teams had outstanding seasons in 2017 but came up short in the state playoffs.
Franklin, Coronado, Eastwood, and Eldorado represented the El Paso area in 6A state playoffs. Coronado, El Dorado, and Eastwood all won their bi-district matches. Coronado defeated San Angelo Central 3-0; El Dorado beat Midland Lee 3-0; and Eastwood topped Midland 3-2. Franklin was defeated by Tascosa 3-2 in their playoff encounter. Coronado was the only team to advance past the Area round when the T Birds defeated Mansfield 3-1. Keller beat El Dorado 3-0 and Weatherford topped Eastwood 3-0. Coronado’s season ended in the Regional Quarter Finals when they were beaten by Weatherford 3-0.
Burges, Chapin, Horizon, and El Paso High all won their Bi District matches. The Mustangs beat Eastlake 3-0; the Huskies defeated Canutillo 3-0; Horizon outlasted Jefferson 3-1; and EPHS got by Ysleta 3-0. Unfortunately, all El Paso area teams were defeated in the Area round. Canyon defeated EPHS 3-0; Amarillo beat Horizon 3-1; Hereford topped Burges 3-2; and Randall defeated Chapin 3-0.
The 4A teams didn’t fare any better in their bi district matches. Andrew defeated San Elizario 3-0; Fabens beat Monahans 3-2; Mountain View lost to Greenwood 3-0; and Pecos beat Clint 3-0. The Area stage saw Pecos fall to Bushland 3-1 and Fabens lose to Levelland 3-2.
Tornillo lost to Grape Creek 3-0 in their bi-district match.
Anthony defeated McCamey 3-0 in their bi-district match but lost to Post 3-0 in the Area round.
El Paso area volleyball teams play solid volleyball during the season but something seems to go wrong every year in the playoffs. Very few teams advance more than two rounds. Such was the case again this year as Coronado was the only El Paso representative to make it to the third round of the playoffs.
Cathedral defended their 2016 TAPPS Division 5 title by going 4-4 during the regular season and then winning their last two games to capture their second straight TAPPS Division 5 Championship. The Irish defeated Tyler All Saints 43-7 in the Semi Finals and then pulled out a fourth quarter comeback to beat Houston Village School 31-28 the following week. Congratulations to Coach Hampton Hurt, his coaches, and his players for winning their second straight championship.
The story wasn’t so good for the El Paso area’s other teams. Montwood and Pebble Hills were the top two teams in the city and were unbeaten for most of season until they met late in the year. Montwood won that contest and proved to be the best team in El Paso. One probably could have predicted that the Rams were going to be the city’s number one team when they beat Frenship 70-14 and Midland High 58-53 in the first two games of the season. El Paso area 6A teams always begin the season with out of town competition and you probably could have predicted the way the state playoffs were going to unfold by the not-so-great 4-8 pre district record against out of town opponents. The 5A teams didn’t play any pre season out of town teams and it showed in the playoffs. El Paso teams play quality football against each other and have fared better in the playoffs in recent years, especially Canutillo in 2014. Such was not the case this season. Only Parkland advance past the Area round.
Montwood was the only El Paso area team to advance past the bi-district round when the Rams defeated Midland 42-35 to make it two wins over the Bulldogs in the same season. Montwood was routed in the Area round by Arlington 77-42 the following week. El Dorado, Coronado, and Pebble Hills all lost their bi-district games. El Dorado was beaten by Midland Lee 63-0; Coronado was ousted by Permian50-17; and Pebble Hills fell to San Angelo Central 35-20.
Bi district action saw Andress defeat Bel Air 37-34; Del Valle topped Chapin 49-28; Parkland beat Burges 45-6; and Eastlake easily beat Jefferson 56-13.
Parkland was the only El Paso area 5A team to advance past the Area stage. The Matadors defeated Abilene Cooper 45-34. Andress was defeated by Monterey 52-14; Eastlake lost to Lubbock Cooper 42-21; and Del Valle was ousted by Lubbock Coronado52-42.
Parkland’s playoff run ended the following week when they were defeated by Richland 55-21 in the third round.
Mountain View, Fabens, and Clint all failed to make it out of the bi district round of the playoffs. Mountain View was beat by Estacado 45-0; Fabens was defeated by Pampa 53-3; and Clint was ousted by Levelland 28-7.
Tornillo was defeated by Stamford 69-14 in their bi-district game.
El Paso area teams play quality football during the season and have played better in the playoffs in recent years. The 2017 season must be seen as a step backwards especially after the pre season wins by Montwood, Franklin, and El Dorado. Maybe the 6A teams beat up each other so badly during the district season that they have nothing left in the tank by the playoffs. Something certainly goes wrong.
