Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Austin Ross @ State Track Meet (5-9-14)

Austin Ross @ State Track Meet (5-9-14)

Austin Ross competed in the Texas State Track Meet in the University of Texas Mike Meyers Stadium Friday evening. The weather was warm and humid. Ross had qualified for the State Meet as the Wildcard by running the fourth fastest time in the four regional meets. 

A ninth lane was added to the Mike Meyers track a couple of years ago and so the fastest non-qualifier in each running event is invited to compete as the Wildcard. 

“I told Austin (Ross) just before he stepped into the area to take it all in,” said Mule track coach Kirk Byrd. “Enjoy yourself and leave it all on the track because you want to have no regrets when it is over.”

Ross and the other competitors were led into the stadium and were allowed to adjust their starting blocks. Each athlete took a few practice starts before being given the signal to stand behind their blocks.

The minutes behind the blocks must seem like hours as the runners see the race as they want to run it over and over in the heads. Finally, the signal to get in their blocks is given. 

Ross broke out of the blocks when the gun sound and led the pack around the curve and down the straight. Four other runners finally over took and passed Ross in the final fifty meters. 

“Austin got off to a fast start and led the first 150 meters but for some reason seemed to tighten up in the final 50 meters. But he was smiling when he walked back down the track to leave the stadium and seemed satisfied with his race,” concluded Coach Byrd. 

Ross finished fifth with a time of 22.06 seconds. The runner from Crane posted a time of 21.63 for the gold medal, a time of  21.67 took the silver medal and 21.79 was the bronze medal time. The runner from Wall just edged Ross out for fourth place at the finish line.

“I was happy to be back in Austin and in the State Track Meet,” Ross said after the race. “I sure did not want my high school track career to stop in the Odessa Regionals. I felt I ran my best today.”

“But I sure wish I had one more year as I am really going to miss it. I can not believe how fast these four years have gone. That all my high school sports are now over and in a way it is a little depressing but I have no regrets,” Ross concluded.  

State Golf Tourny (4-30 & 5-1-14)

State Golf Tourny (4-30 & 5-1-14)

Lariat Adams won the Texas State Golf Individual Silver Medal May 1 with a two round total of 158 strokes. She had won the Region I Individual Silver Medal on the Ratliff Golf Course to qualify for the State Tourney. 

The tournament was held on the Roy Kiser Golf Course that is built around a lake with many of the holes that dogleg around and over water. Par on the course is 71 and the challenge is to decide on the line to hit the tee shot and how much a player wants to challenge the water. 

“Lariat (Adams) is a good player,” said Mule golf coach Carey Sudduth. “She has played in a lot of big tournaments and has a lot of experience. We played a practice round to get an idea of the layout of the course.”

“She proved to have one big advantage over the other players in that she could out drive the other girls by 50 to 60 yards. She really did a good job of coming up with a game plan during that practice round.”

“Lariat played well the first day but had trouble putting the ball. Several holes she had to  three putt because of missed short putts. But Lariat did not get frustrated and let that mess up her long game. She just continue to play her game.”

She finished the first round and was frustrated by her play and was afraid she was to far behind. But that all changed when the final results were posted and she was just three shots out of first place and tied for fourth place. 

“When she saw the results after the first day she got very excited,” Sudduth said. “She was very determined the next morning and played a wonderful round of golf. Her ball striking was very good and her putting improved.”

Adams had one bad hole on the back nine with a bogie eight on the eleventh hole. She played very strong the rest of the way and completed the course with a round of 77. 

“The waiting may have been the hardest part of the tournament for Lariat,” continued Sudduth. “We had no way of knowing what the other contenders were doing, so she got very excited to see her score was better than most of the other players.”

“The last scores to go on the board were the leaders from the first day and when the last score was posted  we knew Lariat had finished in second place. It was a great experience for her.”

“Lariat is a great kid and represented our school and our community with class in Austin. I was very proud of her,” Sudduth concluded.

Mules vs. Idalou @ Area (5-9&10-14)

Mules vs. Idalou @ Area (5-9&10-14)

The Mules advanced to the Area round of the Texas State Baseball Playoffs by defeating the Boys Ranch Rough Riders. The Mules met the State ranked Idalou Wildcats Friday and Saturday on the Levelland Lobo Diamond. 

The Wildcats were ranked in the top 10 of most polls and had scored 20 plus runs against most of their opponents this season. No district team could last longer than five innings against the Wildcats. 

The Mules lost the first two games of the three-game series. Friday Idalou defeated the Mules 5-0 and came back on Saturday to take the second game 4-0.

“We struggled to hit the ball against them,” Coach Boatmun said. “Their pitchers were bringing it maybe a little faster than what we are accustomed. They put it in play hard and we depend on our defense and it has been enough.”

“We needed more offense and just did not get it done.”

“We really appreciate all the support from the parents, grandparents and fans that have been with us all season. They really did come out and show their support during the playoffs,” continued Boatmun. 

“It truly made a difference to the boys and they played their hearts out. We will miss Matt (Barron) and Nacho (Elizalde) next year but we hope to have some of the young players to step up for us.”

Idalou pitching was the difference in the games as the Mules only had three hits in each game. Friday the Wildcats out hit the Mules four to three and the Mules allowed three extra outs that allowed Idalou three extra runs. 

