SPLISH SPLASH PIRATES TEAM CHAMPS IN CORPUS! Sanchez, Alvarez, Montes-Rodriguez, Reyna, & Obando make a statement

Jerel Beaty-Staff Writer
The Pirate Cross Country team made a huge statement to all of Region IV 3A Saturday at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi by winning the Islander Splash. Abel Sanchez, Johnny Rey Alvarez, Bryan Montes-Rodriguez, Diego Reyna, and Brandon Obando took five of the top 16 spots that included a field of 335 competitors.Lytle scored 50 points to earn that top spot followed by runner up Boerne who finished with 74 points and a distant third place La Vernia squad who amassed 159 points.

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Lytle Football downs Cougars to improve to 3-0

Eric Smith
Staff Writer
The Lytle Pirates continued to make recent history, as they defeated the West Campus Cougars (1-2) 33-0 to improve to 3-0 on the season as they prepare for a big rivalry this Friday vs. Natalia. Coach Mike Trevino continued to praise his squad for their efforts and continued improvement and execution.

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Lytle Pirates shoot down Rockets in SA

Pirate QB Toby Davila looks for his receivers. Photo by Mikayla Perez-Martinez.

Eric Smith
Staff Writer
The Lytle Pirates were able to shoot down the Kennedy Rockets at Veterans Stadium last Friday night to string together their second straight victory to begin the season. Not only did this account for the second win, but it also surpassed last year’s win total which has Coach Mike Trevino, the Pirates and the Lytle faithful excited entering week three vs. West Campus.

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Lady Pirates, Pirates compete @ FEAST

Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer
The Lytle Cross Country teams ran in the massive FEAST Cross Country Invitational last Saturday morning in San Antonio. The Lady Pirates placed 2nd in the 32-team varsity girls division with 181 points. Poth was the team champion with 103 points.
Running in both varsity boy divisions, the Pirates placed 7th in the 44-team open division and 8th in the 33-team 1A-4A division.

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FREE School Supplies and hot dogs for teachers and kids at C&R Grill this Thursday 2-5

Alamo Truck Accessories has donated school supplies for teachers and kids, which will be distributed at C&R Grill in Devine on Thursday, August 17 before Meet the Teacher. The event will be held from 2-5pm until supplies run out.
There will also be FREE Hot dogs for teachers and kids.
They have boxes and boxes full of school supplies including Crayons, color pencils, pens, pencils, folders, notebooks, glue, glue sticks, and more.
Also 4B-K Tees & More will have Spirit Shirts for sale!

School districts pushing hard to fill job openings

By Anton Riecher
With the new school year rapidly closing in area school districts are pushing hard to fill remaining open teaching and staff positions before student fill the hallways.
At Devine ISD 13 teaching or combination teaching and athletic positions are posted on the district website. At the elementary level, positions are open for two special education aides and one school instructional aide.
To qualify for these positions, the applicant must meet Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) “High Qualified” requirements equaling 48 college hours or two years, or attend the Teacher Orientation and Preparation Program (TOPP), a State Board of Educator Certification approved alternative route to teacher certification by means of the ESC-20 Educator Preparation Certifications Program.
Applicants must have knowledge of basic computer operations and skills, ability to operate personal computer and educational software and ability to work with students and teachers using effective organizational skills, the website states.
At the intermediate level, openings exist for school teacher and school special education teacher for grade three through five.
The school teacher posting requires an early childhood-grade 4 (EC-4) generalist or a grade 6 (EC-6) graduate initial teaching certification specialization. The master’s degree in early childhood education is a 36-hour program, designed to provide students with as background and advanced study in early childhood education.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a valid Texas teaching certificate. The applicant must also have knowledge of curriculum and instruction, ability to instruct students and maintain highly structured and orderly teaching environment and strong skills in organization, communication and interpersonal skills.
Like the school teacher position, the special education teacher position requires an early childhood-grade 4 (EC-4) generalist or a grade 6 (EC-6) graduate initial teaching certification specialization. It also requires a special education EC-12 certification.
Aside from the standard abilities required for other positions, the job requires knowledge of special needs students, ability to develop an individualized education program (IEP) through the admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committee, the team that determines eligibility based on a full and individual evaluation.
Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) training is preferred. CPI training specializes in the safe management of disruptive and assaultive behavior.
At the high school level, Devine ISD is searching for a secondary science teacher for grades 6-12 and a high school career and technology teachers/boy’s athletic coach for grades 9-12. The district is also looking for an athletic trainer with a valid license from the Texas Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers and a current adult cardiopulmonary automated external defibrillator (AED) certification.
Also posted on the district website are openings for a part-time athletic department secretary, special education aide, a speech language pathologist or a speech language pathologist/speech language pathology assistant.
The website also lists openings for substitute nurses, bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers.
At Natalia ISD the only remaining academic openings are for a speech language pathologist and a speech dyslexia intervention teacher. At the staff level, the district has openings for two bus drivers, multiple custodians and a cafeteria worker.
In Lytle, academic openings remain for a junior high art teacher, a district wide substitute teacher, a high school plumbing teacher and a special education teacher at the elementary and junior high levels. The district is also for a certified professional teacher on the district wide level.
“This application is not designated for a particular job opening,” the district website states. “This application is put into a pool of applicants that are certified teachers. When job openings are posted, applicants will be notified automatically by email and will have to apply for the job they qualify for.”
The district also has staff openings for the child nutrition staff and custodians and custodian substitutes.

