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Victoria East earns statewide honors

By jhornberg
Oct. 25, 2010 at 5:25 a.m.

Victoria East entered the season as a largely unknown quantity: one of two new schools inheriting players from a team that finished 4-6 the season before.

Now, that picture is starting to clear up, and the picture being revealed is one many seem to like.

The Titans were honored as the Army Strong Team of the Week for Class 4A after thrashing Gregory-Portland 42-25 on Friday to gain sole possession of first place in District 30-4A.

On top of that, other outlets are starting to take notice. Old Coach placed the Titans at No. 25 in their rankings, the second week Victoria East has been on that list.

And this week, they cracked the Top 25 for Texas Football magazine, falling in at No. 21 overall in Class 4A.

Titans coach Mickey Finley said the selection as team of the week was a testament to the team's talent and skill.

"It's a great honor to be named the team of the week in Texas," he said. "A lot of schools in South Texas think very highly of our kids and the achievements that they have accomplished."

Victoria East has had a lot of success against some strong competition this season. Despite their lone loss to Calallen in Week 3, the Titans have held four opponents to 14 points or less, including district rival Calhoun.

But what got the Titans recognized was last week's 42-25 victory over Gregory-Portland, a team that was favored to win the district and had been ranked as high as 11th in the state by the Associated Press.

The Wildcats had been knocked back or out of most Top 25 lists after their 33-30 loss to Calhoun in Week 7.

Finley said the team has put in a lot this season against strong competition.

"Anytime you beat teams that everyone knows are legit like some of the teams that we've beaten, they've got to kind of notice what we are doing," he said. "That's a credit to the kids and what they've put into this thing.

"So far, they've put their hearts and souls into this thing and it's paying off."

Finley said he wasn't surprised that it took so long for pollsters and pundits to come around to the Titans success.

Entering the season, the Titans were an unknown quantity, and many predicted they might be on the fringe of the district playoff race.

Texas Football magazine had the Titans finishing third in the district. Similarly, the Old Coach magazine had the Titans finishing third in the district behind Calhoun and Gregory-Portland.

And it's something Finley said he could understand.

"It's a brand new school and the school split like it was, I don't think there were many outside of our small circle that really had high expectations because it's rare that a new school has this kind of success," he said.

The Titans, instead, are in the district driver seat at 7-1, 3-0, with wins over the Sandcrabs and Wildcats.

Victoria East can wrap up a District 30-4A title this week with a win at Floresville and a Victoria West loss at home to Gregory-Portland.



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