BEST OF 2022: Uvalde football, Manu Ginobili, San Antonio FC headline San Antonio’s Top 12 sports stories of the year

SAN ANTONIO – 2022 was filled with special moments that San Antonio sports fans will remember forever.

Teams and athletes across all levels of competition brought home some serious hardware. Some franchises broke through and won their first championships, while some familiar faces returned to the top of the mountain.

In celebration of a remarkable 365 days, the KSAT 12 Sports team wants to take a moment to reflect on the 12 biggest sports headlines.

We begin our list the same way we started the 2022 high school football season:

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KSAT PIGSKIN CLASSIC 2022

Three great games featuring six programs all decided by a total of five points, and one of those games went to overtime. Smithson Valley earned an emotional 14-13 victory over Reagan for head coach Larry Hill, new head coach Mark Soto led Judson past his former team Johnson in a 46-43 overtime shootout and then-No. 2 Steele edged No. 1 Brennan late 35-34 en route to an undefeated regular season. There’s no way to sugarcoat it: the inaugural KSAT Pigskin Classic was a resounding success. We at KSAT can’t wait to do it all again in 2023.

READ MORE: Judson edges Johnson in overtime classic; No. 2 Steele knocks off No. 1 Brennan

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UTSA WOMEN’S SOCCER WINS C-USA TITLE

The Roadrunners helped prove that San Antonio is soccer central by claiming their first Conference USA title. No. 6-seeded UTSA powered through the bracket and defeated Florida Atlantic 3-2 in extra time of the championship game, a perfect capstone to one of the most successful season in program history. They even got to celebrate with the football team on the River Walk!

WATCH: UTSA Football, Women’s Soccer teams celebrate championships with river parade

XFL RETURNS

The XFL is bringing professional football back to the Alamo City. Steelers legend Hines Ward will coach the San Antonio Brahmas, one of three Texas-based teams in the newly-formed eight-team league. Play will kickoff the week after the Super Bowl this year, and we hope to see the Alamodome packed!

READ MORE: San Antonio Brahmas announce XFL schedule, will host St. Louis Battlehawks in opener

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D’HANIS SOFTBALL & BASEBALL DOUBLE UP AGAIN

The city of D’Hanis partied like it was 2019 all over again, completing a sweep of the UIL Class 1A State titles in baseball and softball. The softball team won their second title with a 6-2 victory over Hermleigh in the championship game, while the baseball team earned their third title by outscoring both of their opponents by a combined margin of 20-0. It’s a fitting end to some remarkable careers for all of the seniors on both rosters.

WATCH: D’Hanis State softball highlights | D’Hanis State baseball highlights

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O’CONNOR SOFTBALL WINS STATE

The Panthers’ run to the UIL Class 6A State crown was nothing short of magical. In both of their state tournament games, O’Connor fell behind 3-0 and found a way to win. Jada Munoz was at the center of both comebacks. In the semifinals, she hit a go-ahead three-run homerun in the bottom of the 4th in a 7-5 win over El Paso Americas, and in the championship game she hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the 6th that tied the game at 6-6. The inning continued, senior AJ Sanchez drew a bases-loaded walk to score the final run in a 7-6 victory, and the Panthers stormed the field in celebration of their first state title.

READ MORE: O’Connor softball wins first UIL State title

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TAYLOR NUNEZ STRIKES GOLD

Simply put, Taylor Nunez lit the track on fire this past May. The Universal City Randolph freshman won four gold medals at the UIL State Class 3A Track and Field Championships. She started her conquest with a victory in the long jump, then won the 100 meter dash in a state-record time of 11.59 seconds, struck gold again in the 200 meter dash and finally anchored the Ro-Hawks 4x100 meter relay to gold. Her efforts helped Randolph top the team standings for the first time since 2012.

WATCH: UIL Class 3A State Track and Field Championships

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BOERNE’S INCREDIBLE YEAR

It wasn’t just the football team’s historic season: the entirety of Boerne athletics enjoyed a remarkable amount of success in 2022. The Greyhound football team did set a plethora of school records and became the first Boerne squad to play for a state football title. They nearly finished off an undefeated season, but settled as UIL Class 4A State runners-up. Earlier in the year, the boys soccer team went back-to-back, defeating Celina 2-1 to win the UIL Class 4A State championship. Boerne’s tennis team finished as state runners-up. So did Champion’s girls cross country team. The Charger boys water polo team also competed in the inaugural UIL State championship game right here in San Antonio and finished as runners-up. And both the Greyhounds and Chargers sent their boys basketball teams to the Alamodome for the state tournament last March. There’s definitely a lot of the city of Boerne to celebrate as the calendar shifts to 2023.