Championship Count: One state championship in football
San Elizario High School is becoming a Texas 4A power in athletics especially in Soccer, Cross Country Track, and Track and Field. The Eagles have won team titles or individual titles in the sports in recent years and have done so again in the 2017-18 school year. San Elizario won the 4A UIL Cross Country title in 2017 and just recently won their second 4A UIL Soccer title. I will write about the Soccer title in my Spring 2018 recap but it is now time to write about the Eagle’s Cross Country title.
One state championship is hard enough to win but 2017 marks the 4th straight state championship for San Elizario. Few athletic teams can match that record (only the Hanks Girls Wrestling team and Cathedral’s amazing Swimming team in the El Paso area) and Coach Morales and his team are to be recognized for their accomplishments. You have made the El Paso area proud. Members of the team and their finish in the state cross country meet are listed below:
Edwin Gomez 1st Place (Individual Gold Medal)
Rene Arambula 4th place
David Ceballos 9th place
Seth Rodriguez 13th place
Martin Pargas 26th place
Antonio Diaz 28th place
Adrian Contreras 62nd place
Cathedral has been a dominant force in TAPPS Cross Country and 2017 was also another good year. Brandon Seagrave won and individual gold medal and led his team mates to a second place finish in Division 6A. Cathedral scored 76 points and finished runner up to San Antonio Antonian and their 67 points. Other Irish team members were Pedro Espinoza 12th place, Ian Smith 14th place, and Daniel Maes 17th place
Loretto Academy finished in 6th place in the Girl’s 6A state meet and were led by Britney Martinez 28th place and Luciana Borrego’s 32nd place.
Lydia Patterson boys and girls both had respectable showing in TAPPS 5A. The boys finished in 9th place while the girls placed 14th.
San Elizario was not the only El Paso area public high school to have a good showing in the various cross country state meets.
The Eastwood boys finished 3rd in the state. Team members were Gabe Armijo 5th place, Anthony Molina 11th place, Elias Perez 20th place, Juan Olmos 33rd place, Kayn Quinones 54th place, Eddie Gallegos 57th place, and Pedro Guerra 90th place.
Eva Jess of Franklin finished in 5th place while Coronado’s Jenelle Darakjy finished in 22nd place.
Michael Abeyta finished in second place to earn a silver medal. Aaron Gilliam of Irvin finished in 9th place.
Burges finished in 14th place and Austin placed 16th.
America Morales of San Elizario finished 57th and Yajay Quiroz placed 59th.
The Tornillo boys team finished 2nd place at the state meet. Team members were Daniel Amerja 9th place; Eduardo Carrillo 10th place; Juan Rivera 12th place; Ofir Ortega 16th place; Heriberto Amaya 51st place; Tommy Montelongo 80th place and Bryan Garcia 88th place.
Championship Count: 1 state championship and 3 individual state titles
Coronado is without doubt the best team in 6A team tennis as well as the number one team in the El Paso area. Franklin also has a strong team with Eastwood and Americas rounding out the dominant teams in the 6A ranks. Bel Air, Jefferson, Horizon, Chapin, Eastlake, Burges, El Paso High, and Hanks were the top teams in the 5A classification. Top 4A teams were Mountain View, San Elizario, Fabens, and Clint. The following is a recap of how the area teams fared in the Texas UIL Team Tennis Tournament:
6A Team Tennis
Region 1-6A Bi District
Franklin over Frenship 10-9; Coronado over San Angelo Central 10-1; Midland over Americas 17-2; and Tascosa over Eastwood 10-0
Region 1-6A Area
Franklin over Arlington Lamar 12-7; Coronado over Arlington Martin 10-3
Region 1-6A Regional Quarter Finals
Midland over Franklin 13-6; Coronado over Tascosa 10-9
Region 1-6A Tournament Semi Finals
Plano West 10 Coronado 6
All El Paso 6A teams eliminated. Coronado advances 4 rounds and was one stage from the state final 4
5A Team Tennis
Region 1-5A Bi-District
Bel Air over Jefferson 10-9; Horizon over Chapin 10-3; Eastlake over Burges 10-3; EPHS over Hanks 10-1
Region 1-5A Area
Lubbock Coronado over Bel Air 12-0; Amarillo over Horizon 10-0; Randall over Eastlake 10-0; Lubbock over EPHS 10-3
All El Paso area 5A teams eliminated
4A Team Tennis
Region 1-4A Bi District
Andrews over Mountain View 19-0; San Elizario over Midland Greenwood 10-5; Monahans over Fabens 10-0; and Fort Stockton over Clint 13-0
Region 1-4A Area
Andrews over Seminole 10-1; San Elizario over Brownfield 10-7
Region 1-4A Regional Quarter Finals
Andrews over San Elizario 10-3.