Wesley Clarkson got the nod from Mule coach Wes Boatmun to start the first game against Idalou. He gave up five runs on four hits, hit one batter with a pitch and walked two. The Mules committed three errors behind him. 

The game was scoreless through the first four innings. An error allowed the first batter to reach first base and he went to second on a throwing error. The second batter popped out to Nathan Rejino at second. 

The next batter doubled to left center to score the first run and a single by the next batter scored a second run. A sacrifice sent him to third and he stole home on a passed ball. Idalou led the Mules 3-0 after four innings. 

Idalou added one run in the fifth inning and one in the sixth. 

Danny Campos lined a two out single down the line in right field for the Mules first hit. He went to second on a passed ball but a strike out ended the inning. Rejino laid a perfect bunt down the first base line in the top of the fourth inning and ran past the pitcher before he could field the ball.   

Beto Diaz drew a walk and put Mules at first and second base. Dustin Smith tried to bunt down the third base line but the ball went to close to the mound. The pitcher fielded the ball to force out Rejino at third base 

Diaz was caught attempting to steal third base and a strike out ended the inning. 

Jason Florez drove a high bouncing ball deep in the hole and the short stop was on the grass before he could field the ball. Florez beat the throw to first for an infield base hit. An error allowed Diaz to go to second and Rejino reach first base in the top of the sixth inning. 

Florez went to third and Rejino advanced to third on a passed ball. A strike out and a ground out ended the inning and the Mules did not mount another threat. 

The Mule defense shut down the running game of Idalou after Smith came up throwing in the second inning to gun down a base runner attempting to steal second base. Matt Barron easily made the tag three feet from the bag. 

Florez chased down a line drive that went to the fence in right center field and fired the ball to Barron in shallow center field. Barron turn and gunned the ball to Campos for the tag at third to get the hitter attempting to turn a double into a triple for the third out.

Nacho Elizalde took the mound to start the second game Saturday afternoon and gave up four runs on 11 hits. He hit one batter and walked two. The Mules stranded eight Wildcats on base and committed no errors. 

Idalou scored one run in the top of the first inning. A ground out to Elizalde and a strike out gave Idalou two outs before he hit the third batter and he stole second base. A single to right center field scored the run and Idalou led 1-0 after one inning. 

The Mules kept Idalou off the board for the next three innings. The Wildcats doubled to start the fifth inning and an infield hit put runners at first and second. A double to right center scored two runs and a sacrifice moved the runner to third. A single to shallow right field scored the third run to put Idalou ahead 4-0. 

Rejino singled in the first inning but was forced out at second base for the third out. Smith walked in the bottom of the fourth inning and Florez dropped a bunt single down first base line to put Mules at first and second. 

A sacrifice bunt by Campos advanced the runner but a ground out ended the inning. Idalou appeared to get help from the home plate umpire in the bottom of the fifth inning. Grey Johnson drew a one-out walk. 

Barron singled to right field to put Mules at first and second with one out. A wild pitch allowed the runners to advance before Rejino walked to load the bases. A strike out left the bases loaded with Mules with two out. 

Smith came to the plate and the first three pitches were called ball. A called strike and a missed swing filled the count. Smith fouled off three pitches. The final pitch appeared to be well out of the strike zone and Smith did not offer at the pitch but the umpire rang him up to end the inning. 

The Mules could not mount another threat. 

The Idalou coach, Garrett Heard, went over and visited with the Mules after the second game and had nothing but praise for the way they had played the series. 

Heard told the Mules, “You have made us a better team these past two days. We came here thinking anticipating to score 20 runs and you made us work for every thing we got. You have a bright future ahead.”  

2014 Softball All-Dist (5-11-14)

2014 Softball All-Dist (5-11-14)

The Lady Mule softball team placed nine players on the 2014 All-District Team. Marissa Cortez was chosen as the Most Valuable Player in the district. 

Cortez, a unanimous choice, was the Lady Mule pitcher and won 14 games while losing 10. She gave up 129 runs on 126 hits, struck out 150 batters walked 52 and hit nine batters. She finished the year with an earned run average of 2.695 and had a fielding percentage of .762. 

At the plate, Cortez collected 28 hits with 18 being singles, eight doubles and two home runs. She had a batting average of .384 brought in 29 runs and scored 13 times. Cortez has verbally committed to play college softball for the Oklahoma Panhandle State Lady Aggies.   

Diamond Lopez was a unanimous pick for All-District at third base. She had 24 singles, seven doubles and one triple to bring home 20 runs while scoring 34 runs. She was hit with two pitches, walked 17 times and finished the year with a .444 batting average. She accumulated seven put outs, committed six errors and started one double play.  

Amber Lopez was chosen to the first team at short stop. She accumulated 15 singles, six doubles, one triple and five home runs. She drove home 24 runs and scored 32 times. 

A. Lopez was hit twice with pitches, walked 13 times for a batting average of .370 and had a slugging percentage of .685. She had 18 put outs, committed nine errors and made one double play. She had a fielding percentage of .780.