READ MORE: Boerne boys defeat Celina 2-1, claims second straight UIL Class 4A State title

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UVALDE RALLIES TO WIN HOME-OPENER

The Coyotes gave the city of Uvalde a memory that they will never forget. With the tragedy of Robb Elementary still fresh in the community’s minds, the football team rallied to win their home-opener 34-28 over Eagle Pass. With 36.1 seconds to go, senior Jonathan Jimenez turned a play that was going nowhere into a legendary moment, cutting back against the grain of the defense for a 54-yard run that gave Uvalde new life. Quarterback Brodie Carnes then found Devon Franklin for the game-winning, one-handed touchdown catch with just 12 seconds left, as the Coyotes celebrated an emotional victory in the Honey Bowl.

WATCH: Jimenez’s incredible cutback lifts Uvalde to emotional win

SAN ANTONIO FC CLAIMS FIRST USL TITLE

San Antonio FC completed arguably the greatest single season in USL Championship history. The Alamo City club won the Copa Tejas, defeated Austin FC in the US Open, claimed the regular-season champions shield in record-setting fashion, won the Western Conference trophy and then earned their first USL Championship title with a 3-1 victory over Louisville City FC all within a single calendar year. SAFC certainly proved they were ‘Mentality Monsters’, and they got to celebrate in style with a River Walk parade and a dive into the river.

READ MORE: San Antonio FC tops Louisville City FC 3-1, claims first USL Title

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UTSA, UIW & TRINITY DOMINATE

All three of San Antonio’s college football powerhouses gave local fans so many lasting memories in 2022.

Head coach Jeff Traylor and the Roadrunners proved that 2021′s historic run was no fluke. UTSA went undefeated in Conference USA play for the first time in program history and defeated North Texas 48-27 to claim the program’s second straight C-USA title. Quarterback Frank Harris was the star of the show and announced he would return for one more year.

Under first-year head coach G.J. Kinne, UIW boasted the highest-scoring offense in college football. The Cardinals finished the regular season with a 10-1 overall record as Southland Conference Champions. They then won two FCS Playoff games over Furman and Sacramento State in thrilling fashion before bowing out of the tournament with a hard-fought loss to nine-time FCS Champions North Dakota State.

Finally, head coach Jerheme Urban led Trinity to an undefeated regular season and the program’s first Division III playoff victory in two decades, a come-from-behind 14-7 victory over Hardin-Simmons. San Antonio was lucky to have these three squads representing them throughout a memorable and historic season. Their combined record was 34-6.

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MANU GINOBILI INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

The second member of the Spurs’ ‘Big 3′ entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Manu Ginobili. The Spurs legend and San Antonio favorite became the fourth Spurs player inducted into the Hall last September. Ginobili was the first Argentinian to play in the NBA and famously won an Olympic Gold Medal with Argentina in 2004. He won four NBA titles with the Spurs over the course of a 16-year career, all right here in San Antonio, and he owns the best winning percentage of any single player in NBA history. Gracias Manu, and we hope to see fellow Spurs legends Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich join you in the Hall in 2023.

READ MORE: Manu Ginóbili becomes emotional in Hall of Fame acceptance speech

SPURS RELEASE JOSH PRIMO

Finally, we have to touch on the drama surrounding the Spurs and Joshua Primo.

The Spurs abruptly released Primo on October 28 with little explanation and removed all of his gear from the team store. In the following days, reports indicated that Primo had allegedly exposed himself to multiple women in different cities. Dr. Hillary Cauthen, a former Spurs psychologist, sued Primo for indecent exposure and the Spurs for helping cover it up. She held a press conference with attorney Tony Buzbee and filed a lawsuit in Bexar County. The Spurs responded with a statement of their own that disputed some of the facts presented in that press conference, and all parties eventually agreed to a settlement in November.

READ MORE: Josh Primo accuser, Spurs agree to settle lawsuit


About the Author:

Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.