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The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fall SportS 2011

Page 2

Life’s always hard for football’s forgotten scrubs
Dave’s Note: I first wrote the column below in 1974, when I was a sophomore in high school; I’d just discovered, to my chagrin, that 120-pound defensive tackles aren’t destined for stardom in Class 5A football in the state of Texas. Over the years, I’ve touched it up here and there, but the premise of the piece remains the same to this day: a salute to all those anonymous faces who toil in obscurity, but whose competitive spirit remains forever unquenchable. It’s something of a personal tradition for me to run it at the beginning of every football season, so I hope y’all will bear with me as I carry on by running it as my first column in a new town.

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

From the Cheap Seats

There are two entirely different types of people who play football. Everyone knows about one type: call ‘em Friday Night Heroes, Saturday Afternoon’s Collegiate Conquerors or Sunday’s Gods of Football. Each team has at least 11 of them — the guys who get to play. But few recognize the trials, tribulations and travails of the other type of football player. He rarely wins respect, rarely wins the praise, rarely wins the adulation heaped on his more popular counterpart; in fact, he rarely “wins,” period. The life of a scrub is a harrowing one, filled with danger. But the scrub is necessary to any football team, for without him, who would the first string practice against? Injuries in practice have been known to destroy many a budding superstar’s career, so it is imperative to find someone for the superstar to hit who can’t hit back. The scrub is typically shorter, lighter, slower and weaker than the gifted superstar, which makes him the perfect choice for refining the latter’s superior skills. The first task most scrubs have to face on the

too. Training luxuries are rarely part of a scrub’s regimen. While the first-stringers ease their aches in the whirlpool, spend hours each day with massage therapists and have a handful of trainers begging for the chance to wrap their ankles, the scrub counts himself lucky to get five minutes in a cold shoer, two band-aids and a couple of aspirin. The scrub also has to be more careful with his equipment than other players. Being shorter, weaker and more gullible than a first-stringer, he is a prime target for the team’s practical joker, who is almost always one of the first-stringers. Finding out that “Ultra Thermonuclear Hot Rub” is smeared all over one’s jock strap can

make for a long day at practice. Practice and the training room are hazardous for the scrub, but nothing can compare to a real game. Hours before the contest, the scrub has reached the plateau of motivation: his fingernails are chewed to nubs, his teeth are chattering and his knees are wobbly. As the team runs onto the field for the big game, it is the scrub who will become entangled in the huge paper poster the cheerleaders hold up in the end zone (provided he doesn’t hit the goalpost). It is the scrub who will anchor the “wall” of players as the first-stringers secretly practice one last time that play the coach has introduced specifically for this game.

Continued on Page 8--->

Dave Mundy
practice field is to hold the blocking dummies while the first-stringers vent their frustrations. This is where the scrub first meets the team’s Lurch-lookalike offensive tackle — that 6-foot7, 275-pounder with 4.5 speed the college scouts are so hot on. This is also usually the first place the scrub learns to moan in a weak voice after being exhumed once the tackle has flattened him and shredded the blocking dummy. The scrub is also responsible for training his team’s defense, by repeatedly taking the ball on a handoff from the scrub quarterback and running directly into the maw of the team’s ravenous defenders — the ones with nicknames like “Jaws,” “Hit Man,” “Doctor Doom” and “Terminator.” He rarely finds blockers to accompany him on these little excursions, since the linemen assigned to defend him are scrubs,

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Football: Gonzales Apaches

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 3

Apaches banking on big 0-line, momentum from 7-3 turnaround
to deep advancement in the football plays “I think the community expects us to coach their kids with a lot of intensity,” Lock said. “They expect us to instill pride in the kids, and run a fair and disciplined program.” Lock only lost 10 players to graduation, and returns 24 lettermen. Gonzales returns nine defensive starters and seven on the offensive side of the ball. “We have a good nucleus for this team,” he said. The offensive line will be a ‘huge’ plus for the Apaches “They are all back with a year underneath their belt of experience in the system.” Lock said. Gonzales will have a three-player committee at running back and the backup quarterback from 2010 has looked sharp early, he said. Gonzales also has two receivers back from last year. But filling the shoes of departed played and offensive juggernaut Kedrick Cray will not be easy. Lock said the Apaches are looking at Don Cartwright and Jon Anthony Casares to fill the void left by Cray. With an overall stronger and bigger team, fans can expect the Apaches to pound the ball on the ground a lot. “We did not start running the ball well until the end of the year (in 2010),” Lock said. “One reason is we had three freshmen starting on the line and it took them time to gain maturity,

Everything is bigger in Texas. And that includes the 2011 version of the Gonzales Apaches football team. Most of the players on third-year head coach Ricky Lock’s squad has spent considerable time in summer weight training and conditioning programs. “We had around 90 percent of our varsity players attend strength camp,” he said. “The numbers really show as our team is in good physical condition. “We have gained a lot of physical strength over the course of a year. Our kids look like football players with the muscle weight they have added.” And some of those gains were made by those players up front on offense. “Our offensive line is going to be better as they are all stronger and quicker,” he said. Gonzales had few health-related problems during two-a-day workouts. “Our conditioning has paid off,” Lock said. He said the coaching staff was proud of the players’ effort to working out to gain strength and speed. Lock returned to the program in early 2010, a program that saw just four wins combined for 2008 and 2009. He turned around the team rather quickly, winning seven games in his second year. Now the Gonzales community will no doubt looking to Lock and coaches to guide the team

Zack Lopez

Matt Hillman

JT Miller

John Riojas

Hunter Noack

Adrian Molina

mentally and physically.” “All three doubled their strength and two of them have gained at least 20 pounds in good muscle weight.” Those three freshmen (now sophomores), Damian Airhart, Zach Perez-Clack and JT

Miller, will combine with All-State offensive tackle Cody Jurek along with Donnie Grauke and Richard Thiele to form the pool for the improved offensive line. Anchoring the line will be center JD Pritchard with competition po-


Cody Jurek

Cecil Johnson

Zach Perez-Clack

Jon Anthony Casares

Landon Lock

Guadalupe Cabrera

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tentially from John Riojas and PerezClack. “They look better physically and we are excited about that,” Lock said. “Almost all of them have gained some pounds of muscle.” Quarterback will be Matt Hillman, who was the backup last year and has put on 15 pounds in the summer workouts. “He has also shot up in height and well over six feet. Matt throws the ball well,” Lock said. “Jon Anthony and Don will be working at quarterback too and they have looked good.”


“Competition for the position is good when you have three guys that can run the offense and not miss a beat.” Running back candidate Zack Lopez has increased his weight from 155 to 181 while Landon Lock has gone from 185 to 215. Lock said Cory Espinosa, another possibility at running back, put on 10 pounds. Cartwright and Casares will spread out wide along with Alejandro Herandez and Cecil Johnson, who Lock said was about the fastest player on the team. “Cecil is really starting to mature as a wideout,” he said.

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Getting looks at the tight end position are Coy Condel, Adrian Molina and Cameron Smith. Lock said Hillman is one of the candidates for the team’s placekicker and a punter with Daniel Rivera. The Tribe will stick to their “spit” defense. Slated to play in the interior defensive line is Jurek, Guadualupe Cabrera, Jesse Ramirez and Condel. “Coy has shown a lot of spark early,” Lock commented. On the ends will be Miller, Molina, Ray Flores and Smith, a member of the Runnin’ Apaches basketball team in his first year of football. Tyler Morgan is also a viable prospect for the spot. The Apache linebacking corps will be led by All-District Second-Team player Landon Lock. “His weight gain will help him inside,” Lock said. Landon Lock will play inside linebacker and the other inside linebackers are slated to be Chris Garcia and

Hunter Noack. The Apache outside linebacking corps is Espinosa, Hernandez, DJ Gonzales and Andy Rodriguez, who Lock said was one of the most improved players on the team. Casares (All-District First Team Defense), Cartwright (All-District Second Team Defense), Johnson and Coltin Russell will play as the cornerbacks. Lopez joins Russell and Cartwright for the Apaches’ safety positions. Gonzales will spend majority of its playing time outside of town as three of four non-district games are on the road and half of the six district games are road contests as well. Gonzales opens Aug. 26 at Corpus Christi Miller, hosts Luling Sept. 2 then plays six days later on a Thursday evening at Nelson Field against Austin Lanier Sept. 8. Gonzales travels to Columbus on Sept. 16 for the final nondistrict game. The Apaches host Yoakum Sept. 23

Thursday, August 25, 2011

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for Homecoming, travel to Poteet Sept. 30, welcome San Antonio Sam Houston Oct. 7 for Come and Take It weekend. The Apaches then get a break and return to action in Pleasanton on Oct. 21. La Vernia comes to town Oct. 28 and Gonzales travels to Cuero for the last game of the regular season Nov. 4. Lock said all of the Apache opponents have retained their head coaches. Lanier is a Class 4A while CC Miller and Columbus are 3A programs. “You have to think Columbus is going to be tough. They got all of their players back. In the district, Cuero is once again the top runner to the title,” Lock said. Sam Houston appears to be loaded and could make a run at the district title. “Sam Houston has the most returning players and they were good on defense last year,” Lock said. “They have (Javonte) Magee who is 6-7 and already has had a ton of offers and (Leo) Thomas who has had some colleges interested in him. They are huge upfront with three lineman that weight over 325. They also have a lot of speed.