2017 High School Sports Spring Recap
Cathedral, Faith Christian, Hanks, and Tony Harper Dominate 2017 Spring Sports Scene
El Paso area high schools and athletes continued the trend that their counterparts in the fall sports scene had begun----more outstanding athletic achievements, more team state championships, more individual state titles, and a historic milestone reached by a long time area basketball coach. When the final whistle blew to end the 2016-2017 athletic school year, El Paso athletes had accumulated 8 more team championships and 18 additional individual titles to add to those won by the former athletes in the legacy of El Paso athletics.
The spring sports season begins with two sports that are actually carry overs from the winter season---basketball and wrestling. There were many outstanding moments during the basketball season. Americas High School went 33-3 in 6A boys' basketball losing only two regular season games before falling to Arlington Bowie in the Regional Quarter Finals. Several teams had outstanding seasons in boys' 5A basketball but Andress and Burges would finish the season with the best records. The Eagles reached the Regional Semi-Finals before losing to Northwest High School and Burges would advance to the Regional Finals before falling to the same Northwest school. Anthony High School had another outstanding season in 2A basketball but didn't reach their goal of a state championship as they were eliminated in the Regional Semi-Finals.
Several girls' teams had outstanding seasons but all were eliminated early in the playoffs. Franklin and Eastwood had the best seasons in 6A round-ball while Burges and Andress dominated 5A basketball. All the El Paso area representatives in the girls' playoffs were eliminated in either the Area or Regional Quarter Final stages of the playoffs.
The story was different for the private schools. Faith Christian Academy has compiled an impressive basketball history during the past several seasons. Faith Christian added another championship to their trophy case when they beat Kipps Sunnyside 74-56 in the TCAL 3A state championship game. Itec Prep Academy won titles in boys' and girls' basketball when they captured the TCAL 2A championships. The Itec boys beat Texas Christian 61-46 and the Itec girls defeated Poetry Community Academy 28-19 to win their title.
Perhaps the highlight of the basketball season occurred on the evening of February 10th in Cathedral High School's all-purpose gymnasium when the Irish defeated Itec Prep Academy 47-33 and gave Coach Tony Harper his 1000th basketball victory as a coach. Coach Harper has coached many years at many schools but 1000 wins is an achievement that few coaches ever reach. Congratulations to Coach Harper on his milestone victory. I believe that Coach James Forbes at Andress High School won his 600th game during the 2017 season. Congratulations to Coach Forbes as well.
The baseball and softball seasons are very long and grueling beginning in the cold winter of February and ending in the hot winds of May. It wasn't a great season for El Paso area baseball UIL teams. All the playoff teams from the various conferences were eliminated by the Regional Quarter Finals. Faith Christian Academy has a storied basketball history and they have compiled a very impressive baseball history the last three years. The Academy won its' third straight TCAL Division 3A title in May when they defeated Tomball Christian 3-0 in the championship game. Faith Christian dominated the championship series winning three games in as many days outscoring their opponents by a combined 18-0. Lest you underestimate Faith Academy's achievement, you should know that they play many top teams in the El Paso area and routinely defeat them.
The story in Softball was different than that of Baseball during the 2017 season. Usually El Paso area teams make an early exit in the playoffs but that wasn't the case in 2017. Coronado High School made it all the way to the Regional Semi-Finals in 6A softball while Eastlake advanced to Regional Quarter Finals in 5A softball. Eastlake had the misfortune of running into Chapin in their Quarter Final game. The Lady Huskies had the most impressive finish in the 5A playoffs reaching the Regional Finals before losing to Canyon. Chapin's march in the softball playoffs was the best showing made by any El Paso area team since Bel Air finished runner up in the early 1990's.
