Athletic Banquet (Part 2) (4-26-2016)
Lady Mule basketball coach, Carey Sudduth, invited the varsity Lady Mules to the stage.
“The Muleshoe Lady Mules had a great year in basketball at all levels,” said Sudduth. “First, we would like to recognize the ninth grade and JV teams. These two teams improved every week and it was a lot of fun to watch them grow and learn to compete on the floor.”
“I want to thank Coach Edie Niblett and Coach Sheri Veazey fro their dedication and hard work with these players. We are expecting great things from them in the future.”
“The varsity Lady Mules also worked hard every day and competed with determination and class. They ended the year with a 15-14 season record and were 5-5 in one of the toughest districts in the state.”
“We had several big wins over ranked teams, were able to play in a tournament final for the first time in several years and made the playoffs for the second consecutive year,” continued Sudduth. “Our year ended before we were ready but that has just fueled lots of hard work already this spring.”
“We would like to say thanks to our senior class. These girls have been part of our program for six years and set a great example for the young kids coming behind them.”
“Three Lady Mules were named to the District 2-3A team. They are Sadie Sudduth, Conley Niblett and Sydnie Sudduth.”
“We played several different defenses this year and would like to recognize a player who was always in the middle of the action. Her motor never stops and she truly led our defense. The Defensive Player of the Year Award goes to Conley Niblett.”
“Every team needs a player that can do it all. Make a shot, grab a rebound, handle the ball under pressure, defend anywhere on the floor and say the right thing in the huddle. We had one of those players, our Most Versatile Player Award goes to Sydnie Sudduth.”
“We ran a variety of plays on offense as well as several different defensive sets. We needed someone to always keep us organized and where we needed to be. She made big plays all year and was the leader every day in lots of ways. Our Most Valuable Player Award goes to Sadie Sudduth.”
Mule basketball coach, Clay White, was next to the stage and invited the Mule varsity to join him.
“The freshmen Mules were coached by John Jay. This squad had an impressive year finishing with a record of 11-6 and tied for the best record in district with only one loss. They were known for being coachable and playing sound team basketball.”
“Bryan Loera coached the JV Mules and ended their season with a winning record of 13-8 and were 6-4 in district. They were known for offensive execution and taking charges on defense.”
“They finished second in the Abernathy Antelope Tournament and there is no doubt our program is in good hands with these two groups of young men.”
“With all the success in football Mule basketball was a little late to the party. It took us no time to find success as we won the Abernathy Tournament with a decisive victory over the Wall Hawks.”
“The Mules continued to gather momentum into district play by winning six straight games that included home wins over Littlefield and Shallowater. We finished second in a competitive district and fell just short of a district championship in spite of some untimely injuries.”
“The momentum extended to the Texas State Basketball Playoffs with a Bi-District Championship over Spearman, 58-35. The Mules fell to the state ranked Kermit Yellow Jackets, continued White.”
“The Mule had four players receive All-District honors. Dagen Dunham was the Defensive Co-MVP, Daniel Campos was named to the first team All-District. Jesse Leal and Beto Diaz were named as Honorable Mention. Dunham also earned All-Region honors.”
“The Mules will graduate a special group of seniors in Tony Castillo, Aaryn Ross, Antonio Vasquez, Gabriel Reza and Daniel Campos. We are grateful for their contributions to the program and to the school.”
“As we now recognize our award winners, let us remember that these individual honors are made possible through successes and sacrifices of the team.”
“The Iron Man Award belongs to a player that demonstrates toughness on and off the floor and understands the value of sacrifice. Two Players earned this gritty title. The first overcame a serious knee injury and trained relentlessly to recover and help his team.”
“The next is known for his self-sacrifice by taking charges, diving for loose balls and suffocating defense. The Iron Man Award goes to Jason Florez and Tony Castillo.”