The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue
Maybe, the most team speed in the district.” Lock said La Vernia has solid coaching and does not make mistakes. “Cuero and La Vernia lost some key people but have some key people back,” he said. “Pleasanton has some skill coming back.” Lock said he expects improvement from Poteet and Yoakum. “It will be a challenge every Friday night,” he said. Gonzales has the opportunity to learn how to play on the road before district starts. He said the main advantage to majority of games on the road is that it simulates playoff games since those are never played at either team’s home stadium. Two of Gonzales’ non-district games, CC Miller and Austin Lanier, will be played in large stadiums with turf fields. Miller went to the playoffs last year; Luling always plays Gonzales tough; Lanier has lots of skill kids, Lock said. “Everyone we play will be better. But I think we will be better as well,” he said. “I feel we will run the ball better and play better on defense.”

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Alejandro Hernandez

Andrew Rodriguez

Chris Garcia

Ray Flores

Jose Moreno

Daniel Rivera

Roger Gonzales Donnie Grauke Josh Taylor Cameron Smith

DJ Gonzales

Jerald Smith

“Good Luck in all the sports you participate in”
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Payton, J.T., Ashton, Wade & Caden

Page 6

Veterans give Lady Apaches an edge

Volleyball: Gonzales Lady Apaches
She said her excitement and enthusiasm about the season have come from observing the Lady Apaches in their summer games. “I can tell we are stronger in both hitting and blocking. We have got some kids that move on defense,” Payne commented. “Our whole game has improved.” “I watched them against Yoakum in one game and we did some great things.” On-court communication is ongoing project. “It is getting better but it is something we are going to have to work on during the first day of two-a-days and continue to work on throughout the season,” she said. “It is better from last year, but it is a continuing thing you work on.” Going into preseason workouts, Payne said she is looking for the one player to stand out as a leader. “I have got some girls that are leaders but I am searching for that outstanding leader that is going to is take charge and become my leader. I am looking toward my seniors, especially Brittany and Jessica, to take the reins and be my leaders. But there could be a junior player who steps up,” Payne said. The young team from the 2010 season has matured a lot and understands what it will take to make the postseason, which the Gonzales volleyball program has not seen since

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gonzales volleyball coach Kim Payne has a team that is loaded with depth and experience this season. She has nine returners from last year’s team. “I have a very strong group coming back,” Payne said. “I won’t have a big senior group, but my junior group is huge.” Payne’s senior class is Brittany Pakebusch, Jessica Cantu, Lynnea Fink and possibly, Jerika Vega. Carly Bozka, Shayla Simper, Morgan Simper, Lindsey Akers, Allison Raley and Kiley Braune make up the 2011-2012 junior group, and most of them have been playing varsity since their freshman year. Payne said two-a-day workouts will determine if she will field some freshmen or sophomores on varsity. “All of my seniors did the strength and conditioning camp and are now stronger and quicker,” she said “That will be a plus on defense.” Payne said the players that attended camps have improved all of their skills. And there are the summer leagues in the area. “Almost all of them have been playing during the summer,” Payne said. “So they have been active most of the summer. They have taken pride in getting better so that we can make the playoffs.”

2011 Gonzales Lady Apaches
2007. Payne said solid defense play will be a key to winning games in 2011. Payne said she will run either a 5-1 (one setter) or stay with her 6-2 (two setters). “I am looking how who can block and who cannot. I have to make sure we are getting hands on the ball,” she said. “If I cannot rely on a two-setter system, I will have to pull back and play a single block which is tough but then it gives me more defensive sets,” Payne said. “The first two-a-days session will tell me a lot.” Payne said she is looking at Cantu and Braune as the setters, and Bozka as the defensive specialist, and then fill in the other positions with the rest of the players where she sees they can fit in. The Lady Apaches have tough challenges right out of the gate. Early on, Gonzales will take part in the Columbus Tournament which Payne has called “tough”. With schools such as Victoria West and Brenham, it will be a tough tournament. “That is why I signed us up for that tournament,” she said. “There are 30 teams in it and it will be a great one we can be involved in. Gonzales varsity will also play in the Shiner and Schulenburg tournaments. Payne said the Lady Apaches will be looking for redemption at the Shiner tournament after a not-so-successful outing last year. She said she replaced some Class 1A and 2A schools with 3A and 4A so her team can learn how to compete against tough opponents. In non-district action, Gonzales will play Luling, Cedar Creek, Smithville, Flatonia and Stockdale. La Vernia won the district last season and should be the team to beat with the rest of the district up for grabs. “We all lost players so I feel it can be anybody’s game,” Payne said. “I know we will be strong because I did not lose too many from last year. It is a plus that I had a young team last year and that they will be back.”

Jerika Vega

Lynnea Fink

Brittany Pakebusch

Thursday, August 25, 2011

GHS harriers rely on senior leadership

Cross Country: Gonzales Apaches
shoes of Maria Aguayo.” Cox said underclassmen Whitted, Baker, Guerra, Miller, Sanchez and Rodriguez bring solid running and enthusiasm to the team. “They enjoy running,” Cox said. “But they are new to cross country, and only the three seniors are experienced.” Cox credits the seniors with recruiting runners to the girls’ team. “They are still trying to get more girls to come out for the team,” she said. Cox said she cannot predict how the Lady Apaches are going to do at district, with Yoakum, Cuero, Pleasanton and La Vernia are returning their solid teams, and Brittany getting the chance to compete at district as she missed last season’s meet with an injury For the Apache harriers, Cox said she is not sure what to expect since she only has one returning runner, junior Gilbert Chavez. “It is going to be a rebuilding year. (Before the season) I am still looking for kids to come out and run cross country.” “We are going to have a young

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 7

Gonzales head cross country coach Jill Cox figures both her girls and boys team will be in rebuilding mode for this year. But the girls will have more leadership with a solid trio of seniors. On the Lady Apaches side, veteran senior Kim DeLeon is back along with fellow seniors Brittany Pakebusch and Amber Torres. Sophomores/Juniors Haley Whitted, Kaitlyn Guerra and Jessica Baker will bolster the squad along with freshmen Juana Sanchez, Dora Rodriguez and Ashton Miller. DeLeon made it to the regional meet last season and is coming off a solid spring track season. “Kim will do great,” Cox said. “Brittany has had good first couple of practices and I am looking forward to seeing what Amber can do. They are a good group of girls that have been running cross country since junior high.” “There is going to be a lot of leadership there. I am expecting a lot from those girls. They will help set the pace in filling the

2011 Gonzales Apaches Cross Country
team because we will have a lot of new kids,” Cox said. “My whole team, except for Gilbert, will be first-time competitors in cross country.” “It will be a wait-and-see what they are going to look like at the first meet.” Solid practice will help the young boys’ team get experienced in how to run. Cox said a lot of the boys will be on the junior varsity team for the season and move up to varsity next year. The main goal will be to get the new Apache runners used to running cross country. “I just want them to show up this year, get some success and some improvement,” Cox said. “Then get them back out here next year and build. If someone is able to qualify for regionals then that will be a huge plus for us.” In 2010, Chavez was an individual qualifier for the regional meet and placed in the top 30. “I feel Gilbert can be in the top 10 at district and get back to regionals,” she said. Gonzales will compete in meets in Yoakum, Lockhart, Moulton, at University of Texas-San Antonio and in Weimar. In addition, they will host the Apache Invitational (Oct. 16) and take part in the Come and Run It 5K. District meets will be Oct. 26-27 at Starcke Park in Seguin.

