Top 5 Sports Moments of the Concho Valley in 2018
SAN ANGELO, TX-- In a matter of hours, 2018 will be gone. With that in mind, we wanted to complete our countdown of the top 10 sports stories of 2018 in the Concho Valley.
Four days ago, we announced the first five of the top 10 stories. Today we will conclude our countdown with the best of the best stories from 2018.
Here are the five best sports stories from 2018:
Faith Webber dreamed of playing soccer at the highest levels since she was very young. On Feb. 11, she realized that dream by signing to play with the University of South Alabama.
Realizing that dream was no easy task for the San Angelo native. From the age of 13, she and her family made frequent trips to Dallas so Faith could play for a club team that would get her in front of top college coaches. The frequent trips to the Metroplex meant Webber had to be homeschooled.
She played on three teams in five years trying to make that dream come true.
Webber just finished her first semester as a Marine Biology major at South Alabama. She did not appear in any matches for South Alabama this season.
4. UIL's Realignment Brings Mixed Bag for Concho Valley
Every two years, the University Interscholastic League realigns all of its member schools in an attempt to keep competition fair.
This year saw a mixed bag of emotions for Concho Valley teams.
On one hand, teams like Central and Reagan County had to deal with shifts to the east and west respectively. Central ended up in District 3-6A with a slew of of Dallas-Fort Worth area teams. Reagan County was shipped out with teams like Alpine, Crane and Anthony, a border town south of New Mexico.
On the other hand, teams like Lake View, Christoval, Eldorado and Miles benefited from realignment. Lake View was moved into a four-team district, assuring them a playoff spot. They made the most of that opportunity by winning their first playoff game in four years. Christoval, Eldorado and Miles were put in District 8-2A DII with Menard, Irion County and Rocksprings. The trio capitalized on that move to a competitive district by sharing the district title.
3. Central's Maverick McIvor's Knee Injury
Central's Maverick McIvor was expected to be the Bobcats' linchpin in 2018. Through two games, he was.
However, his season was cut short in the third quarter of the Bobcats' game against Del Rio. McIvor was injured on a long run midway through the third quarter. His family confirmed the worst possible news the following Sunday.
Yet, things still worked out well for Central and McIvor.
With McIvor still helping as a sort of coach for QB Malachi Brown, Central was able to go 7-4 and make their ninth straight playoff appearance. McIvor also had his scholarship offer to Texas Tech honored by new head coach Matt Wells.
McIvor signed to Tech on Dec. 19.
2. Water Valley Lady Wildcats Make Return to State Tourney
The Concho Valley had a representative in the state volleyball tournament for a second consecutive year with Water Valley rolling through their schedule to Garland.
Water Valley got to Garland by going 26-11 in the regular season and winning District 7-2A and being the top 1A representative of the district. From there, Water Valley beat Chillicothe, Veribest, Lamesa Klondike and Bronte in the playoffs to make their seventh state tournament. It was their first since 2011.
At Garland, Water Valley rode on the heels of senior Kenzie Jordan's triple double to sweep D'Hanis in the semifinals. Neches claimed the state championship by sweeping the Lady Wildcats the next day.
Because of their season, four Lady Wildcats were named to the San Angelo Live All-Concho Valley Volleyball team.
1. Mason Dominates Way to Second State Title
You could easily guess this was our no. 1 story. Mason's dominance this season was unmatched at any level in Texas high school football. They beat no. 5-ranked New Deal 44-6 at AT&T Stadium for the Class 2A Division I crown.
Their closest game of the season was in week 1 when Mason held on for a 27-21 win over Wall. From there, Mason dominated, beating opponents by an average of roughly 40 points.
You could tell the Punchers' intentions in the week 1 game and you'd have been hard pressed to find a team that could beat the Punchers. Yet, another date with Refugio loomed all season. Mason had lost three straight games to the Bobcats.
This year, Mason suffocated Refugio's high-powered offense for a 28-14 win for their first trip to the semifinals since 2014. Mason would go on to beat San Augustine 52-8 in the semifinal to set up the meeting with New Deal.
In Arlington, Mason's Jake Cockerham rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns to earn offensive player of the game. Defensive lineman Slone Stultz earned defensive player of the game after tallying six tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks.
The Punchers had eight players named to the San Angelo Live All-Concho Valley football team after their 16-0 season.