Proud CCISD Track and Golf Coaches flank State athletes

Track Coach, Luis Garcia, Senior Renee Rivera, Senior Lezlie Jones and her mother Golf Coach, Erica Urias, at the sports banquet last week.

Photo by Macyn Morriss

RENEE RIVERA; 4-time track & field state qualifier

By Coach Luis Garcia

On May 10, 2014, Renee Rivera, a shy athletic freshman, showed up at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin..  As the first leg on the 4x100m. relay, her job was to give the Lady Eagles a good lead-off leg.  Not an easy task when you’re racing against the fastest runners in the state of Texas, as well as doing it in front of an intimidating crowd of 20,000 spectators.  The young talented freshman did not disappoint, giving the Lady Eagles a three-meter lead.  It was a lead that her teammates would not relinquish.  Not even the #2 sprinter in the nation could catch them that evening.  This was Renee’s first taste of elite competition and she handled it like a champ.

Three years later, Renee returns to Mike A. Myers Stadium for the last time in search of another metal to add to her illustrious career.  She currently has 3 gold medals and 3 bronze medals at the state level.  This year Renee will be competing in the long jump and will once again face Texas’ very best; including the defending champion in this event, Alexa Valenzuela from Refugio.

Renee’s High School Medals include, 90 Gold, 19 Silver, and 6 Bronze, for a total of 115 medals.

Favorite Event:  Long Jump-“the feeling I have is unexplainable.  I feel like I’m flying.”

Most memorable race:  Freshman year(4×100 R @ state)-“…seeing our name pop up on top, after what felt like forever, was an unforgettable feeling.”

Most Intimidating moment:  Junior year(long jump)-…”I didn’t know I had a chance at state because I was only ranked 4th.”

Walking up the stairs to the podium at state: “It was like a stairway to success!”-Renee Rivera

Win or lose, Renee has made the community of Van Horn very proud for four years.  We’d like to wish her luck as she competes in Austin on Friday, May 12, at 10:00 a.m.

LEZLIE JONES; 3rd time on the big stage in Austin

By Coach Erica Urias

Senior, Lezlie Jones will be competing in the State Golf Championship at Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin, on May 15 and 16.  This is Jones’ third time on the big stage and her goal this year is to leave every ounce of heart and sweat on the course. She is going into her third year at the State Level ranked 4th overall, with a much more confident mindset as she sets her sights on bringing home Van Horn’s first and only State Golf Title.

Jones was groomed for the sport of golf from a very early age. Since receiving her first set of golf clubs at the age of 5, her love and passion for the sport has grown. Jones has always been a tough competitor and enjoys the adrenaline that the sport brings. In golf, you must have the mental stamina to endure the moments in the game when the only person you have to turn to is yourself. You must be confident in your game and know what decisions to make with every swing. Jones works hard on and off the course and her dedication and drive to not only set goals but to actually accomplish them, is what she strives to do. Even in her most challenging moments, Jones’ strength has always been the ability to stay cool, calm and collected. If there is one thing Jones has been able to master over the last four years, it’s her flawless poker face.

Jones will continue to work hard the next couple of days and focus on the skills she brings to the table. As her coach, mentor and mother, I am more than confident that Lezlie has what it takes to make history, not only for herself and her school, but also for her town. Lezlie has always been proud of her school and the town of Van Horn because of the support and encouragement she continues to receive time and time again. She will most definitely fight to the finish and do the one thing I tell every athlete to do, “Finish Strong!” Lee Trevino said it best, “In life, two of the best things you can do with your head down is play golf and pray.” Faith, Family, Golf.


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