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It is also the scrub who will turn beetred when that plaintive little voice wafts from the stands: “Mommy, is that little skinny guy really Harvey?” As the game begins, the scrub sets up at right end — right at the end of the bench. For most of the first half, he will scream himself hoarse along with the head coach,

following in the latter’s footsteps until both become hopelessly entangled in the coach’s headphone wires. But by late in the game, if his team is either hopelessly behind or winning by a landslide, the scrub might finally get his chance. Trotting confidently onto the field, he’s already considering what he’ll say at the post-game press conference when they ask

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

him about that incredible twisting, turning touchdown run. Even as the quarterback calls a flop play in the huddle to kill the final five seconds, the scrub still envisions every possibility — especially the one in which the ball somehow miraculously pops loose and winds up in his arms and he’s forced to “do it on his own.” But the final gun sounds on time and

the scrub is, more often than not, forgotten and trampled in the ensuing melee as both benches empty, the pretty girls mob the superstars and some wag pulls the plug on the stadium lights. Somewhere amid the mud, blood and hubbub, though, a weak smile crosses the face of the scrub as he nestles the forgotten game ball to his chest. He has found true satisfaction.

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The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 9

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Stepping up to the next level

Football: Nixon-Smiley Mustangs

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mustangs hoping to step into a role as a contender in 2011
NIXON — After mounting a return to respectability last season, NixonSmiley is hoping to make a run toward relevance in 2011. The Mustangs are coming off a 3-7 record where their only district win was a 70-0 drubbing of San Antonio Brooks Academy. Generally a three-win season is not that highly regarded, but when your program has only garnered 15 wins since 2005, last year’s victories collectively serve as an indicator of a reversal of fortunes. “We started out 2-0 which was the best start that we’ve had in 10-plus years,” said head coach Carlton McKinney, who finished his first full season as the gridiron boss last year. “We had some injuries that hurt us in the second part of the year, but overall I thought the kids did a really good job. The main thing we are trying to do is change the culture and I think we took a huge step towards that last year.” “The good thing is we had very few seniors last year, so we’re really looking forward to this year. I think we’re going to be able to capitalize on last year’s positives and continue to grow and go forward.” The Mustangs are returning 18 starters including nine from an offense that finished second in the district in rushing yards. After missing four games due to injury last year, Jaime Moreno will once again be back under center for Nixon-Smiley. “Last year was the first time we ran that offense and I thought the kids did

a really good job of picking it up,” McKinney said. “This year they have a better understanding of the intricacies of it and with Jaime back at the helm, it gives us an opportunity to put the ball in the air and not have to utilize the running game so much. We want to be able to keep the defense off balance.” In addition to Moreno, the Mustangs return the district’s second leading rusher in fullback Joseph Medina (1,051 yards, 16 TD). The duo will be joined in the backfield by the other returning running backs Alex Hernandez (543, 2 TD) and Miguel Hernandez (160, 2 TD). “With it being our first year in the system the (opposing) defense really

Alex Hernandez

Joe Medina

dictated what we could do last year,” said McKinney. “I think if they try to take away our isolation stuff with Joseph, we’ll be more able to utilize the misdirection aspect of our offense. It should be a key part of our offense this year.” While the offense had its prolific moments, the defense proved to be too porous on too many occasions. The Mustangs gave up an average of 302 yards per game and let their opponents score at a clip of 24 points per game. “I think the problem was more with the scheme than the actual kids we had,” said McKinney. “We ran the 50 last year which was good for us, but it put us in

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 11

2011 Nixon-Smiley Mustangs
some opportunities where if we didn’t make that first line tackle we didn’t have enough speed to run people down.” McKinney is hoping the return of James Lynn as the defensive coordinator will lead to an immediate shoring up on that side of the football. Lynn, who last coached at Nixon-Smiley four years ago, is coming back after serving on the staff at Rockport-Fulton last year. “We’re going to change the defense and I think it’s going to be more adaptive to what our kids can do,” McKinney said. “I think we made a lot of mistakes in that regard and with the new defense, even if we miss that first tackle we expect to have guys in position to make plays.” In order to end the program’s six year playoff drought, Nixon-Smiley is going to have to find a way to break through in one of the toughest districts in the state. Sitting ahead of the Mustangs in the District 14-2AII hierarchy is the formidable trio of Poth, Three Rivers and Karnes City. The Pirates (11-1, 6-0) were 2010 regional semifinalists and return the league’s Preseason Defensive MVP in LB Braden Lyssy and its top offensive player in Phillip Garza (1,406 total yards, 21 TD). The Bulldogs (7-4, 4-2) have 12 returners back from an area finalist including Preseason Offensive MVP RB Troy Chowns, who averaged over eight yards per carry. The Badgers (9-2, 5-1) have only four starters back from last year’s bi-district finalist. Nixon-Smiley will also have to contend with Stockdale (3-6, 2-4) and Dilley (6-4, 3-3), who should be much improved over last season with 18 and 14 starters returning respectively. Brooks Academy(0-10, 0-6) is the other team in the district. The Bengals return 14 starters including eight from an offense that only managed 28 total points. “It’s a pretty tough district from top to bottom,” McKinney said. “Poth and Karnes City have lost some players, but they’re perennial powers so they will be there at the end, as well as Three Rivers and Dilley. This year we’re operating from a position where we should be able to compete with them. I thought things had to go really well for us in past years to just be in the ball game with them. “With what we’re implementing on the defense and another year under our offensive system, I think our kids are beginning to realize they can compete with the best teams in the district. It’s just a matter of us laying it out there and doing the very best we can, and if we do that it will give us the opportunity to have some success.”

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Page 12

Lady Mustangs ready to make a run

Volleyball: Nixon-Smiley Lady Mustangs
ond team All-District picks hitter Kelby Henderson and libero Ashlyn Maldonaldo. Other players expected to contribute heavily include Hailey Boatwright, Abigail Scarborough and D’laine Palacio. “On the whole, most of my varsity kids should be able to produce in a variety of different ways,” Iams said. “They all make a really good team, almost to the point where there’s not going to be one really good kid or one specific girl who takes care of it. They share the responsibilities well.” Iams should be able to tell just how far along the Lady ‘Stangs are in their development early in the season during a tough non-district schedule. “We’re going to the Shiner Tournament and there are always great teams there,” she said. “We’ll go over to Pleasanton as well and I think between those two tournaments, it will give us an idea of what we need to focus on and what we need to accomplish to get out of district and into postseason play.” The class of District 29-2A in 2010 were Marion and Stockdale, who both finished

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NIXON — The focus moves from rebuilding to restoration in Nixon as the Lady Mustangs enter the 2011 volleyball season. Last season, head coach Jane Iams overcame the loss of her entire 2009 area finalist team to guide her charges to a respectable 7-18 record that included a 6-6 district mark. “Last year was a pretty good year,” she said. “We came out with players who had never played varsity volleyball. I think we did a pretty decent job of setting the ground work for this season. We didn’t make the playoffs, but we made a run at it. It was a good way for us to make sure that we’re all working on the same team in the same direction toward the same goal.” “We didn’t lose anybody so I have all of my varsity kids back. We’re going to continue to work hard and not settle.” Last season’s young guns will be this year’s top guns, highlighted by Newcomer of the Year Devon Tristan at hitter and sec-

D’Laine Palacio

with district marks of 11-1. Only one game separated the next three finishers from each other as Randolph was 7-5 and Luling ended 5-7. “The great thing about our district is it’s almost anybody’s to win,” said Iams. “Last year we had some ups and downs, and some people made it in who weren’t expected to. Marion is always going to be tough, Stockdale is going to be tough and

Hailey Boatright

Luling is going to be tough. Randolph, Brooks and Cole are military schools so you really never know what they’re going to have and that can definitely be a gamechanger.” “It’s going to come down to who can string together enough wins to get out. It’s going to be a battle for everybody, but I’m confident that we can get it in there and make a run at it.”