Gilbert Ruiz THSCA Hall of Honor recipient

Lytle Head Cross Country coach Gilbert Ruiz and Lytle Athletic Director Lori Wilson pose for a picture at the THSCA Hall of Honor Banquet in Houston.

Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer
Texas High School Coaches Association recognized Lytle Head Cross Country coach Gilbert Ruiz July 15 in Houston. Ruiz was presented his ring at the Hall of Honor Banquet for his squad’s State Championship performance in November of last year.
In attendance along with Ruiz was Lytle Athletic Director Lori Wilson and numerous elite coaches, athletic directors, and fellow state champions from around the state of Texas..
Wilson stated, “It was my honor to escort him to the banquet for the night. Although he did not smile in any of the pictures I got of him, believe me he was smiling throughout the banquet.”
Ruiz, assistant coach Sebastian Benavides, and Pirate runners Johnny Alvarez, Brandon Obando, Robert Wagner, Abel Sanchez, Yandel Esquivez, Tristan Lopez, and Luke Estrada not only took the top spot in Round Rock, they also finished the year having won every meet in which they had a full team competing, which is a minimum of five runners.
At State, Lytle scored 72 points to beat runner-up Eustace who had 82. Great Hearts Northern Oaks was a distant third place with 126 points.
“Congratulations to the State XC boys, his staff and most of all Coach Ruiz!! It was a night we will remember forever! It was a great night for Lytle, Texas. It was so deserving!” Wilson said in conclusion.