Miranda DeBruin was the unanimous choice as the Designated Player and hit 15 singles and five doubles to bring home 23 runs while scoring 27 times. She was hit with three pitches, walked 21 times and struck out just six times in 79 plate appearances. DeBruin had a batting average of .370 and a slugging percentage of .463. 

Samantha Vasquez was a unanimous choice at second base. She hit nine singles and five doubles to bring in 11 runs and scored 11 more. She was hit by pitches twice, walked five times and had 11 strike outs. She had a .269 batting average. She made 11 put outs and two errors for a fielding percentage of .889. 

Sasha Esparza was chosen to the first team as an out fielder. She played centerfield for the Lady Mules and made four put outs, two errors for a fielding percentage of .667. 

Esparza had 20 singles, five doubles, one triple and two home runs. She brought home 19 runners and scored 21 times. Esparza was hit by three pitches, walked eight times and struck out 11 times for a batting average of .424 and a slugging percentage of .508.

Adrianna Loya was the second team pick for catcher. She had 80 put outs, made three errors and had a fielding percentage of .965. She had 12 singles, five doubles, brought home 13 runs and scored 33 runs. She was hit by one pitch, walked 20 times and had nine strike outs for a batting average of .298 and a slugging percentage of .386. 

Also making the second team was Gabi Chavez for her play at first base. Chavez made 45 put outs, two errors for a fielding percentage of .960. She had six singles and four doubles to bring home 11 runs and scored 12 times for a batting average of .233 and a slugging percentage of .326. 

Brittany Mendoza was picked as an outfielder for the second team. She made four put outs, two errors and one double play for a fielding percentage of .818. Mendoza had six singles and one double. She brought home five runs and scored nine times. She walked five times for a batting average of .333 and a slugging percentage of .381.

Lady Mule coach Erin White was not able to present her awards at the Athletic Banquet because the team was still in the State Playoffs. Coach White disclosed this week the following awards. 

Marissa Cortez was chosen as the Lady Mules Defensive Most Valuable Player. She picked Diamond Lopez as the Offensive Most Valuable Player. The Slugger of the Year Awards went to Amber Lopez and Miranda DeBruin.

Jr High District Tennis Meet @ Levelland (5-5-14)

Jr High District Tennis Meet @ Levelland (5-5-14)

The Muleshoe Junior High Tennis team traveled to South Plains College Monday to participate in the District 2-AA Tennis Meet. Abernathy, Friona, Olton and Tulia also sent teams to the meet. 

There were 46 Mules and Lady Mules on the team and 45 participated in the District Meet. Conley Niblett was prevented from playing due to an injury. The two teams had 29 entries that played a total of 56 matches.

The eighth grade team won the District 2-AA Tennis Team Championship with boy’s doubles team Brendon Rodriguez and Kevin Chavez winning the gold medals. Michael Lozano and Javier Gutierrez took the silver medals to jump start the team.

The mixed doubles team of Cassidy Cage and Jacob Kettner climbed the winners stand for the gold medals. Anghy Avilez and Ricardo Torres took the silver medals and Xena Gallegos and Malachi Rodriguez completed the Muleshoe sweep of the medals by earning the bronze medals. 

Estevan Palomares was the bronze medalist in the eighth grade boy’s singles. The girl’s doubles team of Nancy Martinez and Sophia Sianez took the bronze medals. 

Leading the seventh grade team were the boy’s doubles team Ean Hasley and Raul Sierra by winning the bronze medals. 

Rodriguez and Chavez defeated Olton 8-0, Friona 8-5 and Muleshoe 8-3 for the gold medals. Lozano and Gutierrez dropped Abernathy 8-3, Muleshoe 8-0 but lost to Rodriguez and Chavez in the championship match. 

Bailey Puckett and Izaiah Perez defeated Tulia 8-2 but lost to Muleshoe 6-8 and Friona 5-8. 

Cage and Kettner defeated Muleshoe 8-1 in the first round of mixed doubles and a second Muleshoe team 8-1 for the gold medals. Avilez and Torres defeated Muleshoe 8-2 but lost to a second Muleshoe team for the silver medals. Gallegos and Rodriguez lost to Muleshoe 1-8 and a second Muleshoe team 2-8 to take the bronze medals. 

Palomares defeated Abernathy 8-3 in the first round of boy’s singles. He also defeated Olton 8-5 before losing to Friona 4-8. Palomares came back to defeat a Muleshoe player 8-6 for the bronze medal. 

Aron Chacon defeated Friona 8-6 and Tulia 8-6 before losing to a second Tulia player 1-8. He also lost to Palomares to be knocked out of the medals. Isaac Mendoz defeated Friona 8-2 but lost to Tulia 1-8. Yavet Elizalde defeated Tulia 8-3 but fell to Friona 1-8. 

Martinez and Sianez defeated Tulia in girl’s doubles 8-6 before losing to Olton 2-8. They came back to defeat 8-6 for the bronze medal. Liliana Barrera and Brianna Velasquez tied Tulia 8-8 but lost the tie breaker 7-9. Lorena Balderas and Xiomara Regalado lost to Tulia 5-8. 

Alexis Campos defeated Tulia 8-0 in girl’s singles before losing to Olton 2-8. Noa Rojas defeated Olton 9-7 but fell to Tulia 6-8. Brianna Barron downed Friona 8-1 before losing to Olton 5-8. Hallie Myatt lost her match to Olton 1-8.