Abigail Scarborough

2011 Nixon-Smiley Lady Mustangs

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Football: St. Paul Cardinals

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 13

Cards want to sing same song, 2nd verse

2011 St. Paul Cardinals

SHINER — The winds of change are blowing in Shiner. Coming on the heels of a TAPPS state

championship, the St. Paul Cardinals will see if different leadership can yield the same results. Head coach Jake Wachsmuth exited the program last month and Paul Johnston was brought in as his replacement, allowing him just a handful of days

grace before the first day of practice began on Aug. 1. Fortunately for St. Paul, Johnston had been in such a situation earlier in his coaching career and was able to overcome it then. “Back in the mid-1990’s, I took a job in Canton,” Johnston recalled. “Our head coach didn’t get hired until the middle of the summer and our staff wasn’t put together until July. We were a 3A school that didn’t have any spring football and we had to put a brand new offensive and defensive scheme in.” “The kids were like sponges, they really took in what we put on. In the few days

I’ve been here, I can tell that these kids are better at doing it than they (Canton kids) were. They have just been a blessing to work with and it’s not bothering them that we’re making some adjustments. They’re doing everything we ask of them and I couldn’t be happier with them.” Departing St. Paul with Wachsmuth was another assistant coach, his father John. Johnston has replaced the senior Wachsmuth with Cole Franco and said the new regime has benefitted greatly due to the retention of assistant Jonathan Pesek. “He was been awesome,” said Johnston. “It would be a lot harder transition if I


Brett Hodges

Adam Hollenbach

Cole Hybner

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Mitchell McElroy

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Page 14

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue
trict games with the exception of a 37-31 win over a talented Pettus team. St. Paul steamrolled through district play, averaging 65.5 points per contest. After allowing less than 16 points per game in the season’s first six matches, the Cardinal D stiffened even more and only gave up a total of 22 points in district including two shutouts. St. Paul is returning 10 starters from last year’s squad and a dearth of all-state players. Among them are two-time first team RB Adam Hollenbach (2,000 yards, 47TDs), RB/ LB Martin Kennedy, TE/LB Brett Hodges, WR Justin Natal and DB Cole Hybner. The Cardinals lost several outstanding seniors including all-state linemen Dustin Adamek, Matthew Baker, Blake Radicke and Brandon Metcalfe in addition to Brandon Sciba and High School Heisman national finalist Blue Hybner. “Obviously there are a lot of returning kids who have done some great things in their careers and we’re fortunate to have them,” Johnston said. “I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have some big holes to fill because we graduated some really good kids last year. I do have my system and some stuff that I’ve been successful with in the past and we’re going to see how the kids take to it. I’m very confident that they will.” His talented roster of players notwithstanding, Johnston believes the best way for St. Paul to stake claim to another state championship rests in their ability to abide by one age-old philosophy - teamwork. “I’m just a firm believer that football is a team game,” said Johnston. “You win as a team and you lose as a team. It’s not necessarily the

Thursday, August 25, 2011
most talented team that wins, it’s the one that plays together as a team that ultimately wins.”


hadn’t of had him here. He’s been here for a few years, so he knows what’s going on and he knows the kids.” Johnston and company need to hit the ground running in order for the team to live up to lofty expectations. The Cardinals are heavy favorites to repeat as district champs after going 14-0 en route to the school’s fourth state title last year. They were largely unchallenged in non-dis-

The Road to the 2010 State Title
Opponent SP Opp vs. Pettus 37 31 SA Cornerstone 60 0 at Stockdale 38 12 at Flatonia 48 6 at Bryan St. Joseph 55 12 Austin Regents 55 34 at Brazos Christian 56 16 SA St. Gerard 74 0 Hallets. Sacred Heart 62 6 St.Dominic Savio 70 0 * Rockwall Christian 68 28 * Muens. Sacred Heart 50 36 * Lubbock Christian 48 21 * Covenant Christian 48 41

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Volleyball: St. Paul Lady Cardinals
Wagner, one of the most celebrated athletes in school history, was the 2010-2011 TAPPS 2A Female Athlete of the Year. The five-sport star was named 1st Team All-District, Academic All-State and 1st Team All-State in volleyball and was selected to the All-State Tournament Team. She also played on the TAPPS All-Star Team and was instrumental in St. Paul being awarded its first ever Henderson Cup, given annually to the overall champion in each TAPPS classification. “Emily was a very intense player and it was a big advantage for us to have such a competitive player on the floor,” said Beal. “You can never replace a great player, but what you have to do is find the competitiveness in the players you have and then wait to see who’s going to step up and do the job.” The Lady Cardinals will likely receive huge contributions this season from the returning senior trio of Kourtney Knesek, Kali Kocian and

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 15


Unfinished business:
SHINER — After a 32-6 season last year, 2011 will be a time to take care of some unfinished business for the St. Paul volleyball team. The Lady Cardinals advanced to the state tournament last year, but fell just short of winning the title by losing to DeSoto Canterbury in four games. “It was a great season,” said head coach Dana Beal. “Being state runner-up was a great opportunity for us to get back to the state tournament. We had a young team and having them get the chance to go to state last year gives us something to shoot for this year.” This season St. Paul will gear up for another state run without the talented quartet of Hailey Morrow, Stephanie Squyres, Emily Wagner and Paige Werner - who have all moved on due to graduation.

After state runner-up finish, Lady Cardinals want more

Marissa Ynclan

Marissa Ynclan. Last year, Ynclan was named All-State and played in the TAPPS All-Star Tournament. “We’re certainly looking for great things from her,” Beal said. “She’s going to be our big girl and obviously one of our go-to players.” “Kali is going to be a leader out on the floor for us and having her leadership is going to be huge.

Kali Kocian

2011 St. Paul Lady Cardinals

Kourtney was our setter as a junior, but we’re going to try to utilize her as a hitter as this year and we expect her to do a really nice job with that.” Coming off its fifth Final Four state appearance in the last 12 years, St. Paul is firmly established as one of the top volleyball programs in Texas. Beal said resting on our their laurels is not an option as they continue their pursuit of the school’s first state championship since they won back-to-back 1A titles in 1993 and 1994. “We have high expectations and our goal every year is to be in the state tournament,” she said, who is entering her ninth year at the helm. “Regardless of who we graduate and who comes back, that’s always a goal of ours. We have some girls who went there (to state) last year, but didn’t get to play. I think that’s a positive because sometimes the frustration of getting there and not being able to get on the floor to contribute is a great motivator for the next year.” One of the inherent problems of being a top program is opponents tend to amp up more for games against you and you always get their best shot. The Lady Cardinals don’t shy away from that at all, in fact, they revel in being in that position. “We like having the target on us,” Beal said. “We prepare for that by trying to have competitive practices where we really push the girls and that helps to keep their intensity up. Our girls have always brought an attitude of competitiveness and hard work. They just do a really good job of showing up and taking care of business.” “It’s fairly easy to do your job as a coach when you have kids like that. They come in and work hard because they know what the expectations are.”

Kourtney Knesek

Page 16

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 17

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Page 18

Rebuilding’s the word in Waelder

Volleyball: Waelder Lady Wildcats
son is the trio of Chelsea Nichols, Hailey Rincon and Marissa Ramirez. “They’ve worked hard this summer,” said Hall. “Chelsea went to a volleyball camp at North Texas, Hailey is back with more confidence than ever and Marissa really got after it at our strength and conditioning camp. The interest is there and I feel like the girls want to get better and set the bar high for the younger ones coming up.” Also back to lend a hand are the two lone seniors, Kim Ibarra and Matilda Vela. “Kim is our power server and Matilda brings a lot to the table,” Hall said. “She’s a non-verbal leader, but she’s all over the floor. We’re looking for leadership from those two because we’ll be battling back from the bottom of the district last year

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

WAELDER — A killer district schedule and another change at the top are formidable obstacles standing between the Lady Wildcats and success in earning a playoff bid. The hiring of Marisa Clement brings the sixth new coach to Waelder volleyball in seven years and she takes over a team that is mired in a five-year postseason drought. “Last year was just a rebuilding year,” said Waelder athletic director Jarvin Hall. “We had a few freshmen on the team, so we were really young. Overall, I feel like the team was pretty inexperienced and spent a lot of just learning.”