45 Medina County grads enlist to Serve Our Country

By Autumn Copeland
As we celebrate our Nation’s Independence Day, we’d like to honor these local Medina County graduates who have made the decision to serve our country.
As most of the local 2023 graduates enjoy their summer breaks before college or entering the workforce, these young men and women are getting ready to leave for basic training.
In Devine, a total of 10 graduates are planning to enter the military. Jordan Erxleben and Juan Hernandez will be joining the Navy. Theodore Hinkle and Zachery Martinez will be going into the Army. Entering the Air Force are Owen Fowler, Joselyn Guajardo, Noah Macias, and Kristina Moralez. Ryan Mclain Connor, Carlo Rivera, and Aaron Salazar will be joining the Marines.
In Lytle, graduates Nivea Sanchez, George Hernandez, and Mackenzie Sessom have committed to serving in the military.
Natalia’s graduating class consisted of two military commitments. Joshua San Miguel will be joining the Air Force and Austin Sutton will be joining the Navy.
Hondo had seven graduates going into the military. Marco Aguilar Rios and Paul Ramirez will be going into the Army. Benjamin Cardenas, Eric Camjo, Avery Ortiz, and Devin Velasquez are entering the Air Force. Going into the Marines is Hayven Villareal.
In Sabinal, there are three graduates entering the service. Jacob Flores and Ryan Wells will be going into the Navy while Jesus Gonzales will be going into the Marine Corps Reserves.
Medina Valley’s graduating class consisted of a total of 20 students enlisting in the military. Angel Mariscal, Miranda Salas Perez, and Cristobal Gil will be joining the Army. Garrett Edwards, Sharlotte Sarro, Zachary Guinn, Gavin Guerrero, Alan Segura, and Emiano Rodriguez will be joining the Marine Corps. Rene Contreras, Madaly Gaultier-Soliz, and Clayton “CJ” McCulloch will be joining the Navy. Anberlin MacCauley, Kason Saulter, Natalie Perez, Elisa Simmons, Jaiden Gonzalez, Eric Barrentes, Jacob Lascano, and Cristian Zarazua will be joining the Air Force.
The young people of Medina County entering the military have expressed their joy about entering the service and sorrow about leaving the community. Jordan Erxleben will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
“I’m very excited for the next chapter of my life,” said Erxleben. “I’m sad about leaving my friends, family, and home in Texas, but my time in Annapolis and the assignments beyond inspire great excitement for what is to come.”
Erxleben’s mother Lacey Erxleben also had some sentiments to share about the bittersweet feeling of her daughter leaving.
“It’s the best of both worlds- getting an education and serving our country,” said Erxleben. “I’m sad but happy for the opportunity for her and I know that, like all of my children before her, I need to let her go in order for her to accomplish great things.”
Juan Hernandez expressed how he is happy to be joining the military because he believes it is a great option right out of high school.
“I wanted to enlist because I want to travel the world and work out as much as possible, so what better way to do it than to join the Navy,” said Hernandez.
Kristina Moralez shared her nervousness and hopefulness in regards to joining the military.
“I have always loved challenges, being pushed past my limits, and staying active which is why I think I will love serving my country,” said Moralez. “I’ve always thought of myself as a leader so I would like to show those qualities of myself in the service as well.”
We thank the brave young men and women who have made the decision to serve their country, dedicating themselves to the nation’s independence.
Please note, unfortunately not all pictures were made available to us as of press time, but we are happy to feature any student who was left out in future weeks.

Lytle wins gold and silver medals at Texas State Contest

Soloist Stefan Grigsby
Quartet members Cambri Davila, Victoria Garcia, Citlali Ferreira, and Natalie Williams.

On February 5 Lytle High School Band students participated in Solo and Ensemble and advanced to Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest in Pflugerville. On Saturday, after the dust had barely settled from graduation, soloist Stefan Grigsby (11) and quartet members Cambri Davila(12), Victoria Garcia(11), Citlali Ferreira(12), and Natalie Williams(12) went to TSSEC held at Hendrickson High School.
This was Stefan’s first trip to TSSEC and he earned a 2nd division, silver medal, on his French Horn Solo.
For the past six years a flute ensemble has gone to state. This was Cambri and Citlali’s, third time at state. They actually qualified all four years of high school, but were unable to go in 2020 due to Covid. They also received gold medals every year they participated. For Natali and Victoria, this was their second time to qualify and participate at this competition, also receiving gold medals both times. “I am so proud of these young women as they brought home 1st division gold medals, especially since this will be the last event for our seniors,” said MJ Robles, Lytle JH Band Director.


Lady Pirate Track is STATE BOUND; Cook, Lopez, Gomez, & Sevier

Gomez qualified in both the 800m Run and in the 4x400m Relay along with teammates Lopez,
Cook, and Sevier. The talented group of girls set a school record finishing with a time of 4:02.88 which was just enough to qualify as the “Wild Card” team going into their last, and biggest, race of their season.

Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer
The Lady Pirate track season continues to Austin, its final destination of the 2023 season as Klayre Cook, Marissa Lopez, Moriah Gomez, and Calyssa Sevier all advanced past the regional round this past weekend in Seguin.
Gomez qualified in both the 800m Run and in the 4x400m Relay along with teammates Lopez, Cook, and Sevier. The foursome set a school record finishing with a time of 4:02.88 which was just enough to qualify as the “Wild Card” team going into their last, and biggest, race of their season.
“Wow! Did we just do that?” was the initial response by head coach Gilbert Ruiz. “That is what went through my head as Moriah was crossing the finish line as the anchor leg in the 4x400m relay 10 minutes after placing 3rd in the 1600m.”
It was a monumental moment in the history of Lytle track and field.
“Not only did she become the first Lytle track athlete to get on that Regional Track medal stand three times, but she also helped the team set another school record of 4:02.88, bettering it by 5 seconds. This after placing 2nd in the 800m earlier in the day, breaking her own school record set last week at Area (2:20.28) with a time of 2:18.59 and becoming the first female to make it State since Natalie Cortez did it in 2014 in the 1600m and 3200m.”
With nine lanes available at Mike A. Myers Stadium in the state’s capital, there will be two teams from each of the four regions along with Lytle who snatched up that sole spot as the next best team out of all Regional track events.
“That 4:02.88 was only good for 3rd place (that time would have won last year), but we knew it would give us a chance for the State Wild Card Slot (Fastest 3rd place of all 4 3A Regions) and it did. This after we just ran a 4:07 the day before and I told them we needed at least a 4:04.”
Having yet another goal set in front of them, the Lady Pirates did not blink an eye in going for the gusto for what could have been their last race.
“They gave it their all for each other for four laps with Calyssa running a :58 split third leg to get us closer and now becoming the first 4x400m Relay to make it to State and the most we have ever had that will be participating at the State Track Meet.”
It was a great day for both the Lady Pirates and the Pirates, according to Ruiz.
“We had three Personal Records” Ruiz said in reference to Moriah’s and the 4x400m team and included Pirate Robert Wagner who did so in the 800m Run as well. “They set those records in very windy conditions on Saturday and all of those three efforts helped them get to the State Meet that will be held on May 11th for 3A.”
Up next
Moriah, followed by Robert will run the 800m at 5:20pm Thursday, May 11 at 5:20pm. Marissa, Klayre, Calyssa, and Moriah run the 4x400m Relay at 8:20pm.
Sevier placed fourth in the 400m Dash with a time of 1:01.20. Lopez also finished fourth in the 800m with a time of 2:26.83, while Cook came in soon thereafter at 2:33.46.
Gomez was so close to qualifying for State in the 1600m Run as she came in third with a time of 5:25.82. Samantha Mujica set a personal record in the 3200m with a time of 12:14.91 that placed seventh overall.
Congratulations to all Lady Pirates, and best of luck to Klayre, Marissa, Moriah, and Calyssa in Austin!

Pirate Robert Wagner STATE BOUND in the 800m Run

Robert Wagner gets to run the 800m race one more time on the state’s biggest stage as he qualified for the State Meet to be held in Austin on Thursday, May 11. Wagner placed second in Seguin at Regional last week with a time of 1:58.78.

Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer
Robert Wagner gets to run the 800m race one more time on the state’s biggest stage as he qualified for the State Meet to be held in Austin on Thursday, May 11. Wagner placed second in Seguin at Regional last week with a time of 1:58.78 which was less than a second behind the 800m champion Isai Moran of Great Hearts Northern Oaks who crossed the finish line at 1:57.92.
Wagner competes in Austin after Lady Pirate Moriah Gomez runs her 800m which begins at 5:20pm. Wagner was also trying to qualify in the 1600m but came in 12th with a time of 4:59.43.
Abel Sanches was in the mix for a state-spot in the 800m as well as he came in fifth at 2:03.63. Brandon Obando was 9th at 2:05.68. Sanchez also ran the 3200m, coming in 7th at 10:03.47.
Johnny Rey Alvarez placed 7th in the 1600m at 4:44.72 and was 8th in the 3200m at 10:16.30.
Tristan Lopez was the last distance runner in competition for the Pirates. He placed 12th in the 3200m with a time of 10:36.75.
The lone speedster in the group was Brandon Adkins as he ran the 200m Dash. He placed 12th in preliminaries at 24.72.
The Pirates were well-represented in field events too as Conner Martin competed in Pole Vault and High Jump, Alex Medina in Discus, and both William Davalos and Mario Diaz in Shot Put.
Martin vaulted and even 13’0 to place third, missing that state-qualifying spot by one. He high jumped 5’10 to place 9th.
Medina was also in that third place finish spot as he threw the discus 146’2.
Davalos placed 11th in Shot Put, throwing 42’6.
Diaz was 15th in Shot Put with an effort of 37’9.75.
Congratulations to all Pirate Regional Qualifiers and best of luck to Robert in Austin!