Hasley and Sierra dropped Tulia 8-0 in seventh boy’s doubles. They also defeated Friona 8-4 before tying Tulia 8-8 but lost the tie-breaker 5-7. They came back to defeat Olton 8-2 for the bronze medals. 

Luke Leal and Luke Del Toro lost their first match to Tulia 7-9 and Ethan Gonzales and Ethan Villa also fell to Tulia 8-2. 

Kayla Torres and AB Mendoza had a bye in the first round of girl’s singles and lost to Tulia 3-8. Ileana Gonzales and Hailey Anzuldua fell to Tulia 4-8 and Kinsey Parker and Madison Hasley also lost to Tulia 2-8. Megan Macias and Alexa and Herrera fell to Tulia 2-8. 

Dacota Van Leer defeated Olton 8-4 in boy’s singles and defeated a second Olton player 8-1. Carlos Balderas fell to Abernathy 5-8 and Ashton Atchley lost to Abernathy 2-8. Michelle Reyes defeated Tulia 8-1 in girl’s singles before losing to Olton 3-8. Clarissa Ruvalcaba was defeated by Tulia 6-8. 

The following results were omitted from the previous Junior High Tournament. 

Luke Leal and Luke Del Toro, some times known as Luke squared, won the gold medals. The team defeated SPCHEA 6-3, Muleshoe 6-3 and a second Muleshoe team 6-4 in the finals. 

Raul Sierra and Ean Hasley defeated Post 6-1, Muleshoe 6-3 before losing to Leal and Del Toro to take the silver medals. Bailey Puckett and Izaiah Perez defeated an unknown team 7-6 but lost to Leal and Del Toro 3-6. They defeated a second Muleshoe team for the bronze medals. 

Ethan Villa and Ethan Gonzales defeated Post 6-1 before losing to Muleshoe 3-6 and were eliminated by a second Muleshoe team 0-6. Michael Lozano and Javier Gutierrez defeated Post 6-2 and Brownfield 6-3  before losing to a second Post team 6-7.

Brendon Rodriguez and Kevin Chavez had a first round bye and lost to Post 6-7 before defeating Brownfield 7-5.  

2013-2014 Athletic Banquet

2013-2014 Athletic Banquet (4-29-14)

The Muleshoe Athletic Boosters hosted the 2013-2014 Muleshoe High School athletes, coaches, fans and friends Tuesday evening in the Commons Area of the High School. After the meal was served and a highlight film of the various sports was shown the crowd moved to the Kerry Moore Auditorium for the introductions and presentation of awards. 

Father Sergio Leal led the invocation prior to the meal and the benediction at the end of the festivities. Sam Whalin acted as the master of ceremonies and introduced the Muleshoe Board of Trustees that were in attendance. Carol Precure, Sergio Leal and Curtis Preston were introduced. 

Other introductions included Superintendent, Dr. Gene Sheets, Assistant Superintendent, Dr. RL Richards, High School Principal, Steve Myatt and Assistant Principal, Erin White. Delton Wilhite, Sports Writer, for the Muleshoe Journal,  as well has Lonnie Wilhite, Rene Torres, Frank Wuerflein and Bryan Morris for the support they give through Muleshoe Sports Network. 

Gil, Magann and Jack Reynolds along with Bob Graves and the late Ronnie Jones for their coverage at Channel 6 cable television. 

Frank Wuerflein for all the beautiful awards he has donated and for being Delton’s right-hand man on Muleshoe Sports Network. Jody Wood produced the programs for tonight’s event and Erin White for taking and making the senior pictures displayed around the cafeteria. 

The coaches spouses were ask to stand and received an ovation for the sacrifices they make to allow the coaches to do their jobs. A huge thank you was extended to the Mighty M Band, cheerleaders, fans and parents for all the support they had extended to the teams. 

The Senior Spotlight provided by Muleshoe Athletic Trainer, Josh Woolbright. The Legends Award was present by Muleshoe Athletic Director David Wood. The award is given to a special person or group of people that give their ultimate support to Muleshoe Athletics. 

This was a special and unique individual that was lost and was an icon in Muleshoe Sports for many years. In the most recent years he and Bob Graves did the play-by-play of Mule football on Saturday mornings. Gil Lamb put together a tribute to Jones. 

The seniors of 2014 thought it was only fitting to honor Ronnie Jones as the year’s Legend’s Award recipient. Accepting for Jones was Bob Graves. 

The student athletic trainers were the first group to the stage and they joined Coach Josh Woolbright. 

“The Muleshoe Sports Medicine Program has had an outstanding year,” said Woolbright. “They have strived to keep our athletes in the game and playing a high level. I want to thank the Student Trainers for everything they accomplished. They have recorded 4000 treatments and/or rehabilitations this year.” 

Woolbright honored two of the trainers for their untiring efforts. The Most Improved Student Athletic Trainer of the Year Award went to Jaki Huerta. The second award was the Student Athletic Trainer of the Year. Alex Baca was presented the award and has dedicated herself to the program for three years. 

The cheerleaders were the next group invited to the stage. They had a great year and their hard work and dedication to the support of the Lady Mules and Mules was recognized. The four Varsity cheerleaders were Lilana Vasquez, Bailey Bales, Hadlea Geissler and Adrianne Precure. 

