Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Harlingen Cardinals Continue Success

The Harlingen Cardinal Football team finished a perfect 10-0 season in district play and now the basketball team is halfway there to accomplish the same feat. With several football players now suited up to take the hardwood, the Cardinals are 6-0 in district with their biggest game Align Leftfast approaching this Friday, the 22nd versus the Edinburg Bobcats who boast Aaron Olvera, junior, who can be destructive.

photo courtesy

Dual-sports athlete, Mack Sanchez Jr., who recently graced the cover of the Magazine, currently leads the Red Bird swarm. As successful as he was as quarterback, his skills extend equally on the court. Playing shooting guard, Sanchez recently dropped a season high-30 points against cross-town rival, Harlingen South Hawks. Sanchez is really started to come into his role as one of the senior leaders on the team. Sanchez is finishing with double digits in every game and his 3-pt. average is increasing weekly. He had four shots from downtown against the Hawks and played amazing defense creating numerous turnovers. Sanchez is stepping up and creating hussle plays.

Seniors: Jonathan Sanchez #22 Point Guard & Ben Jara #30 Center

Adding to the Cardinals success are seniors, Jonathan Sanchez PG, and Ben Jara C, who have been a part of the Texas Ambassadors RGV Team. Sanchez has done an extremely excellent job handling the ball and being an excellent leader. I've seen Sanchez grow up from elementary to middle school to high school and I can truly say this young man embodies the example that hard work pays off. Sanchez is a true lefty and can easily take his opponent to the hole. Once he begins his drive, it is very hard to stop him. Added to that deadly left side is his range as he can sink his share of 3-pointers. Sanchez has matured greatly in his skill level and is sure to deliver when his team needs him. Jara, is another player that I have been able to see develop throughout the years. Balancing his 6'2" frame has been Jara's objective the past several seasons. I've seen him play some hard nose defense and sink some great shots down low. Jara is a great team player and is always willing to give it all for his team.

Additional key senior players for the Cardinals are Jesse Pedraza G and Alejandro Pallares F. (shown respectively in picture to left) Pedraza and Pallares both had breakout games Tuesday 19th vs. Edinburg North HS as they helped lead their squad to a 61-53 win. Pedraza made some amazing hussle plays that allowed the Cardinals to create some big plays. Jesse's fierce defense had him running all over the top of the key as the Cards run a dangerous trap defense. In the 3rd qtr, he had a great put back. Alongside Pedraza is Alejandro Pallares who had an amazing game mainly at the charity stripe. 8 of his 14 points came from free throws as he was 8-11 from the line. Pallares was reaking havoc under the basket as he continued to push his way to the hole. His strength continues to improve and his footwork is looking more defined. Pallares continually pounded the paint getting layups, baseline drives and defensive rebounds.

The Cardinals are starting to gel as a team with numerous plays involving Mack Sanchez, Jonathan Sanchez and Alejandro Pallares. These guys turn a basic three-man weave drill into a brilliant play that ends with a quick and ferocious layup to the bucket and fans cheering so loud, you would think the roof would cave in.

The Cardinals will need all the big plays they can get as they face the Edinburg Bobcats this Friday in Game 7 of district play as both ball clubs are 6-0. Edinburg will host the Cardinals in a game that could decide the district champion. Edinburg has experience playing in big games and returns six seniors from last year. The Cardinals also have their share of big game experience and have a seasoned team of veterans leading the squad. Friday will be big as both teams look good.

Congratulations to Coach Greg Yates and all of the Harlingen Cardinals for a great start to the 2010 Season. Good Luck!