“The Defender Award belongs to a special type of player that takes pride on the defensive end. To call him ‘pesky’ and ‘annoying’ to the opponent would be an understatement. Opponent ball handlers tremble at the mention of his name. Jesse Leal earns this year’s Defender Award.”
“The MVP Award is given to a player that is both highly skilled and driven to make the team better. The Mules were fortunate to have two players that fit the bill. They led the team in blocks, rebounds and points. Both were forces to be reckoned with in the paint and were also tenacious defenders.”
“This year’s MVP Award goes to Daniel Campos and Dagen Dunham.”
Muleshoe power lifting coach, Albert Lopez, brought all the Lady Mule and Mule Powerlifting team to the stage.
“This year’s team worked extremely hard in the weight room to increase personal records and overall totals,” said Lopez. “The experienced lifters did an outstanding job of leading this team at practice and at the meets. This is a hard working group that competed well and improved every week.”
“Our Regional Qualifier was Evan Paez and being named to the Academic All-State 2016 First Team was Eric Vela.”
“The Girl’s MVP Award goes to Noa Rojas. The Boy’s MVP Award goes to Eric Vela.”
Muleshoe High School tennis coach, Jody Wood, brought all 48 members of the tennis team to the stage.
“I want to introduce this year’s Medalist from the District Tournament,” said J. Wood. “Our varsity medalist is Cassidy Cage. She won the bronze medal in Girls Singles.”
“The JV Medalist include Luke Leal with the gold medal in Boy’s Singles, Yavet Elizalde won the silver medal in Boy’s Singles. Sophia Sianez won the gold medal in Girl’s Singles and Laura Chavez earned the bronze medal in Girl’s Singles.”
“Lily Barrera and Conley Niblett won the gold medal in Girl’s Doubles, Noemi Herrera and Jackie Rayas earned the silver medal in Girl’s Doubles and Anghy Avilez and Xiomara Regalado took the bronze medal in Girl’s Doubles.”
“Dezzy Gutierrez and Antonio Vasquez won the gold medal in Mixed Doubles and Rachelle Whitworth and Izaiah Perez earned the bronze medal in Mixed Doubles.”
“This large group worked hard and were fun to coach,” continued J. Wood. “We competed in six tournaments and played approximately 459 matches.”
“The tennis awards go to these players. The Tennis Fighting Heart goes to Luke Leal. The Tennis MVP Award goes to Cassidy Cage.”
The Muleshoe High School golf coach, Carey Sudduth asked the Lady Mule and Mule golf teams to the stage.
“The Mules golf team competed all year,” said Sudduth. “Several of these guys are just getting started and they were coachable and made progress every day. Conner Harrison played two very solid rounds during the district competition and won his third individual District Championship.”
“He played in the Region I golf tournament in Abilene. He followed a tough first day with an excellent round of 77 on the second day to finish fifteenth out of 96 golfers.”
“The Lady Mules golf team had a successful season,” continued Sudduth. “They earned medals at two invitational tournaments and finished second at the district meet. This earned them a trip to Abilene’s Region I golf tournament.”
“The girls had a tough first day in the Region I tournament. They responded the second day with much better scores and were able to come back to finish tenth in the team standings. It was a great experience for all the girls.”
“The Boy’s Golf Award goes to Conner Harrison. The Girl’s Golf Award goes to Sydnie Sudduth.”
Lady Mule track coach, John Jay, invited the Lady Mule track team to the stage.
“I would like to recognize Coach Edie Niblett and the JV Lady Mule track team,” said Jay. “For several years we have not had enough girls to have a JV team but that streak was broke this year. The Lady Mule track program had 43 girls participating and competing.”
“The JV girls went to three meets and placed third in the District Meet. The coaches asked most of these girls to compete in event that were not their favorite but they were still willing to run. This is a reflection of their unselfish attitudes and their desire to run any race to help the team to win.”
“The varsity girls won first place at the Dimmitt track meet and finished fourth in the District meet,” continued Jay. “Each athlete competed extremely hard and contributed in their own way to help the team.”
