31-4A race again to include stern challenges from Calallen, Robstown

Pete Garcia, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Alice Coyotes won't play in a game that counts toward a possible playoff berth until the final week of March.

However, the two months before that first District 31-4A include a non-district scheduled peppered with top-caliber oppponents. It's a schedule that Alice coach Victor Escamilla said is strong, but also one which will prepare his squad for the start of the always-tight 31-4A playoff race.

"I think it's one of the tougher schedules our program has ever had," Escamilla said. "There's going to be some difficult games, but I think if we're able to keep them close, we're going to get a lot out of them."

The Coyotes' season begins in Laredo in the Border Olympics March 22. The team will follow that with a tournament in Kerrville and a road-game against Alamo Heights in San Antonio. In the Kerrville tournament, Alice is set to face teams like Austin Anderson.

Escamilla said his team will have to be battle-tested when district begins.

"The district will pretty much be what it's been in the past," Escamilla said. "There are only six teams in the district, but still, we're going to deal with teams like Calallen and Robstown."

Alice begins District 31-4A March 23 here against Flour Bluff. The Coyotes will take on Robstown March 30 and Calallen April 3. The two teams are expected to again be among the area's best.

"I think Calallen and Robstown are going to be much better than everyone else," he said. "The rest of us in the district will be playing for that third-place spot."

The scrimmage part of the Coyotes schedule is like a "who's who" of South Texas high school baseball. The team's remaining scrimmages are against Corpus Christi Carroll and Ray.