Juniors on the squad were Daniela Diaz, Michelle Chavez, Kayla Preston and Ashton Hunt. 

Coach David Wood then invited the Mule football team to the stage while the freshman and JV teams were ask to stand and be recognized by those in attendance. 

“The Mule varsity was a young squad and many adjustments had to be made in the non-district portion of the season,” said Wood. “The team made the playoffs and gained valuable experience for the seasons to come.” 

Austin Ross was the Wall of Fame inductee for receiving All-State recognition on all of the All-State teams. He was also first team All District two consecutive years. Wood present the team captains, Jaxon Lee, Danny Campos, Braden Bessire, Matt Barron and Ross miniature helmets. 

The Most Improved Award went to Danny Campos. The Defensive Player of the Year was presented to Chamel Regalado. The Offensive Player of the Year went to Dustin Smith. The Most Outstanding Player of the Year was Austin Ross. The Football MVP-Fighting Heart Award was presented to Matt Barron. 

The Cross Country Lady Mules and Mules were next on the stage to join their coach, Jay Gorman. 

“Both teams competed at the Region I Meet,” said Gorman. “The Lady Mules won their second consecutive District Championship and finished ninth out of 22 team in the regional competition.” 

“The Mules made tremendous strides and were the district runners-up. They placed 13th at the regional meet and defeated the district champions at the Region I Meet.” 

Adrienne Precure was named as the girls MVP and Noah Del Toro was presented the Boys MVP.  

Coach Gorman remained on the stage and called for the Lady Mule varsity basketball team to join him. The JV and JV 2 Lady Mules were also recognized. 

“We were young this year but decided to not accept youth as an excuse but to use it as motivation,” said Jay. “The seniors improved this year and were the team leaders. The three freshmen grew up in front of our eyes. The two juniors are ready to assume the leadership roll next season.”

“Adrienne Precure was selected as First Team All-District and McKenna Dunham and Sadie Sudduth were selected as Honorable Mention All-District.”

The Most Improved Award went to Daniela Diaz. The Free Throw Champion was Sadie Sudduth and the Defensive MVP Award was given to DonAnn Rempe. The Offensive MVP Award went to Adrienne Precure. The Team MVP went to both McKenna Dunham and Adrienne Precure. 

Coach Clay White called the Mule Basketball team to the front and recognized the efforts of the JV Mules and Freshmen Mule teams. 

“We got off to a hot start but suffered an injury to Eli Leal,” said White. “The team rallied and gelled at a critical time to make the playoffs. The Mules were defeated in the Bi-District round by a highly rated team from Canadian but finished the season with a record of 18-13.”

The Defensive MVP Award went to Matt Barron. The Team MVP/Fighting Heart Award was presented to Eli Leal.   

Powerlifting coach Kirk Byrd invited the 2014 power lifters to the stage. Coach Byrd thanked Coach Albert Lopez and Coach William Smith for their help this year during the Powerlifting season. 

“This year’s team worked extremely hard to get stronger,” said Coach Byrd. “They spent countless hours in the weight room before and after school. For the first time in a while, the Muleshoe Powerlifting team featured three ladies. These three competed well all year and each medaled in at least one meet. Those competing were Krystin Gonzales, Aimee Rosas and Katelyn Gable.”

“The young men on the stage started as freshmen and have worked hard to get stronger. This year many of them placed and medaled in many meets. Their time and effort spent in the weight room has paid off.”

Those that qualified for the regional meet were Gonzales, Rosas, Gable and David Rodriguez. Aimee Rosas placed fifth in the region and received a medal. 

The Girl’s Powerlifting MVP was presented to Aimee Rosas. The Boy’s Powerlifting MVP was given to David Rodriguez.

Muleshoe Tennis team coach Jody Wood was not able to attend the banquet so Coach Wes Wood stood in for her. 

Coach J. Wood sent a special thanks to Coaches David Wood, Josh Woolbright, Jalissa King, John Gibson, Nathan Young, Tyler Wood, Denisse Ramirez, Imelda Salcido and Alee Sanchez for all their help. She also thanked the maintained crew for keeping the tennis courts in great shape. 

The JV tennis team was asked to stand and be recognized. They played in five tournaments and brought home first plays in boy’s singles, fixed in mixed doubles, second in girl’s doubles and fourth in boy’s singles. 

The Varsity also competed in five tournaments. At the District 2-2A Tournament Eli and Jesse Leal placed fourth in Boy’s Doubles. Aaryn Ross and Denisse Ramirez placed fourth in Mixed Doubles. Matt Barron and Nacho Elizalde Placed second and qualified for the Region I Tournament in Odessa.

Matt (Barron) and Nacho (Elizalde) represented our district well as they won their first round of matches at regional. They both had played singles and doubles this year and they combined for 29 wins and six losses. 

The 2014 Tennis MVP Award went to Matt Barron and Nacho Elizalde. 

The Muleshoe golf team was invited to the stage. Muleshoe golf coach Carey Sudduth was not in attendance as he and Lariat Adams were in Austin to compete in the State Class AA Golf Tournament. 