Marissa Ramirez

The Lady Wildcats struggled last year and in order to avoid a repeat, they must find a way to improve despite the critical losses of Miriam Rangel and second team all-district selection Ajnes Aguilar. Expected to shoulder a heavy load this sea-

Matilda Vela

and trying to move up some spots.” Waelder faces a daunting task in breaking the stranglehold held on the district by Flatonia, Ganado, Louise and Shiner. All are perennial playoff contenders and three of those squads spent the majority of last season ranked among the Top 15 in the state. “I think we’re in the toughest district in the state of Texas,” said Hall. “It’s going to be one of those rebuildingtype seasons where a coach comes in and implements what she’s going to do, so the girls are going to need time to adjust.” “It’ll be a game-by-game measure of which way it’s going to go. If they continue to work hard and do what they need to do, I think they can turn this thing around.”


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Eagles plan to fly into contention

Football: Luling Eagles

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 19

LULING — Of all the area programs looking to improve this year, none may see more advancement than Luling. Head coach Michael Waldie’s inaugural season came on the heels of the tragic passing of former head coach Robert Dean, who was found dead in his home at the age of 41. Despite their grief, the Eagles played their way to a 3-7 season and narrowly missed the postseason with a 2-3 district mark. “It was an extremely tough situation for the kids and for the new staff,” said Waldie. “It was an obstacle that we had to overcome. There were a lot of emotions going on with Coach Dean’s passing that made it a really tough season.” “We were 2-1 in district and needed to win one of our last two games to get into the playoffs and just couldn’t find a way to do it. It was an unique experience, but I’m excited because we’re starting fresh coming into my second season.” In addition to playing with heavy hearts, the Eagles had to deal with the usual transitional issues of implementing a new system, learning new terminology and adjusting to an overhauled coaching staff that included new coordinators on both sides of the ball. “The biggest deal is now we know what to expect from each other,” Waldie said. “Last year you just never really knew what was coming and at the end our record showed that. There’s no question that we’re better and there’s no question that we feel really good

2011 Luling Eagles
about where we’re at now.” Luling will return seven starters on offense and defense led by the versatile Billy Medford. A preseason District MVP, he was the league’s second leading rusher (742 yards, 7TD) and receiver (640 yards, 5TD) last year and also hauled in three interceptions as a defensive back. In order to maximize his effect on the offense, Medford has been moved to quarterback. “Billy is a great player, but the problem last year was we basically went as Billy went,” said Waldie. “We didn’t have a lot of other options, but I feel like we’ve got four running backs to carry the ball and four or five receivers who are ready to play. What I hope Billy is going to do is give us an opportunity to not only let him do his stuff, but to get the ball to other people.” The Eagle defense will no doubt be much improved, building around a nucleus of six returning all-district players. They include firstteamers DT Tyler Cox, DE Chess Elley and CB Vince Garcia; and second-team selections DT Zach Olguin, DT Gabriel Guillen and LB Abraham Palomo. Of the group, only Garcia and Guillen are seniors. “What’s more exciting than having that many back is I think we’re going to have a chance to have some really good depth,” Waldie said. “That was our problem last year. Most games there were seven or eight guys who never came off the field because they were starting both ways and playing special teams. You just can’t last with that.” Despite their cache of talent, the Eagles face a daunting task in posting a winning record this year. Their schedule is formidable to say the least, boasting eight opponents who made the playoffs last year and three Class 3A teams. Waldie said the team has already adopted the rally cry of “Road Warriors” for this season, appropriate since their slate of non-district away games consists of trips to Gonzales, Karnes City and Woodsboro. Making the playoffs could prove difficult as well with road games at defending regional champion Lago Vista, regional finalist Marion and perennial contender Comfort. “In our district, a 3-2 record is probably going to get you in,” said Waldie. “Now of course you can’t bank on that, but we’re going to have to win two of those road games to get into the playoffs.” “I honestly believe there’s going to be two playoff-quality teams from our district that will be left sitting at home. I don’t know if we’re going to have a team like Lago that will roll through the district undefeated like they did last year. There might be three or four of us right there all together so wins are going to be important, but the road wins are going to be crucial.”

Billy Medford

Chess Elley

Vince Garcia

Matthew Guerrero

Thomas McNeal

Zach Olguin

Page 20

Experience feathers Luling’s nest

Volleyball: Luling Lady Eagles

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

LULING — The Lady Eagles are hoping to soar to new heights in 2011. Luling got off to slow start last year, but head coach Mel Salazar is looking to build on the success her team experienced late in the season. “Last year was kind of a rebuilding year for us because we had five sophomores playing and there were probably four of them on the floor at any given time,” she said. “We made a lot of mistakes early on that we shouldn’t have made, but in the second half of district they finally got comfortable with what they were doing. If we would have won our last match against Randolph, then we would have had an outside shot to get that last playoff spot.” The Lady Eagles lost first team alldistrict pick Taylor Jones, but return a ton of players highlighted by a talented junior class. Hitters Carley Glass and Amanda Sheffield, middle blocker Amanda Lee, and second team alldistrict selection at libero Maria Castillo will all be heading up this year’s charge toward the postseason. While most of the talent lies with the juniors, the direction will come from the senior duo of setter Adriana Morales and defensive specialist Pa-

tricia Diaz. “I’m really looking for them to step up in terms of leadership,” said Salazar. “Adriana was a transfer in from a Christian school in Seguin and she’s really coming on. I’m really excited about her play right now. Patricia is another back line player who’s really been working hard.” Salazar is also expecting contributions from sophomores Megan Emmons and Hanna Clark. “They are the two newbies on the team who if we can get them on track early, then we should be in the hunt,” said Salazar. Luling has fallen hard times in the recent past. The program reached the state tournament in 2005, but haven’t been back to the playoffs since 2008.

Carley Glass

Adriana Morales

Amanda Lee

The good news is they play in a district where parity abounds. Marion and Stockdale were both 11-1 in league play, but Randolph, Nixon-Smiley and

Luling were separated in the middle of the pack by just two games. “I think probably Marion is going to be the toughest again because they didn’t have a big graduating class,” said Salazar, who is entering her third year. “The rest of us are probably going to be packed in there again. It’s going to depend on who wants it the most.” “It’s probably going to go down the wire or very close to the wire to see who’s going to come out in second and third place. Marion is ahead of the rest of us, but not too much ahead. I think if we work hard enough we can catch them. I’m looking forward to a really competitive season.”

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Great Expectations:

Football: Shiner Comanches
play a key role this year after rushing for 708 yards and nine scores last season. He will be joined in the backfield by Evel Jones (31-205, TD), who was moved to wide receiver last year after suffering a knee injury. Other prospects include Zach Lawrence (39-189, 2TDs) and Caleb Curtis (15-67). “Marlon did an outstanding job for us last year and we’re counting on his senior leadership to get us going,” said Cerny. “We have a couple of other prospects to look at that like Evel. We look for him to do good things in the backfield. We’ve got some depth there and we’ve got some options to take a look at.” The biggest question on offense is who will be under center for the season opener against Vanderbilt Industrial. “The quarterback spot is open right now,” Cerny said. “We had several who worked there last year, but we’re probably going to give Brady Cejka and Jacob Stafford shots at the position. Over the course of time, we’ll see who is going to be the best for that. We try to go one way, so if somebody doesn’t pan out on offense then hopefully we can use them on the defensive side of the ball.” The team’s greatest potential arguably rests in the defense, which gave up 242 points last year but only 37 in their three playoff games. Graduation brought significant losses with safeties Coy Boedeker and Joey Gamez, linebacker Brady Beal and defensive end Kenneth Coleman all gone, but defensive tackle Sabino Rodriquez (55 tackles, 7 sacks) is back to anchor the defensive front. “We loss some key people, but we still think our defensive line may be our strength,” said

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 21

Loaded with experience, Shiner full of potential

SHINER — 2010 was a tale of two seasons in Shiner. The Comanches came out of the gates slowly and carried a 1-5 record into the district portion of their schedule. They lost the hardfought league opener 21-14 to Ganado, which left the team mired in a five-game losing streak. “We got off to a pretty rough start with our non-district schedule, but there were two things that contributed to that,” said head coach Steven Cerny. “We had several injuries so we had to kind of restructure some things, plus our non-district schedule was one of the toughest we’d ever played in Shiner.” The Comanches responded by sweeping the rest of the district and advanced all the way to the regional semifinals, where they lost to Mason 28-21. “The thing that turned our season around was the fact that I’ve got a great coaching staff, and we’ve got a great bunch of kids here that always work hard and never give up,” said Cerny. “We were able to hang in there until things turned around for us.” Shiner is ranked #10 in the Texas Football preseason poll and have 14 starters back including four on the offensive line in center Jake Jalufka, guard Donovan Mardis, tackle Derek Duke and tight end Blaine Caka. “I think the main thing that we’re excited about this year is our line is intact for the most part,” Cerny said. “That was one area where we struggled last year because we were young, so we’re hoping that will be a big plus for us.” Running back Marlon Wallace is expected to