“The qualifiers for the Region I Meet are: Lili Martinez, Kyndal Miller, Conley Niblett, Mireya Ruvalcaba, Jasmin Arellano, Blanca Ramirez, Natali Elizalde and Reina Regalado.”
“The Newcomer of the Year Award goes to Kyndal Miller. The Best in Field Events Award goes to Conley Niblett. The Most Improved Runner Award goes to Marilyn Melendez. The Workhorse Award goes to Blanc Ramirez and Mireya Ruvalcaba. The Track MVP Award goes to Lili Martinez.”
Mule track coach, Wes Wood, brought the varsity Mule track team to the stage.
“I would like to recognize the JV boys track team,” said W. Wood. “These young men finished in first place and were the District Champs in the JV Division. There were man first place finishes in multiple events and races. These guys won nearly every meet they went to even with three or four of them getting bumped to varsity. I appreciate their hard work.”
“The varsity team competed extremely well all season and almost came away with a district championship. They finished as the runner-ups in a very competitive district. It is definitely a season for the record books.”
“The Region I qualifiers,” continued W. Wood. “Are as follows: Danny Campos, Beto Diaz, Dagen Dunham, Cesar Olvera, Evan Paez, Yoel Reyes, Aaryn Ross, Tre Villa and Joe Waggoner.”
“Honorable Mentions for track awards are Tre Villa, Beto Diaz, Dagen Dunham and Danny Campos. The Newcomer of the Year Award goes to Yoel Reyes. The Best in Field Events Award goes to Cesar Olvera. The Most Improved Award goes to Joe Waggoner. The Workhorse Award goes to Evan Paez. The Track MVP Award goes to Aaryn Ross.”
The Mule varsity baseball team along with their coach, Wes Boatmun, were invited to the stage and the JV Mule baseball team were asked to stand.
“These young men have practiced hard and competed well all year long in spite of the restrictive rules inherent in the game of baseball which, especially with a group so large as this, always compromise playing time,” said Boatmun.
“When these guys came to us in January, their hearts were full, but it seemed that it was going to take a great amount of work to get their heads caught up to where those hearts were. So we set to on their baseball brains, covering everything from how to throw to when to know not to throw and everything in-between.”
“They have come such a long way in what now truly seems such a short amount of time. Please help me in congratulating these young men on their hard work this season.”
“Have you ever eaten one of those chocolate-covered pretzels? You know, the ones that are sweet and salty at the same time? And occasionally, they’re even anointed in caramel, or nougat, or some other glory. And then they get stuck in your teeth, and you wish you hadn’t eaten them, but you’re glad, at the same time, that you did?”
“Those wonderful little explosions of flavor! How should you describe them? As a rule, are they sweet, or are they salty? Are they chewy, or are they crunchy? And, at the end of the day, and more importantly, are they good for you, or are they not?”
“Well I have decided that our team is like a pretzel,” continued Boatmun. “Why? Well, where better to begin than with the obvious? In the beginning, we were a little twisted. We were certainly a mystery, and try as we may, we couldn’t seem to get on the same page on the same day.”
“At times, it seemed as if this team, myself included, was trying to wear its shoes on the wrong feet, backwards, even. Perhaps we paid too much attention to making sure our shoes were tied and not enough to making sure they were the right fit.”
“Well , it’s not much fun to play any sport with sore feet, so we’ve searched for ways to straighten ourselves out to maximize our production and best benefit our team. At times, we have competed at the highest of levels against some of the best competition that the state has to offer. And at times, we have don also the reverse.”
“We have learned much about ourselves, too, along the way. Our experiences have given us a better idea of who we are, and what we actually have inside of us. As the season is coming to a close, and with a little more perspective, I still think we resemble a pretzel, but not because we are twisted.”
