By Alex Navarro
Hanks Knights

Perhaps it’s his persona that keeps him level-headed. Perhaps it’s his focus on the task at hand that allows him to remove as much emotion from a situation so he can look at things objectively and make sound decisions. Perhaps he needs a shot of Five-Hour Energy before a game begins.

Believe what you want to believe about Manny Flores. And when those thoughts travel through your mind, feel free to add district-champion coach.

As the crowd began to descend onto the floor after the Knights defeated the Franklin Cougars on Tuesday, Feb. 14, Flores stayed with his coaches in the locker room as his players continued to celebrate their improbable season. The Knights, winners of two district games last year, finished 12-4 in district with an outside chance of tying Coronado for the 1-5A title. The team needed Americas to defeat Coronado so the T-Birds and Knights could finish with identical district records.

Any Knight contingent who had an Americas connection kept texting, tweeting or calling to get updates on the score. Flores kept asking for updates on the score to gauge where his team stood.

Once confirmation arrived that Americas won, the 150 or so fans who stayed to celebrate yelled in jubilation. The crowd, the players and the coaches went crazy as the team rushed out the locker room to celebrate with the faithful. Parents looked for their children. Players wept openly in the parent’s arms, reflecting on a season’s worth of hard work, dedication and sacrifice.

Flores held his daughter away from the crowd, poker face still intact.

Perhaps it’s his resolve that kept this team in line. Tough early-season losses against Americas, El Dorado, Montwood and Bel Air gave this team moxie as they closed the season with tough wins against Montwood and Franklin.

The team is going to need that resolve as they face Amarillo Tascosa in the 5-A Boy’s Bi-District Playoffs. The game will be in Andrews, Texas on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. CST. Hanks will wear the visiting dark uniforms.

Tickets for the game are available at game site for $5 for adults and $3 for students. A fan bus is available for $30. The cost includes the ticket to the game, one meal and round-trip fare. Any student who is interested in going to see the game on the fan bus has to pick up an eligibility form, parent permission slip, must be currently passing all classes and have no attendance or disciplinary issues.

  • Who: El Paso Hanks (visiting dark uniform) vs. Amarillo Tascosa (home white uniform)
  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Andrews High School – Andrews, Texas. Physical address – 1400 Northwest Ave K, Andrews, Texas 79714
  • Tickets: $5 for adults, $3 for students
  • Banners: No paper banners
  • Cheerleaders: Yes in uniform