Brady Cejka

Evel Jones

Jacob Stafford

Cerny. “We have Sabino and we had Caleb Curtis at the nose last year, but we might move him to a defensive end.” “We’re still going to have to re-shuffle people, some are going to be asked to play different positions. It’s possible Lucian Blaschke may go from corner to safety and if Stafford stays at quarterback, then we’ll have to go with somebody else at middle linebacker. If Cejka quarterbacks, then we’ll have to find another safety because we plan on using him there. We’ve got some questions to answer, but that’s what your scrimmages and non-district schedule are for.” In order for Shiner to finish atop District 15-1ADI, they are likely going to have to wrest away the title from defending champ and preseason #1 Ganado. The Indians return a whopping 18 starters from an 11-1 regional semifinalist squad including preseason district Offensive MVP Josh Labay (1,576 rushing yards, 28TDs). “Hands down, Ganado is the (district) favorite,” Cerny said. “Not only do they size, but they have speed and it looks like this is one of the best group of kids that they’ve had in a long time. Here in Shiner, we always think that we have a chance to challenge for the district championship so we’re not going to just say it’s theirs. We hope to give them a battle for it.” The rest of district is expected to be a threeway race for the third playoff spot between Flatonia, Louise and Yorktown. The Bulldogs won only once last year, but return nine starters on both sides of the ball. Louise was 4-6 last year, but must find a way to overcome the loss of a strong senior class. Yorktown has 11

Sabino Rodriguez

Marlon Wallace

Lucian Blaschke

starters back from their 7-5 area finalist including the versatile all-stater Jayden Barefield (1,024 receiving yards, 19TDs). “Flatonia was really young, but they started to progress and move the football towards the end of the year,” Cerny said. “I look for them challenge for a second or third spot. Louise’s program has really come around over the years, they’ve consistently played us tougher than almost anybody else.” “We couldn’t stop Yorktown and their speed last year, so even if you look at Ganado being first the other two spots are going to be up for grabs. We just hope that we’re going to be one of the teams who are able to secure one of those spots.” Before they get to district play, the Comanches must navigate their way through another killer schedule that includes games at 2A Schulenburg and Weimar, and against 3A Geronimo Navarro. One of the marquee 1A games in Texas will take place on Sept. 30 when they travel to Ben Bolt. The Badgers were area finalists last year and return some of the state’s top playmakers in WR Andres Alaniz (1,750 yards, 19TDs), defensive lineman Ryan De la Cruz (76 tackles, 16 sacks) and linebacker Ivan Gonzales (142 tackles, 2INTs). “They’ve got a great ballclub coming back and they’ve shown that they’re a playoff-caliber team,” Cerny said. “They’re one of the best teams in 1A. Once we get through our nondistrict games with 2A and 3A clubs, we’re hoping to still be healthy. I think Ben Bolt will give us an idea of where we need to be as far as 1A teams are concerned.”

Page 22

Lady Comanches take care of business

Volleyball: Shiner Lady Comanches

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

SHINER — It doesn’t seem logical that a perennial playoff program coming off six regional final appearances in the last eight years would have a problem with recognition. But that very well may be the case for Shiner volleyball. The Lady Comanches ended last season by playing in their fourth straight 1A Region IV championship. En route to that match, Shiner beat 2009 state champ Louise twice in district and once again in the regional quarterfinals. “We got a lot of immediate media coverage last year every time that we beat Louise, but very little media coverage when we advanced on to the Regional Tournament,” said Shiner head coach Michelle Winkenwerder. “It’s funny because the recurring question each time was how does it feel to beat the defending state champions, never focusing or crediting our program’s rich history of playing this game.” “All Shiner teams, regardless of graduation losses, injuries, and all other distractions that surround high school athletics, are expected to get out and make choices to be successful. It’s not about beating the defending state champions three times or your opposing rival, it is about your work ethic, dedication to maintaining high standards, and the bonds that you build with your teammates.” The Lady Comanches fell in their last match to Round Top-Carmine in three

Jordan Pietsch

Emmalie Berkovsky

Ryah Michalec

close games, losing 25-22, 25-18, 25-17. While obviously disappointed with the loss, Winkenwerder said the outcome had no bearing on her team’s effort. “On that particular day, the best team won,” she said. “The best team always does. This is why every year it does not matter about your ranking or media predictions, you still have to go out on the floor and prove that you can get to 25 points before your opponent.” “We have beaten top-ranked teams multiple times and we have been the topranked team that has fallen. This is part of the lessons that athletics has to teach and hopefully one can apply it later in life.” The Lady Comanches lost seven alldistrict players to graduation including League MVP and All-Stater Ashley Shimek and Offensive MVP Jessica Arledge. Randi Berkovsky, Danielle Curtis, Shauntae Hights, Hilary Jaehne and Laurie Morkovsky round out the group. As usual, the cupboard is far from bare

as eight lettermen return including five seniors in Cassie Stafford, Ryah Michalec, Michelle Hamiliton, Kaylyn Benes and Jordan Pietsch. Winkenwerder said she is also expecting good things from Lauren Oden, LaNeshia Hunt, Kristin Schacherl, Emmalie Berkovsky, Ciara Harper, Julianna Rankin, Amanise Coleman and Meagan Chumchal. While most coaches use their nondistrict schedule as a way to gauge their team’s progress, Winkenwerder takes a more intellectual approach. “The classroom is a great evaluator of an athlete,” she said. “Athletes need to be dependable and have a strong work ethic. Their consciousness of their grades, whether they turn in work on time and are punctual to class are key indicators of work ethic.” “Discipline in the classroom will tell

you if they are coachable and the level of respect they have for someone in authority. If they are engaged and asking questions during lessons, then they are not afraid to communicate questions at practices. Many of the more successful teams in my 14 years made choices in the classroom to be successful and thus carried over to the court.” The outcome of her check-up from the neck-up are coupled with assessments of the girls’ performance on the court to help pinpoint where each athlete needs the most help in their development. “Usually games will expose a weakness or series of weaknesses that need to be addressed so they become strengths,” she explained. “Therefore, each game is very important to the growth and progress of our team’s success.” “After every game, our girls are given a game summary sheet that shows our team’s strengths and weaknesses on offense and defense. They understand where each point went and why the outcome of the game occurred. They also receive individual game stats that include a total breakdown of skills that occurred during a game and how many points were won and lost on an individual level. These sheets, along with video of these games, help our players understand the complexity of the game.” The Lady Comanches will need to be hitting on all cylinders come district time in order to repeat as District 29-1A champs.

Brant Philippus
Love You! Gran & Grandad
Julianna rankin Michelle Hamilton Ciara Harper

Have a great year

Thursday, August 25, 2011

‘Dogs tackle year with new attitude

Football: Yoakum Bulldogs
during the two-a-day workouts. He said the offense will need to work on consistency, and the offense line will need to be more physical. The Yoakum defense has continued to get better during the preseason workouts. “They have been making great strides,” Kornegay said. “They have to make sure they are flying to the football on every play.” The offensive line players for Yoakum are Brice Lauer, Eric Villarreal, Jake West, Zane Terry and Angel Garcia. Those players will be bolstered by a couple of sophomores. Yoakum has a massive cast for quarterbacks and offensive backs — Blake McCracken, Rico Moya, Kyle Mikulik, Tim

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 23

YOAKUM—The gridiron Bulldogs have a new attitude this season. They want a different outcome than last season’s dismal 2-8 (1-5 in District 28-3A). The team returns 16 lettermen and six starters on each side of the ball. “We are excited for this new season,” Yoakum head coach Brent Kornegay said. And it started in the weight room during the hot South Texas summer. “We had around three-fourths of our varsity team in summer conditioning,” he said. “Our conditioning has been good.” “It is a tribute to what these kids do and how hard they work.” Kornegay said the ‘Dogs also did well

Jeff Harrison

Rex Kutzer

Kyle Mikulik

Fred Thompson

Brice Lauer

Blake McCracken

Blakeney, Fred Thompson, Jeff Harrison, Myron Heights, Troy DeWeese, DeVonte Price, Keith Ratley, Rico Perry, Andrew Jimenz and Dylan Pekar. Slated to play on the defensive line is Willie Heights, Tony Ratley, Rex Kutzer, Garcia, Mikulik, Perry, Ryan Kvinta, DeWeese and Patek. Yoakum’s linebacking corps will be Kody Pettus, Rico Moyrova, Braiden Drozd, TJ Heights, Jimenez and Price. Stocking Yoakum’s defensive secondary is Taylor Nobles, McCracken, Harrison, Thompson, Hogan Lauer, Myron Heights, Blakeney, Keith Ratley, Neil Berger and Stefan Reese. Kornegay said Yoakum has a very competitive 2011 schedule.