“The Mules golf team competed hard all year,” said Coach Sudduth. “They finished second in one tournament and earned several individual medals. By the District tournament they were ready to play their way to the regional tournament.”

“It was a tough two days and the competition was close. The Mules finished fourth in the team race. Eli Leal put two good rounds together and finished third in the individual standings to earn a trip to the Regional Tournament.”

“Conner Harrison fought off everyone on the last nine holes of a close match to win the Individual Medalist gold medal by one shot. Harrison and Leal competed at the Region I Tournament in Odessa and I was very proud of them.”

“Eli (Leal) has had a great career as a very versatile Mule. We will miss him. Conner (Harrison) will work hard and be back to defend his title next year with bigger expectations.”

“The Lady Mules had a great year and won three tournaments and finished second in another. These ladies won the District 2-AA Championship by 47 strokes. They competed at the Region I Tournament and really grew as players,” continued Sudduth. 

“They finished seventh out of 16 teams and plays are to build on that and move up next year. Lariat Adams won the Individual District Gold Medal and finished as the Individual Silver Medalist at the Region I Tournament to earn a trip to Austin.”

The Boys Golf Award was presented to Conner Harrison and the Girls Golf Award went to Lariat Adams. 

Coach Benjie Jay called the Lady Mule track team to the stage. The 2014 Lady Mules won the team championship trophy at their own Mule Relays as well as the Abernathy Relays. They also received the Runner-up District Championship Trophy at the District I Meet. 

Eleven Lady Mules qualified for the Area Track Meet that was held in Panhandle by placing in the top four in the district meet. Muleshoe was represented in 10 of the 11 running events and two field events. 

Five of the Lady Mules qualified for the Region I Track Meet and competed in nine events. None qualified for the Texas State Meet this season. 

“The girls and I would like to thank the other track coaches that helped them this season,” Coach Jay said. “Kirk Byrd helped with the distance runners and triple jump, Wes Wood worked with the long jumpers, William Smith had the throwers and David Wood worked with the high jumpers. We want to include Josh Woolbright for keeping us all competing. We also want to the parents, other family members, community members and the Athletic Booster Club for their encouragement and support.”

Coach Jay present the Newcomer of the Year award to Mireya Ruvalcaba. The Workhorse Award went to Jasmine Garza. The Most Improved Award was given to Miranda Acevedo. Katelyn Gable received the Most Outstanding Award. 

The Most Valuable 2014 Track Athlete was Adrienne Precure. 

The Varsity Mule Track team was on the stage next with their coach Kirk Byrd. The JV Mule Track team was asked to stand. They finished second at the District Meet and the highlight of the meet was winning the 4x400-meter relay and running their best time of the season.

“This year the varsity boys competed well in a very tough district,” Coach Byrd said. “The varsity boys finished fourth in the district meet. Each athlete competed hard and contributed in their own way to help the team. The highlight of the day was winning the 4x400-meter relay and running our best time of the year.”

Eight Mules qualified for the Area Meet in nine events and four Mules went to the Region I Meet in five events. Eli Leal placed eighth in the high jump and Jesus Manzanares ran the 800-meter run in two minutes and five second to finish fifth. 

Austin Ross placed fourth in the 400-meter run with a 50.01 and he ran a 21.91 in the 200-meter dash to place third. He advanced to the Texas State Track Meet as the wild card and had the fourth fastest time in the state. 

Eli Leal received the Best in Field Events Award. The Most Improved Runner Award was presented to Mate Rosas. Jesus Manzanares earned the Workhorse Award and the Track MVP Award went to Austin Ross. 

The Lady Mule Softball Team was brought to the stage but no awards were given as they were still competing in the Texas State Softball Playoffs. Coach Erin White introduced her three seniors, Amber Lopez, Diamond Lopez and Marissa Cortez. 

“We have had a good year,” Coach Erin White said. “We began the season by winning the Panhandle Showdown in Amarillo and beat several class 4A schools. The team was undefeated in district with a 9-0 record and an overall record of 15-9.”

“The girls out scored their district opponents 122-31 and blasted 14 homeruns. The Lady Mules defeated the Dimmitt Bobbies 28-1 in five innings to win the Bi-District Gold Glove.”

The Mule baseball team was invited to the stage and their coach, Wes Boatmun, talked a little about a good problem he and assistant coach, David Sturdivant, had when the season started. Forty two Mules lined up to check out workout equipment. 

Soon a Black JV team as well as a White JV team was formed to keep the players interested and competing. Thirty four of the forty two made it through the season and are expected to return to the diamond next season. 

“After a six-year layoff and after finishing second in the district the Mules return to the Texas high School Baseball Playoffs,” Coach Boatmun said. “We are becoming a better baseball team and we plan on continuing that trend toward becoming the best version of ourselves.”

The JV teams finished with a combined record of 9-7-1 and the varsity was 14-8 and scheduled to play the Boys Ranch Rough Riders in Bi-District. Post-season honors were withheld until the playoffs were over. 

“I do wish to recognize our two seniors,” Boatmun continued. Matt Barron and Nacho Elizalde, both of whom have shown tremendous heart and resilience this year as Muleshoe athletes. Both will be sorely missed.”