“Rather, because we are together, tightly-wound, and working faithfully to keep ourselves that way. We have no egos on this team to compromise the team. What we do have is a wonderful chemistry of personalities, sort of like salt and chocolate, that blend together and complement one another as well as any team that I have ever been a part of.”
“I am proud of the selflessness of these guys, and, in spite of our record, they are one of the funnest (sp), most optimistic, most together groups I’ve ever had the pleasure to coach. We look forward to our continued development as a team, and to our journey in the playoffs.”
“At this time, we would like to honor a few special players with the presentation of individual awards.”
“The Offensive Player of the Year Award goes to a young man who led the team in multiple categories, including batting average, extra-base hits, RBI’s, and fewest strikeouts. With runners in scoring position, there was no one you’d rather have at the plate than Danny Campos. Congratulations, Danny, on a stellar season at the plate.”
“The Defensive Player of the Year Award goes to a young man who led our team in fielding percentage, and who finished second only to our catcher in put-outs. When the ball went into the air in his direction, it was as good as guaranteed to be caught for an out. Congratulations to Bryce Mauricio, our defensive player of the year.”
“The Pitcher of the Year Award goes to a young man who has the lowest ERA of any pitcher on our team. He actually has the lowest ERA of any Muleshoe pitcher for as long as I can remember. And we’ve had some good ones. You pitcher of the year is Jason Florez. Congratulation, Jason, and, by all means, keep up the good work.”
“The New-Comer of the Year Award goes to a young man with a unique skill set that allows him to fill a variety of roles. This one, in particular, shows the most plate discipline of anyone on our team, and leads our team in runs scored and walks drawn. Congratulations to JoJo Rejino, our 2016 New-Comer of the Year.”
“The Most Improved Player Award goes to a young man who has worked day-in and day-out to better himself, and who has shown the most growth of any player on our team. This young man has stayed the course where others may have not, and has slowly and surely worked his way into a starting role in our line-up. Our Most Improved Player is Jaxon Lee.”
“Our Team MVP Award goes to the best all-around player in our program. This year’s recipient can hit, can pitch, and can play defense better than most player out there. He makes the had plays look easy; he excels at the mental game. He has been a great student and a mainstay of our program.”
“He also has a future in baseball, should he decide to pursue it. I can hear those pipes calling, Danny, but I’m not sure what they’re saying. Is it football? Or is it baseball? Either way, send me some free tickets. Please help me in honoring Danny Campos, our 2016 Team MVP.”
“Coach Sturdivant and I wish to express a special thanks to our players for their commitment and hard work, our fellow coaches for their help, consideration, and sharing, and the player’s families for their continued encouragement.”
Coach Ryan Miller and the Lady Mule varsity softball team were the final team to the stage.
“The JV Lady Mules are coached by Sheri Veazey and they improved over the year,” said Miller. They finished the season with a record of 6-3-1. I am proud of the effort and growth of this team and I am excited about the future of the Muleshoe Softball Program.”
“The varsity faced some really tough teams in our pre-district play that helped us prepare for district. One of those teams being Forsan, which turned out to be one of our favorite memories of the season. We were down 15-4 early in the game and came back to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning with a game winning double by senior Sasha Esparza.”
“Our current record is 7-7 with a district record of 4-2. We will be playing Childress in the Bi-District round of the playoffs Friday and Saturday in Hermleigh.”
“I want to thank our three seniors for their hard work and it has been a privilege to be your coach. You will be missed greatly in seasons to come. I also want to tell Coach Veazey thank you for being a positive role model for our kids and making my first year in Muleshoe a great one.”
“I would be remiss if I did not thank Coach David Wood for answering countless questions and for his support of the softball program. Also the maintenance department, who have spent countless hours working on our field to give us the best playing surface possible.”
“We could not have had a softball season without any of these people and the softball team is truly blessed to have such a support team. We are not handing out awards at this time but will wait until our season ends.”
Sergio Leal lead the crowd in the benediction.