El Paso area teams usually do well in the state Soccer playoffs and that was also the case in 2017. Del Valle and San Elizario both reached the Regional Finals in boys' soccer while the Andress girls advanced to the Regional Semi-Finals after being given new life after their Regional Quarter Final loss to El Paso High. Coronado and Franklin dominated the 6A boys' scene before seeing their respective seasons end in the Regional Quarter Finals. The Franklin girls had the best playoff run in 6A girls' soccer. The Lady Cougars advanced to the Regional Quarter Finals before losing to Frenship 1-0. Bel Air and Del Valle were the top boys' teams in 5A soccer. Bel Air made it to the Regional Semi Finals before falling to Wichita Falls in a shootout 3-2. Del Valle made it to the Regional Finals before they lost to the same Wichita Falls team 1-0. The strangest story occurred in girl's 5A soccer. El Paso High apparently eliminated Andress in their Regional Quarter Finals match 5-1 only to have to forfeit the match a few days later for using an ineligible player. Andress would lose to Aledo in the Regional Semi Finals. San Elizario has been a power in boys' 4A soccer in recent years and such was the case again in 2017. San Elizario made it all the way to the Regional Finals before losing to Bridge Port 2-1.
The El Paso area has never produced a UIL state championship team in Track and Field and that will remain the story after the 2017 season. Instead, the story was not many athletes from the area made it to the state meet. Brian Lujan of Americas finished 4th in the 6A 1600 meter run and David Bernal of Eastwood won the bronze medal in the 6A 3200 meter run. Coronado's Jenelle Jaegar Darakjy finished 4th in the girls' 6A 800 meter run. Michael Abeyta of Hanks High School was the main story of 5A Track and Field. Abeyta, who competed as a freshman, won the gold medal in 5A 1600 meter run. Darius King of Chapin took 4th place in the 5A triple jump. Arielle Mack of Burges took two medals in 5A girls' track. Mack was 3rd in the 5A triple jump and second in the 5A long jump. Shailah Thornton of Chapin was 3rd in the 5A 100 meter hurdles. Erik Arambula of San Elizario capped of a brilliant career in Cross Country and Track and Field with his 3rd place finish in the 4A 3200 meter run. Cathedral High School continued its' great all around track season during the 2016-2017 school year by capturing 3 gold medals at the TAPPS 6A Division I state track meet. The Irish finished 8th overall but Brandon Seagraves won individual gold medals in the 1600 meter run and the 3200 meter run. His team mate, Ian Smith won the gold medal for the 800 meter run. Jesus Chapel's Grace Gomez won a silver medal for her performance in the TAPPS 1A girls' shot put.
Coronado and Franklin dominated the local area Tennis scene. The Thunderbirds took 12 athletes to the Regionals while Franklin took several more. The Regionals were not kind to our local athletes as only
Franklin's Sebastian Herrera would advance to the state meet. Herrera and Coronado's David Cenk would continue their personal battle in 6A boys' singles with Herrera coming out on top in the Regionals after falling to Cenk in their District 1-6A title match. Sebastian Herrera would be the El Paso area's lone competitor at the state meet. He lost his opening match to Coppell's Justin Chen 6-4 and 6-4.
The story was the same for El Paso area UIL athletes in Golf and Swimming. No area golfers made it to the state tournament. A total of 19 athletes made it to the state tournament in swimming but there were no medal winners. Eastwood had the top 6A boys' team finishing the 6A meet in 49th place. The Franklin girls finished the 6A girls' meet in 32nd place. The El Paso High girls finished the 5A meet with a very respectable 12th place finish. The Tiger's also had the top boys' team with a 25th place finish at the state meet.
Cathedral High School continued its' historic dynasty in TAPPS swimming history. The Irish captured their 31st TAPPS or TCIL swimming state championship including the last 27 straight team titles. Cathedral won three individual gold medals and three relay gold medals. Connor White, the son of Coach Jack White, won two individual gold medals and was part of 2 of the gold medal relay teams. Emmanuel Escarcega won the other individual gold medal.
Finally, the Hanks High School girls continued their dynasty in girls' 5A Wrestling. The Lady Knights won their 4th straight 5A girls' title with Ginna Morales winning an individual gold medal for Hanks. Shania Villalba, Cassidy Chacon, and Adrienne Holguin also captured silver medals for the Lady Knights. Hanks High School coach, Tony Carter was recognized for his coaching achievements. Carter was inducted to the 2017 El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame at that organization's annual banquet and induction ceremony. Congratulations to Coach Carter and the Hanks' girls for their outstanding athletic achievements the past four seasons. Hanks was not the only story at the state wrestling tournament. Tiffany Gandara from Parkland took a silver medal. Christian Hernandez of Bel Air won a gold medals in boys' 5A wrestling while Joshua Molinar won a silver medal. The 6A wrestlers were not to be outdone by their 5A counterparts. Adrienne Garcia of Americas won a gold medal while Shania Melendez (El Dorado) and Julia Mata (El Dorado) took silver medals in the respective weight divisions. The 6A boys also did quite well. Isaiah Delgado (Eastwood), James McClain Green (Franklin), and Noah Vasquez (Eastwood) all won gold medals at their respective weight classifications.
