By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
It was another year of accomplishment for the Port Isabel High athletic program for the 2014-’15 school year. The Press recently sat down with Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Monty Stumbaugh to review the results and assess the state of the program.
“We had a pretty good year,” Coach Stumbaugh said last week. “You’d like to be better – you always want to be better. You never want to be satisfied.”
Actually, considerable satisfaction can be taken for several reasons. The volleyball team tied for the district title and won their bi-district playoff match. Powerlifter Jocelyn Padilla qualified for the state meet, and Daniella Murchison won her third consecutive gold medal in the shot put at the state track and field meet.
“We felt like we should have won some more championships, but overall we had a pretty good year,” Stumbaugh told the Press.
It certainly was a good year for track and field, especially considering Murchison’s third straight state title in the shot put. Never before had an individual female Valley athlete captured three consecutive gold medals at the state meet in the same event.
Other Lady Tarpon track athletes did pretty well, too. The team’s string of four straight district meet titles was broken by La Feria, but a total of 11 gold medals were collected at the district meet, and seven Lady Tarpon athletes advanced to regional competition. They were led by Gabby Torres, who qualified in five events but could not compete because of a knee injury.
Sophomore Omar Silva won district titles in the boys 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles, and qualified for the regional meet in both events by placing second and first respectively in the two races at the area meet.
Sophomore Francesca Sandoval also competed at the regional powerlifting meet. Padilla is a junior and both lifters were competing in powerlifting for the first time.
The Lady Tarpon’s softball team won the district title. Additionally, both Port Isabel soccer teams qualified for post-season competition. In boys golf, Tyler Francis was a regional qualifier. The Tarpon baseball team made the playoffs and pitcher Trey Mock threw a no-hitter against Rio Hondo on April 13th. He was named State Class 4A Pitcher of the Week by TexasHighSchool Baseball.com for the feat.
The football team may have been bounced from the playoffs in the first round by Sinton last November, but they did win seven games and return most of the team for 2015.
“We have a group of kids who have really been busting their tails,” Coach Stumbaugh said last week. “We’re still going to be a little young, but they’ve all had a year of varsity experience and that’s going to help immensely. We’ve had a really tough off-season. We’ve been hard on them. We did not like the way we ended the year last season. We’ve got to do better.”
The football team lost three of their last four regular season games in 2014 after starting the season 6-0. Sinton beat Port Isabel 52-22 in their bi-district playoff game. Practice begins August 3rd.
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