Ready to roar: Lionettes eager to defend district championship, make deep playoff run

LA FERIA — A new season means a clean slate for the defending District 32-4A champion La Feria Lionettes.

After edging out the Raymondville Lady Bearkats last season to win the league title, La Feria head coach Reba Fraga and her Lionettes aim to repeat last year’s success.

Last season, the Lionettes impressively went 15-7 overall and claimed the conference crown with a 12-2 mark. Early losses to the Progreso Lady Red Ants and Raymondville nearly derailed their championship run, however, after losing to the Lady Kats, La Feria went on an imposing seven-game win streak, including an inspirational performance against Raymondville to close out the regular season.

In the postseason, however, things took a turn for the worse as the Lionettes fell to Aransas Pass 3-0 in the bi-district round.

While memories of last season are in the rearview mirror, some questions still remain for the Lionettes. For instance, can the team repeat as district champions after graduating a large core of its starting players? And, should they qualify for the playoffs, can the Lionettes get past the opening round? La Feria hasn’t been past the first round of the postseason since 2013.

At the same time, there are also plenty of reasons to be excited about the season. One reason is that the Lionettes return three very familiar faces including Destiny Martinez, Karina Diaz and all-around athlete Myah Salas. Nonetheless, Coach Fraga expects the district to be very competitive.

“Our entire team is very excited to get the season started. Our seniors are especially excited because they enjoy being seniors now and they’re in a leadership roll, and they seem ready to grab the torch and keep going,” said Fraga.

“A lot of seniors in our district graduated last season, but a lot of players also returned to their teams and I expect the district to be very competitive again this year. Our first and main goal is to win district again.”

The Lionettes hit the ground running against San Benito and Brownsville Porter on Tuesday to open the 2017 season.