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El Paso High School Sports Champions

Chapter 12 : Review

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Intro: El Paso Area High Schools and UIL Texas State Sport Championships Chapter 1: Football Chapter 2: Basketball Chapter 3: Baseball & Softball Chapter 4: Soccer Chapter 5: Volleyball Chapter 6: Cross County & Track and Field Chapter 7: Tennis Chapter 8: Golf Chapter 9: Swimming Chapter 10: Cathedral Swimming Chapter 11: Wrestling

Chapter 12

2014-2015 Review Final Totals UIL Team State Championships UIL Individual State Championships TAPPS Team State Championships TAPPS Individual State Championships

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Chapter 12 Final Totals

A) 2014-2015 Review

B) Final Totals

C) UIL Team State Championships

D) UIL Individual State Championships

E) TAPPS, TCAL, TCAF, SWCAA, TCIL Team State Championships

F) TAPPS, TCAL, TCAF, SWCAA, TCIL Individual State Championships

2014-2015 A School Year to Remember

The 2014-2015 school year may go down as the best ever for El Paso area high school athletics. I can't remember a better overall year. Canutillo High School made El Paso area sports history when they reached the UIL 5A Semi-Finals in football. No other El Paso area UIL 11 man football team had ever gone that deep into the state football playoffs. The Eagles captured the hearts of the entire El Paso area and you could feel a sense of pride that had never been felt before for a high school football team. Canutillo showed the rest of Texas that El Paso area teams could indeed play football.

Andress High School and Bel Air High School thrilled area fans in basketball. Bel Air finished the regular season unbeaten ranked #4 in 5A and a record of 32-0. Andress finished the regular season ranked #5 in 5A with a 30-1 record. The two power houses would meet in a Regional Quarter Final game on March 3 rd , 2015 at the Don Haskins Center before almost 10,000 fans. Andress won the game 58-44 and continued in the state playoffs. The Eagles would make it all the way to the 5A Final 4 before losing to eventual state champion Lancaster 69-48 in the state semi-finals.

The football and basketball seasons were ones to remember but they didn't end in state championships or individual state titles. The El Paso area had plenty to go around. I counted 10 team championships and 26 individual state titles that were won during the 2014-2015 school year. San Elizario High School and Cathedral High School won state titles in Cross Country. The boys from El Paso Faith Christian Academy won their fourth straight TCAL 3A Basketball Championship. El Paso Christian Home School won the SWCAA basketball title after losing the TCAL 2A title game. San Elizario High School became the 4 th UIL school to win a soccer championship win they captured the UIL 4A title. Cathedral High School brought the El Paso area a second soccer championship winning the TAPPS 6A Division I title. Cathedral continued their dominance in TAPPS swimming winning the school's 29 th TAPPS or TCIL championship and 25 th straight title. The girls from Hanks High School won their second straight 5A Wrestling title. The girls from El Paso Faith Christian Academy won the TCAL 3A title in track and field and another title in volleyball. El Paso Faith Christian Academy provided the El Paso area with one more team title at the end of the school year. The Lions won three straight playoff games by a combined scored of 41-0 to capture the TCAL 3A Baseball championship and giving the El Paso area its third baseball title. There was one other championship that I didn't count since it was not a Texas title and I could not verify if all the players attend Franklin or if it is a composite team. Franklin High School won the New Mexico NMIIHL Hockey championship in the early spring.

El Paso area athletes brought home plenty of gold medals in the various sports. Here is a listing of the 26 individual titles that I could find:

Cathedral High School swimmers, Roberto Pinedo and Juan Ramos won individual gold medals. Pinedo won two titles. Irish swimmers also won 3 relay races which I detailed in Chapter 10 of this book. Loretto Academy's Miriam Guevara continued the Lady Angels proud history by winning a gold medal in the 100 yard backstroke.

The girls from Faith Christian Academy won 4 individual gold medals in Track and Field. The Lady Lion champions were Gabrielle Gandara and Kayla Jeffries. Both girls won 2 gold medals apiece.

The boys from Faith Christian Academy won 2 individual gold medals in Track and Field. The winners were Nick Buckhalter and Sedric Davis.

Paulo Benavidez of Franklin High School won his second straight state title in the 6A Pole Vault setting a state record with a vault of 17 feet 6.5 inches.

San Elizario High School's Michael Johnson completed his brilliant high school career winning 2 gold medals (1600 meter run and 3200 meter run). It was Johnson's third medal of the school year as he was also a member of the Eagle's Cross Country team

Wrestlers from El Paso area high schools brought home 8 individual gold medals. Girls that won titles were Daniela Flores and Adrienne Holguin from Hanks High School. It was the second gold medals for both Flores and Holguin. Chantal Berry from Andress High School and Sandra Garcia from Jefferson High School also won state titles. Boys that brought home the gold were Franklin High School's Christian Ordaz and Alex Jimenez. Also winning gold medals were El Dorado High School's Jeremy Melendez and Chapin High School's Andres O'Brien. It was O'Brien second state championship.

