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5-2-2023 Lessons from the Rings - Regional Edition "One Inch Shy"

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play, than in a year of conversation.”

– Plato 

This weekend at the Regional Meet, Lytle Throws had three young men represent the Pirate Nation. The weekend of competition began for me on Thursday, April 27, 2023, as I went to Frank Carrillo’s visitation that evening. While I was there, I saw two former members of the Lytle Throwing Team. Scott Smith, who wore toe shoes to practice every day and came from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and Jake Martinez. Both of whom threw for Lytle in the early teens. It is nice to win competitions, but these are just the beginnings of making a life which benefits our society. 

On Friday morning, April 28, William Davalos and Mario Diaz threw the shot put against fourteen other throwers who represented the best sixteen throwers in our Region. Mario had been throwing for about a month coming off of his State Championship in Powerlifting. I think on this day the long year of football and powerlifting caught up with him. You can be strong, but you must have technique added to the strength to make a special thrower. Mario ended up finishing 14th out of the 16 as a Junior. William Davalos came in sitting 14th overall before the competition. On his first throw of the Meet, he set a new personal record of 42’3”. On his second throw, he launched the 12-pound shot even further to 42’6.25”. On his third throw, he also threw above 41’ to have his three best consecutive throws of the season. He missed making the finals by 8.75”. He finishes his Sophomore year as the 29-3A District Champion and Regional Qualifier, finishing 11th. 

On Saturday, April 29, brought a wind from the north which came directly from the back of the ring. Not favorable conditions for a discus competition. We knew Alex Medina had a great opportunity to be the first Lytle thrower to qualify for the State Meet. The first-place favorite was from Goliad. Second place was going to be decided between five and six throwers. Alex’s second throw of 138’ qualified him for the finals. At the end of the first three qualifying throws, Alex was placed 4th. The thrower from Goliad led with 149’, one of the throwers from Poth was second at 141’, Everett from Hondo was 3rd at 139’. I told Alex to put pressure on the other throwers with a good first throw. As he stood in the ring, the wind seemed to die down and it seemed so calm. Alex’s 4th throw was measured at 146’2” placing him in second position. With one round to go, Alex held second. Coach Ruiz came over and asked if I was nervous. All I could answer was yes. I had one goal left to achieve as a coach at Lytle. I desired to take a thrower to compete in Austin. After the lad from Poth didn’t throw past Alex, I told Alex that he was going to medal. It was either going to be bronze or silver. Hondo’s boy entered the ring. He and Alex had competed all year. He beat Alex at Dilley. Alex had beat him at District and Area. In the girls’ competition, Everett’s sister placed second on her last throw. Everett’s throw went and I knew it would be close. This year they used a laser and the coach from Lyford announced 146’3”. Alex was shy by one inch. I know Alex did his best and it has been a grand adventure these last six years with him and for at least 12 years of coaching the children of Nick and Mayre Medina. Alex finishes his career as a two-time District Champion and three-time Regional finalist and two-time bronze medalist for Region IV. He is the school record holder in the discus at 158’2”. We have shared many travels and survived COVID during his Freshman year. 

Not being on the school computers and having no internet at my house, I haven’t been able to tell of all the great things the throwers have done. We had a wonderful year with great throws. I would like to highlight my two senior ladies who threw this year. Rose Scotello finished her two years of throwing for Lytle by finishing 5th in District with a personal best of 33’1”. This throw would have won other Districts, but our District contained the Regional Champion, Regional Bronze medalist, and the other two were Regional finalists, throwing 5th and 8th respectively. She leaves as the 2022 Junior Varsity shot put Champion and in 2023 in 5th place. She leaves as the 6th farthest distance thrower I have coached. 

Sarah Ytuarte finishes her six years of throwing shot put. She has twice competed as a Varsity thrower. One thing I love about working with these athletes is the multifaceted lives they have. Sarah is the drum major, on the National Honor Society, and a State medalist in film. The highlight I will mention is that as she left the rings on Tuesday before the District Meet, she allowed me to pray over her as a sister in Christ.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Coach Wilson, Coach Alonso and Coach Ruiz for allowing me to coach the throwers this year. It wasn’t an easy year with my not being in school to interact with the throwers. As we finish this year, I really would like to thank Coach Beatty and the Devine News for publicizing the accomplishments of the Lytle athletes. Little do you realize how a little ink and a picture in the paper does to instill in the hearts of athletes that spark to perform. I close with an anonymous quote which is for the Seniors. Thank you, Seniors, for always being responsible for setting a higher standard. You have made me a better teacher, coach and person. 

“You never really leave a place you love. Part of it you take with you, leaving a part of yourself behind.” 



Hadley Foster