“Coach Sturdivant and I wish to thank our players for their commitment and hard work, our fellow coaches for their help, consideration and sharing, our players’ families for their continued encouragement and our administration for their direction.”

“And lest we should live to regret it, we would like to thank our wives, Jessica and Erin, for putting up with our frustrations, for listening to our worries, for encouraging and strengthening our hearts and shortly, for allowing us to do what it is that we love as much as anything in the world.”

That concluded the 2013-2014 Athletic Banquet and Awards Presentation. Sergio Leal had a few closing words and then lead the dismissal prayer.    

Mule Bi-District Baseball vs. Boys Ranch (5-2&3-14)

Mule Bi-District Baseball vs. Boys Ranch (5-2&3-14)

The Mules defeated the Boys Ranch Rough Riders in a best two-out-of-three series for the Bi-District Championship Friday and Saturday. It is the first time the Mule baseball team had made the playoffs in six years. 

It was a home-and-home series with the first game being played in Boys Ranch on Friday. The Rough Riders traveled to Muleshoe on Saturday to finish the series. 

Nacho Elizalde got the start both days but left the game on Friday with no decision. Wes Clarkson relieved Elizalde on Friday and the Rough Riders tied the game at 11-11 after five innings and again at 13-13 after seven innings. 

The Mules crossed the plate five times in the top of the ninth inning and held on to defeat Boys Ranch 18-13 in two extra innings and Clarkson was the winning hurler. 

The Mules seemed to use the five runs scored in the ninth inning on Friday to power them to a 13-6 win on Saturday afternoon. The Mules never trailed in the second game. Elizalde again got the start and was the winning pitcher.

Danny Campos came in a pitched two and two-thirds innings. Clarkson got the final two outs. 

The first batter for Boys Ranch Saturday skied a ball to right center field but Grey Johnson made a catch on the run for the first out of the day. The second batter hit a ground ball single through the hole between short stop and third base. 

A ground ball back to Elizalde sacrificed the runner to second base and the next batter walked. The runner at second took off for third and Elizalde over threw Danny Campos at third base. 

Beto Diaz ran in to grab the loose ball and fired a strike home to Dustin Smith. The runner did not attempt to slide and ran over Smith knocking the ball loose. The second runner also came home and kicked dirt in Smith’s face while he was still on the ground. 

The home plate umpire called the first runner out for not sliding home as it is against the rules to not slide and run over a defensive player. That was the third out and neither run counted and the first runner was ejected from the game for unnecessary rough play. 

Matt Barron led off for the Mules in the bottom half of the first inning and hit a fly ball single to short center field. Nathan Rejino slapped a ground ball through the hole in to left field to put Mules at first and second with no outs. 

Barron stole second on the first pitch to Diaz. Rejino drew the throw to second base on the next pitch. Barron broke home when the catcher threw the ball and stole home. The throw from second back home was late and Rejino could have walked the rest of the way to second base. Diaz bunted back to the pitcher to sacrifice Rejino to third. Rejino scored on a wild pitch that got past the catcher. 

Smith doubled to right center field but was caught attempting to stretch it to a triple with throws from center to second and on to third for the tag. The Mules led 2-0 after one inning of play. 

Barron caught a line drive from the lead off batter of the second inning. Elizalde struck out the next batter on three pitches and a ground ball to Barron ended the inning. The Mules did not score in the bottom half of the inning and continued to lead 2-0 going into the third inning. 

A ground ball and two strike outs kept the Rough Riders off the score board in the top of the third inning. 

An error on the second baseman allowed Rejino to reach first in the bottom of the third with one out. Diaz singled to right center to put Mules at the corners. Diaz stole second base with no throw to second. Smith singled to right field to score both Rejino and Diaz. 

Smith attempted to steal second on the first pitch to Jesus Manzanares. The pitcher appeared to balk not once but twice but no call was made. Smith was called out on a throw from the pitcher. 

Manzanares lined a single to center field and stole second base. Campos doubled to right field to score Manzanares and put the Mules ahead 5-0 after three innings. 

A walk, a double and single scored two Rough Riders in the top of the fourth inning. 

The Mules got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fourth inning after Barron walked with one out. He stole second base and went to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Diaz singled to left to score Barron to keep the Mules ahead 6-2. 

Campos had relieved Elizalde for the final out of the fourth inning and came back in the top of the fifth inning. He gave up a double to the first batter he faced. A sacrifice fly to deep right field was chased down by Manzanares but the runner advanced to third after tagging up at second. 

Campos struck out the next Rough Rider but gave up a double to score a run. A walk and another double scored a second run and Boys Ranch had cut the Mule lead to 6-4. 

Campos struck out with one out in the fifth inning. But the catcher dropped the ball and Campos stole first base. He went to second on a passed ball and to third on a wild pitch. Clarkson walked and stole second base with no throw. 

Keagan Gonzales’ ground ball tied the short stop in knots and Campos scored. Johnson laid a bunt down the first baseline for an infield single that scored Clarkson from third. Gonzales went home on a throwing error. Barron doubled to score Johnson to put the Mules on top 10-4 after five innings. 

It was three up and three down for the Rough Riders in the top of the sixth inning.

Smith was hit by a pitch to start the bottom half of the sixth inning and he stole second base. Manzanares hit a line drive into left field for a single and Smith advanced to third. Smith scored on a wild pitch and Manzanares went to second. 

