VALDEZ TOUTS VISION OF LARGER TEAM FIELD IN COMING YEARS

Despite a long history of excellence in baseball, the city has never before had its own pre-season tournament. Until now, that is, as the ECISD All-American Classic – with games played at all four school campuses in town Thursday through Saturday – was a tremendous success.

EHS coach Robert Valdez noted that with the support of the Edinburg Development Council, which kicked in generously to get the tourney off the ground, the future looks bright for the event.

“We can showcase our community and our kids, and we don’t have to travel, the teams come to us,” he said, adding that more than a dozen schools – beyond the 24 that competed last weekend – have expressed interest in coming to Edinburg in 2019. “We have a vision of making this as big as the Border Olympics in Laredo, which has 50 teams.”

The long-time EHS mentor suggests that because of all the great teams and players from Edinburg through the years, the All-American Classic makes sense, and that having a good sponsor makes all the difference.

“There are so many expenses when it comes to doing something like this,” he advised. “The umpires, facilities, trophies, manpower to run it, all this costs money and the district is very grateful to the Edinburg Development Council for stepping up to help.”

The first tournament ran for three days and had six pools of four teams in each; there was no overall championship contested. Valdez explained that the event guaranteed four games for each club, and worked around the pending league seasons by holding off on a full third day of competition.

“It just made sense, because district starts for us in a couple of days,” he explained. “The way it is now, with pitch counts, we didn’t want teams running out of pitchers, getting them all tired, and then having to go right into the district competition that way.”

NOTES: Speaking of district play, the latest 31-6A scramble commences Tuesday with a pair of barnburners: Econ at EHS and Vela visiting North. The second stage later in Spring Break week has EHS at Vela and North at P-SJ-A Southwest.