It was a very good school year for El Paso area athletes. We can finally say that we have an 11-man football team that has won a state championship and 1000 basketball victories by Tony Harper is an impressive record in anyone's book. I invite you to read the individual chapters for each sport if you want to get a more in-depth story.
2016 High School Sports Fall Recap
Cathedral, San Elizario, and Coronado dominate the 2016 El Paso area sports scene
El Paso area athletes continued to shine during the 2016 fall sports season. Cathedral High School became the first eleven man football team in the El Paso area to ever win a state championship by winning the newly created TAPPS Division 5 state title. The Irish also won a team state championship in Cross Country Track as well as an individual title in that sport.
San Elizario won its third straight Class 4A State Cross Country Championship joining Hanks High School and Cathedral High School as the only area schools to win multiple state titles in consecutive years. Hanks has won three straight Class 5A State Girls Wrestling Championships while Cathedral is off the charts with 30 straight swimming titles. Coronado High School didn't win any state championships but the Thunderbirds dominated the El Paso area in Volleyball and Team Tennis.
Canutillo High School had an undefeated regular season in football before falling to Abilene Cooper in the Area Round of the playoffs. Bowie High School enjoyed its' best football season since 1971 going 9-1 before losing to Parkland in the Bi-District Round of the state playoffs. I will cover all the fall sports in more detail in their individual chapters but for now let me expand on the championships won by Cathedral High School and San Elizario High School.
San Elizario High School, under the leadership of Coach Cesar Morales, won its third straight Class 4A UIL State Cross Country Championship. San Elizario scored 51 points which was 42 points better than Andrews. Erik Arambula led the way for the Eagles with his 2nd place finish in a time of 16:02.09. Other team members for San Elizario were David Ceballos 12th place, Adrian Contreras 15th place, Ulises Cardoza 18th place, Carlos Pargas 26th place, Antonio Diaz 39th place, and Miguel Garcia 57th place. The Eagles have several runners returning next year but Arambula, Cardoza, and Garcia were all seniors. A fourth straight title may be hard to achieve but San Elizario has a good nucleus returning.
Cathedral High School won the TAPPS 5A Boys Cross Country State Championship scoring 63 points to edge out Antonia College Prep's 79 points. The Irish were paced by Brandon Seagraves who finished in first place with a time of 16:23.30. Other team members and there finishes were Pedro Espinoza 10th place, Stephen Stresow 14th place, Ronaldo Lopez 15th place, Ian Smith 25th place, Daniel Maes 46 place, and Eric Magallanes 62nd place. Cathedral is a young team so look for a repeat performance in 2017.
Cathedral Wins El Paso Area's First 11 Man Football State Championship
Cathedral High School under the leadership of Coach Hampton Hurt became the first team in the El Paso area to win an 11 man state championship in football when they defeated the Village 37-14 to capture the TAAPS Division 5 title.
Cathedral had competed in TAPPS Division 1 prior to this year but dropped to the newly created Division 5 prior to the start of the 2016 season. The Irish started the season 6-0 which was the first time in school history that Cathedral advanced that far into the season without a loss.
The Irish suffered through a three game losing spree before returning to winning form just in time for the TAPP'S state playoffs. The Irish defeated TMI Episcopal 30-18 in the first round of the playoffs. Cathedral was led by senior quarterback Chris Lightbourne who completed 16 of 36 passes for 193 yards and 1 touchdown. Senior running back, Alejandro Mandujano , led the ground attack for the Irish with 26 carries for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns. Senior receiver Chris Frazier, caught 7 passes for 104 yards and 1 touchdown.
Next up for the Irish was a state championship match up with the Village. Cathedral easily defeated the Village 37-14 to capture the school's and the El Paso area's first 11 man state title in football. Lightbourne, Mandujano, and Frazier led the way once again. Lightbourne had a stellar performance completing 22 of 41 passes for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mandujano carried the ball 21 times for 123 yards and 1 touchdown. Frazier was on the receiving end of passes for 101 yards and 1 touchdown. The 2016 season was a great one for the Irish. The team was senior dominated so a repeat performance could be hard to achieve.
Congratulations to Cathedral and San Elizario for their team state championships and also to Brandon Seagraves for his individual state championship. Special congratulations to San Elizario for their third consecutive state championship and their team captain, Erik Arambula for his silver medal performance narrowly missing out on defending his individual state championship from 2015. Both high schools have made the El Paso area very proud.