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Patriots on a Mission

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MISSION – Coach Diana Lerma and her Patriots are pounding the competition in district 31-5A. Mission Veterans is two wins away from sweeping through their district schedule for the third consecutive year.

“As a coach, it’s very easy coaching young ladies that are knowing that they want before the season starts and that’s the success of this program” said Lerma. “They keep the tradition going.”

In spite of that success, the Patriots have failed to meet playoff expectations in recent years. They haven’t reached the “sweet 16” in three seasons.

“I’ve been to the games that we’ve got to the sweet 16,” said junior outside hitter Jackie Howell. “I’ve gone to the bleachers almost all my life so I know how it feels. I want to be part of a team that makes it, even better, be part of a team that passes the sweet 16.”

Earlier this year, the Patriots played some of the state’s best teams tough at a Houston tournament. They won five of their eight games against talented competition.

“I guess it was like a shock factor of like who are these short people, why are they even here?” said junior outside hitter Makenzie Gerlac. “We were the smallest team there. When we come up with the swinging and power, just great passes and setting, we surprised everybody.”

The Patriots close out the regular season against Sharyland and Valley View before the playoffs begin.

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