Coronado High School did well at the state tennis tournament. The Thunderbirds didn't win a team title but Nathan Brown won the 6A Boys Singles title.

An El Paso girl also won the city's first state championship in the sport of gymnastics. Gymnastics is not a UIL sport but I decided to count it because the title was a first for the El Paso area and I think the sport will eventually be recognized by the UIL. Eastwood High School's Dianeliz Tirado won the gold medal in the vault competition at the event sponsored by the Texas High School Gymnastics Coaches Association.

It was a great year for high school sports in the El Paso area. I have lived in El Paso for over 60 years and I can remember no better one. I can only hope that the future years will bring even more glory and success. Maybe there is even a UIL football title to come in the future. The athletes and coaches of the 2014-2015 school year have set a very high standard. It is now up to the athletes of the future to surpass that standard.

One Late Breaking Update

The El Paso area will lose two of its most successful coaches at the end of the present school year. Eastwood High School's Steve Flato and Coronado High School's Jerry Pippins have announced their intentions to retire from their respective school districts at the end of the current school year.

Coach Flato was the swimming coach at Eastwood High School for over 30 years. He coached both the girls and boys teams and built the Trooper program into the top UIL program in the El Paso area and one of the best in the state of Texas. His boys teams won 32 straight district titles as well as many individual regional and state titles. Flato's last individual state champion was Leonard Sanchez who won the gold medal in 200 yard freestyle in 2014. Sanchez won the silver medal in the same event in 2015 as well as winning a bronze medal in the 100 yard freestyle in 2014. I counted a total of 8 individual or relay state titles that were won under Coach Flato's leadership. Winning individual gold medals were Yousif Del Valle in the 200 yard freestyle in 2003, Kurt Mullen won the gold medal in the 100 yard freestyle in 1998, and Bill Juvrud won the state championship in the 100 yard backstroke in 1977. Flato als developed several very good relay teams. Eastwood won the 200 yard freestyle relay in 2001, the 400 yard freestyle relay in both 2000 and 2001, and the 200 yard freestyle relay in 1998. I believe the 1998 relay team set a national record for that event. Coach Flato is a member of the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame and has received numerous awards for his coaching over the years. He is also the current coach of the El Paso Desert Sharks.

Coach Pippins retires as probably the most successful tennis coach in El Paso area history. Pippins has coached several individuals and teams to state wide prominence during his tenure at Coronado High School. Nathan Brown won the 6A Boys Singles title in 2015 and finished runner up in 2014. The T-Bird Boys Doubles Team finished runner up in 2015. Pippins led Coronado to the 2000 UIL Team State Championship in the 2000-2001 school year. The Thunderbirds were runner-ups in team tennis in 2007 and 2001 as well as finishing in the Final 4 in both 2012 and 2013. Pippins also developed many successful doubles teams during his tenure at Coronado. Vince Knipp and Tyler Lyon won the Boys Doubles Title in 2003, Alvaro Hobbs and Wilson Lambeth reached the 5A Semi-Finals in 2014, and Wilson Lambeth and Cameron Bilsbarrow finished state runner ups in 2015. Pippins also coached several girls to state wide recognition. Majorie Antohi made it to the 6A Girls Singles Semi-Finals in 2015. The T-Bird girls doubles team of Vanessa Camara and Natalie Tribaldos made it to the Final 8 in 2014. Pippens most successful girls doubles team were Nicole Fintell and Megan Schmulback. The pair won the UIL Girls Doubles State Championship in both 2001 and 2003. Coach Pippins was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame this year.

The departures of Flato and Pippins will leave some very big shoes to fill. I'm sure that EPIS and YISD will find very good coaches to take over the programs at Eastwood and Coronado but I doubt if the new coaches will have the lasting success of these two fine coaches. Enjoy your retirement Coach Flato and Coach Pippins.

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Intro: El Paso Area High Schools and UIL Texas State Sport Championships Chapter 1: Football Chapter 2: Basketball Chapter 3: Baseball & Softball Chapter 4: Soccer Chapter 5: Volleyball Chapter 6: Cross County & Track and Field Chapter 7: Tennis Chapter 8: Golf Chapter 9: Swimming Chapter 10: Cathedral Swimming Chapter 11: Wrestling

Chapter 12

2014-2015 Review Final Totals UIL Team State Championships UIL Individual State Championships TAPPS Team State Championships TAPPS Individual State Championships

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KVIA ABC-7

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