The ‘Dogs open at Columbus (Friday), host La Grange Sept. 2, make the short trip to Hallettsville on Sept. 9 and host Edna Sept. 16 for homecoming. On Sept. 23, Yoakum opens 28-3A play by travelling to Gonzales followed by a home game against Pleasanton (Sept. 30); road game in La Vernia Oct. 7; hosts Cuero on Oct. 14 and has an open date on Oct. 21. Play is resumed on Oct. 28 with a road trip to Poteet and completes the regular season at home with San Antonio Sam Houston on Nov.4. “All of our non-district opponents are good teams,” he said. “Same with our district. You have to come to play every Friday night in 28-3A.”

2011 Yoakum Bulldogs

Volleyball: Yoakum Lady Bulldogs Lady ‘Dogs eye return to playoffs

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The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

With five seniors and four juniors on the varsity roster, the Yoakum volleyball program is primed for another playoff run. The Lady Bulldogs clawed their way into the playoffs lasts eason and advanced one round before falling to Wimberley in the area round, and coach Pauala Berger has another talented lineup. Berger’s group of seniors are setter-

right side Camiel Desmet, defensive specialists Laura Correa and Kayli Garber along with middle hitter-middle blocker Ashytn Henkes. The four juniors are outside hittermiddle blocker Catherine Hunter, defensive specialist Lexi Williams, middle blocker Danille Pohl and outside hitter Lesley Seidenberger. The sophomores are defensive specialist Amy Malik, setter-right side Callie Witte and outside hitter Morgan Long. The Lady ‘Dogs play in the Colum-

bus, Sinton and Goliad tournaments. They play non-district matches against El Campo, Columbus, Palacios, La Grange, Industrial, Navarro and Louise. Yoakum is in District 28-3A with San Antonio Sam Houston, Gonzales, La Vernia, Poteet, Pleasanton and Cuero. La Vernia won the district last season; Gonzales has several three-year starters and the rest of the district is solid as well.

Coach Paula Berger directs the Lady Bulldogs

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Cuero retools around linemen
CUERO — Everything has changed for the Cuero Gobblers — which means that nothing has really changed. True, coach Rick Owens’ club will hit the field this fall minus super tailback Trent Jackson. Wideout Monte Green and QB Mason Blaschke have taken their longdistance passing game on to college ball. But Owens is not about to moan and whine. This is, after all, Cuero. “It’s just like last year, except it’s this year,” Owens said as his club headed into its deja-vu season opener against state-ranked Wimberley. “Last year we had a lot of skill players and up front is what we had to replace, this year our experience is with the big guys.” The tanks in the trenches include seniors Randy Sierra, Tommy Longoria and juniors Caleb Harvey and Javon Thomas. All earned all-district honors on one or both sides of the ball a year ago, and form the centerpiece of the Gobblers’ renewed hopes. The skill-position losses will hit the Gobblers hard. Jackson is facing adjudication on two different drug possession charges and Owens said it’s likely he won’t even be allowed to suit out at all this season. The loss of Green hits almost as hard, because Owens says while his club has better than

Football: Cuero Gobblers

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 25

Caleb Harvey

Van Davis

Stoney Schoenfeld

AJ Bustos

Tommy Longoria

J’Von Thomas

Lady Gobblers rebuild for another run

Volleyball: Cuero Lady Gobblers
“We are very young, but these ladies are a very hard-working group,” Riojas said. “These young ladies know one way to play and that is hard. “I know they are all just as excited and anxious as I am for this season and will do what it takes to hunt for a playoff spot.” The veterans include senior middle blocker Emily Valenta, senior outside hitter Emily Olsovsky, junior defensive specialist Ashley Grahmann, junior middle blocker Abby Sheppard, junior defensive specialist Caylin Toot, and sophomore Setter Tiffani Shellenbarger. Newcomers include promising freshman outside hitter Justyce Turner, junior defensive specialist Allison Flores, junior outside hitter Brandi Phillips, junior out-

average speed, Green took things to a new level. “Monte Green was a 10.4 sprinter, we just don’t have anybody like that,” he said. “Since I started here in 2005, we’ve sent five receivers and three quarterbacks on to college ball, that tells you the league he’s in.” But shelve the doom-and-gloom outlook: this is, as mentioned, Cuero. “We’ve got three backs who are doing a great job sharing the load in Trent’s place,” Owens said. “(A.J.) Bustos (68 carries for 241 yards last year with three TDs), Van Davis (76326) and Clint Davis have stepped up and I’m very confident in them.” Also earning a vote of confidence is QB Stoney Schoenfeld, last year’s

third-stringer and placekicker, who will replace Blaschke in the Cuero backfield. “He’s a good quarterback, he has good skills,” Owens said. One skill spot Cuero won’t be hurting is in the defensive backfield, where the Davises and Darius Mathis all return. Owens’ club faces a schedule even tougher than last year, when an 0-2 start raised concerns among Gobbler faithful before Cuero reeled off nine straight wins to claim its 13th district title in a row. Three of the Gobblers’ first four opponents this season are pre-season Top 10 teams, including Port Lavaca Calhoun, which will feature four returning 1,000-yard rushers.

Most coaches who’d lost all but six veterans from a team that made the playoffs a year ago would be talking about rebuilding, but not Cuero’s Rebecca Riojas. She’s thinking a return trip to the playoffs.

side hitter Bethany Boedeker, and junior setter/outside hitter Madison Simpson. Riojas said “work ethic” is one of her team’s strong suits. “They have continued to improve every day from the first day of two-a-days to the scrimmages we have played,” she said. “I have seen major improvements on our strengths and weaknesses.”

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Numbers fuel big hopes for ‘Dogs
FLATONIA — When it comes to football in Flatonia, it’s a matter of good news and bad news. The bad news is the Bulldogs were 1-9 and winless in district last year, the first under the direction of head coach Chris Freytag. “We were very young and inexperienced, and it showed up in our record,” said Freytag. “At one point last year, we had six freshmen or sophomores starting on offense and about eight of them on defense. Any time you do that and you face good teams like the ones in our district, it’s tough to win.” The good news is 21 lettermen, including 18 starters, return after spending last season getting acclimated. “The main focus last year was getting our kids in shape and teaching them how to play the game,” Freytag said. “At times it didn’t look like we were very good, but having that experience from last year and adding a year of maturing physically is going to help us greatly.” Freytag is hopeful that the combination of the return to some traditional schemes and this summer’s success in 7-on-7 will add more bite to the Bulldogs’ attack. “Offensively, we’re back to running the multiple offenses that Flatonia ran years ago,” he said. “We’ll do a little more out of the spread because our kids did very well in 7-on-7 against bigger schools. They have a great understanding now of what we’re wanting to do.” The Bulldogs will have a competent one-two punch in their running game in Andreas Melendez and Mitchell Mica. Melendez was the team’s leading rusher last year with 554 yards and Mica (346 yards, 3.4 yds per carry) returns after starting as a freshman in 2010. “Andreas is a senior, so we’re needing some leadership from him,” Freytag said. “Mitchell is a good-sized kid and he’ll carry the load.” The passing game will revolve around the play of quarterback Colby Mica. He is the district’s top returning passer after completing 44 percent of his throws for 658 yards and five scores last season. “Colby had a good year last year,” Freytag said. “He gained a lot of experience and we expect some really good things out of him.” Another important factor is the return of all but one starter on the offensive line and receiver Zane Ponder, who was one of the top targets in the league last year after catching 23 balls for 249

Football: Flatonia Bulldogs

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lady Bulldogs make big plans for run at playoffs

Volleyball: Flatonia Lady Bulldogs

yards and a couple of touchdowns. Among the top returners on the defensive front are sophomores Mitchell Mica and Aaron Manzano, and junior Miguel Grifaldo. “We should have two sophomores starting at defensive end,” said Freytag. “We’ll be a little young there, but our defensive line should be strong.” Freytag is also expecting significant contributions from defensive back Colby Mica, and linebackers Clay Branecky and Will Bruns. “All three linebackers and our entire secondary is back,” he said. “This will be the third year that Colby has started in our secondary, so I expect great things out of him. Clay led our team in tackles last year and I wouldn’t expect anything different from him this year. Will started as a sophomore, so we expect him to be much-improved.”

