The Real MVP: Lady Diamondbacks thank sanitation team following district-championship season

Local Sports

SHARYLAND (KVEO) – The Sharyland Pioneer Lady Diamondback basketball team earned their third straight district title in 2021.

They made sure to celebrate with Mari.

“Mari is a very, very crucial part of everything we do,” senior guard Audry Hornaday said. “Mari and her staff were the MVP’s we needed this season to make sure we could fulfill the rest of our goals.”

Like most teams across the country, Pioneer battled just as much off the court than on it.

COVID 19 prompted athletics programs across the state to increase sanitation and social-distancing protocols. Mari and her team are responsible for maintaining and sanitizing Pioneer High School.

“It’s more than a job for her,” Coach Nicole Villarreal said. “She’s the first one to say good job after the game… and the girls really soak all of that up.”

Following a home win over Valley View, the Lady Diamondbacks celebrated with the district-championship trophy, until Hornaday realized one member of the team was missing.

“[During] that last moment when we were all in the gym, I saw Mari in the hall,” Hornaday said. “I was like, ‘Mari, you deserve to be in there just as much as we do.'”

Mari celebrated with the team. Hornaday captured a photo to commemorate the moment, posting the image to Twitter with the following message:

“A big shoutout to a huge member of our team! You and your staff always made sure everything was clean before and after our games and practices. Thank you for always making sure our home was clean and sanitized! We couldn’t have done it without you all!”

In an interview translated from Spanish, Mari expressed her gratitude to the team. She looks forward to seeing many more championships to come.

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