5 things about Del Valle

Lake Travis and Del Valle: 5 things

· Almost perfect

Lake Travis and Del Valle have been on-again, off-again district foes since 2000. While the Cavaliers hold the overall lead in the series, 4-2, assistant coach Kevin Halfmann’s record in the series almost perfect. In between stints as a Cavalier assistant, Halfmann spent four years at Del Valle, three as defensive coordinator and one as head coach, in 2004. Halfmann has a 5-1 record in the series. He coached at Del Valle during the Cardinals’ 2001 (28-21) and 2002 (46-8) wins over Lake Travis. Halfmann’s only defeat came in 2003, when Lake Travis prevailed 22-12 to snap an 18-game losing streak. Halfmann never faced the Cavaliers as Del Valle’s head coach. He returned to Lake Travis in 2005.

· Bi-district or bust

Prior to missing the playoffs in 2013, when a final week loss to Bowie knocked them out, the Cardinals had been to the playoffs in three of the previous four seasons despite posting a winning record only once over that span. Del Valle reached the post season with records of 4-6 in 2012, 2-8 in 2011 and 9-1 in 2009. The Cardinals were bi-district losers each year, falling to Westwood in 2012, Pflugerville in 2011 and Montgomery in 2009.

· Honored athletes

Two of Del Valle’s most decorated athletes are football player Josh Cleveland and girls basketball player Shanay Washington. Cleveland earned District 15-5A Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2012 after rushing for 1,408 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior, including 165 against Lake Travis. Washington earned Parade All-America honors at Del Valle, graduating in 2008. She started 22 games as a freshman at Baylor before suffering two ACL injuries as a sophomore, ending her career. In all, she suffered five ACL tears in her career.

· Perfection

Cardinals kicker Luis Escalante is making an early push for all-district honors. The junior has made all nine of his extra points and all six of his field goals through four games this season. He made two field goals in the Cardinals’ win over Akins to open district play.

· Speed Merchants

Del Valle has always featured skill players who may be more at home handing off a track baton than a football. This year’s team is no different. Receiver Altany Wilson finished second in last year’s District 15-5A 100 meter dash final, clocking a 10.7 second sprint. Senior Ashton Robinson finished seventh. Wilson won the 200 meter title in 22.32. “Obviously we see those guys in football, basketball and track, and from track we know how fast they are,” Cavaliers coach Hank Carter said. “We remember how explosive they are.”