A second wild pitch sent Manzanares to third base. Campos was hit by a pitch and went to second on a wild pitch. Jason Florez blasted a single to right center field to score both Manzanares and Campos to end the Mule scoring at 13. The Mules led 13-4 after six innings. 

The Rough Riders could not make up the difference in the seventh inning but did score two runs. 

The Mules will play the Idalou Wildcats on the Levelland Lobo Field. It is a two-out-of-three series with the first game to be played at 6:00 PM Friday afternoon. The second game will be on the same field Saturday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 1:00 PM. 

Admission the Area Round of the Texas State Baseball Playoffs is $4.00 for adults and $2.00 for students. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lady Mules @ Area vs. Coahoma (5-2-14)

Lady Mules @ Area vs. Coahoma (5-2-14)

The Coahoma Bulldogettes bite the Lady Mules for the second time in two years to eliminate them from the Texas State Softball Playoffs. The teams met on the Lady Pirate Field of Lubbock Cooper ISD. The neutral site is a total turf field and the ball takes much bigger bounces off the turf than the dirt and grass where the Lady Mules normally play. 

“This was not our choice of places to play,” said Lady Mule coach Erin White. “The ball acts very differently coming off the turf than it does grass or dirt. But it was a great season for us.”

“We should continue to be strong again next season despite losing three fine seniors. Marissa (Cortez) has done a great job for us in the pitching circle the last two years. We also lose the left side of the infield with Amber (Lopez) and Diamond (Lopez) both were three-year starters and are graduating.”

“The good news is we have some players on the bench and on the JV team that should be ready to go next year. We had two freshmen starting for us in most games this season so our future looks bright.”

“The girls, Coach Sheri Veazy and I want to thank the fans for the support they have given us all season. It is great to be a Mule every day.”

The Lady Mules led for four and a half innings when the Bulldogettes tied the game at 3-3. The game remained tied during the fifth, sixth and top half of the seventh inning. The first two batters to the plate for Coahoma doubled and singled to end the game. 

Coahoma won the Area Championship 4-3 over the Lady Mules. 

The Lady Mules lost the flip at the plate before the game started. The Bulldogettes chose to be the home team and batted in the bottom half of the inning. 

Neither team could score in the first two innings with pitching and fielding holding the opposition off the board. 

But that changed in the top of third inning when Reagan Reynolds blasted the ball off the wall in left field and motored into second with a stand up double. Diamond Lopez singled to left center field to score Reynolds to put the Lady Mules ahead 1-0. 

Marissa Cortez threw ground balls to top of the order in the bottom of the third inning. The lead off batter grounded out to Brittany Mendoza at second base. The second batter sent a ground ball down the first base line to Gabi Chavez. She snagged the ball and stepped on the base for the second out.

The third batter bunted down the first base line. Chavez charged the ball and Cortez raced from the circle to cover first base. Chavez made the under-handed flip to Cortez just prior to her reaching first base for the third out. 

Miranda DeBruin’s fly ball to right center field bounced off the glove of the running center fielder and DeBruin was standing on second when the ball was returned to the infield. Cortez helped her own cause with a single to right field to score DeBruin from second base and put the Lady Mules ahead 2-0.

Coahoma scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Bulldogettes sent eight batters to the plate. They hit four singles and walked to tie the game at 2-2. The Lady Mules made no errors. 

The Lady Mules added a third run in the top of the fifth inning to retake the lead. Chavez sent a ground ball single past the short stop into left field. Reynolds singled to shallow left field to put runners at first and second base. 

D. Lopez reached on a fielders choice when the second baseman fielded the ball and flipped it to short stop to force out Reynolds. The throw to first for a double play went over the first baseman’s head. In the confusion Chavez scored and a second throwing error allowed D. Lopez to wind up at third base. A ground ball ended the inning with the Lady Mules leading 3-2.

Two ground balls sent the first two Coahoma batters back to the bench in the bottom of the fifth inning.  The next batter sent a ground ball to left center field for a single. A double scored a run to tie the game at 3-3. 

Sasha Esparza chased down the ground ball and came up throwing to Mendoza as the cut-off man. Mendoza’s throw to D. Lopez was in time for the tag at third for the final out to end the inning. 

Back-to-back strike outs ended the top half of the sixth inning for the Lady Mules with runners at first and second base. 

Coahoma threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning with a lead-off single to center field. An error allowed a runner to reach and put Bulldogettes at first and second. Cortez struck out the ninth batter in the order for the first out of the inning. 

A single to short right left field was scooped up by Mireya Ruvalcaba and thrown to Amber Lopez at short stop. A. Lopez fired a strike home to Adriana Loya for the tag and the second out. A ground ball to D. Lopez at third ended the inning with the score still tied at 3-3. 

The Lady Mules went in order in the top of the seventh inning with a strike out and two ground outs. 

Cortez gave up four runs on 11 hits, hit one batter and walked two. She struck out four and stranded eight on base. The Lady Mules committed one error.  

Cortez and Reynolds led the Lady Mules in hitting by stroking two hits each in three opportunities. The Bulldogettes committed four errors. The Lady Mules had seven hits and only left four runners on base.