FLATONIA — After establishing themselves as a perennial playoff contender, the Lady Bulldogs are hoping this is the year for a breakthrough. Head coach Rodney Stryk has high aspirations for his team and expects them to return the program to the level of prestige it reached in 1991, the last time Flatonia qualified for the state tournament. “If we don’t make the regional tournament this year, it will be a disappointment,” said Stryk, a 13year veteran at Flatonia who is in his third year as head coach. “Once you get there, then anything can happen. I like to think that we’re one of the top ten teams in the state, for sure.” The Lady Bulldogs finished second in district last year and went three rounds deep in the playoffs before losing in regional quarterfinals to Yorktown 23-25, 25-16, 24-26, 25-22, 15-10. “We probably should have won that game,” Stryk said. “But we didn’t and our kids remember that. I think they’re looking forward to this year.” Last year, we were a rebuilding team really. We lost our best hitters so we had to replace them,

but the team came together well.” Since they had no seniors on that team, the entire group returns for Flatonia including allstate selections Alex Bruns, Leanna Dunk and Courtney Mica, who was also named the District 29-1A Defensive MVP. The team’s senior nucleus, which also includes all-district players Kaci Pavlicek and Abigail Rodriguez, has never missed the playoffs. “We’ve got five seniors coming back and the kids have been working hard all offseason,” said Stryk. “They showed up to open gym, they showed up to the weight room and they know it’s now or never for this bunch. I think they’re ready.” Before they attempt to realize their championship dreams, Flatonia will first figure out a way to overtake defending district champion Shiner. The Lady Bulldogs split matches with the Lady Comanches last season, with each team winning in four games. “I would think it would be either us or Shiner,” Stryk said. “They will have to reload because they lost quite a bit, so I think we should be the favorite. Ganado and Louise will be in it too, you can’t count either of them out.”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Indians loaded up with veterans

Football: Sacred Heart Indians
center Nathan Hollas, tackle Cody Greer and guard Kendall Jansky. Sacred Heart’s receiver options are wideouts Scott Stoner and Cole Bludau along with tight ends Wick and Ross Rother. Henke said Stoner has the best hands on the team. Sacred Heart will stick to an optionbased running attack but will throw the ball several times a game... The Indians will be solid and have lots of depth on defense. “I think our front four have the chance to be the best we have had in a long time,” Henke said. Defense ends will be Hall and Wick while Brier Shimek and Mueller will play the defensive tackle spots. Henke said the players are everything a coach could want in a defensive line. “They are big players but they are agile and they can move,” he said. “They have as much agility as an offensive or defensive back.” Other players slated to help out on the defensive line are Cole Easterling, Greer, who is the biggest player on the team at 320 pounds, Jansky and Hollas. The Indian linebacking corps will be led by Andrew Shimek. “We will expect a lot from Andrew,” Henke said. “He can make sideline to sideline tackles and has done a great job in workouts.” Also in the bunch are Colton Brown, Casey Jirkovsky, Holub, Rother and Cade Brewer. Henke said the Indians can rotate players in and out on a lot of the positions. “We have depth at the linebacker and defensive line positions; we just have to get the players in the right spots.” Playing cornerback will be Hrncir and Bludau. At the safety positions will be Jonathan Vanek and Leightin Pilat. Rounding out the roster is Brady Sitka WR-DB; Nick Patalik WR-DB; Evan Wick TE-LB; Trent Janak B-LB; Tyler Wagner G-LB and Chris Kuntz T-DT. Sacred Heart also receives a boost from new defensive coordinator. Rick Masek was the defensive backs

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Page 27

HALLETTSVILLE—The Hallettsville Sacred Heart 2011 will have 14 seniors on the team. Head coach Pat Henke said the large class not only helps with depth but with talent as well. “I feel each and every senior will help us in some way,” he said. Henke said the Indians have experienced players in the offensive backfield. Senior quarterback Jared Krischke is a dual threat as he went 65-of-151 for close to 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns through the air. He rushed for 343 yards on 91 carries for three touchdowns. Running back Sterling Hrncir had 93 carries for 778 yards and nine scores while fullback Matt Holub added34 carries for 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Sacred Heart’s offensive line will be led by returning starters Casey Mueller, Regan Hall and Cole Wick, who will play tight end and stands at 6-feet, 6-inches. Other players on the offensive line are

Young Indianettes looking to rebuild

Volleyball: Sacred Heart Indianettes
fundamentals and looks to get stronger. “A lot of the teams we play will be quick teams,” she said. “We have to be quick. We have to be strong. My hitters will need to hit hard and our passing to our setter must be accurate.” Orsak said she will have around 11 varsity players on the team. Sacred Heart will deploy the 5-1 onesetter system. Senior Shelby McElroy will be the setter. Returning starter Adrienne Klimitchek will play in the middle and another senior, Caitlin Orsak, will play on the right. The other senior players are Cheyenne Schlauch, Kelsey Buchanan and Emily Kossa. The other members of the team are Amber Labay, Robin Pavlicek, Jenna Brown, Kirstin Heger and Sandra Adams, one of the tallest players who Orsak said needs to step up at middle blocker. The Indianettes will play one tough schedule. Orsak said right at the start of the season, Sacred Heart will play in three tournaments. “We want to get some of the tough games out of the way early,” she said. Sacred Heart will have one monster of a

coach for Round Rock Stonypoint in 2010 when they went 14-1. “Rick is a great addition because he is not just a great coach. He is a great person,” Henke said. In non-district, Sacred Heart plays Yorktown, Flatonia, Nixon-Smiley, Austin Hyde Park, Katy Faith West and Louise. In TAPPS Division IV-District III, Sacred Heart plays San Antonio St. Gerard, Austin St. Dominic Salvo, Bryan Brazos Christian and defending TAPPS Division IV champion, Shiner St. Paul. Henke said non-district will be tough which he scheduled it that way to prep the team for the district. He said St. Paul will be the favorite and Brazos Christian was runner-up last year. “We were picked third and that is fine because there is less pressure when you are picked third,” Henke said. “I feel we can beat any team on the schedule but we can be beat by any team on the schedule.” He said another big thing was for the Indians to stay healthy and injury free due to their numbers.

HALLETTSVILLE—The HallettsvilleSacred Heart volleyball team is going to be building its volleyball program this year. The Indianettes lost 11 players to graduation and have just five seniors on the team, three of whom are returning varsity starters. “Inexperience will be our biggest challenge this year,” said head coach Wanda Orsak. “We will have to get kids used to playing on the court.” Sacred Heart will be perfecting the basic

district schedule. Which is scheduled to start the last Tuesday in August. The district is composed of Austin Regents, Austin Concordia, Austin San Juan Diego, Austin Texas School for the Deaf, San Marcos Baptist, New Braunfels Christian and San Antonio Keystone. Orsak said Austin Regents has a solid program as they were in the state tournament and were district champions last year, and return those players this year. Orsak is positive about this year. “We are in a building year, but we have a good group of girls,” she said.

Page 28

Brahmas call on youth movement

Football: Hallettsville Brahmas
He said with a large number of sophomores, the team will have to deal with being young. The Brahmas have several seniors that will have an impact on the team making the playoffs. They are OG-LB Ryan Renken, OG-LB Marshall Hajaek, TB Chez Evans, WR-DB Trevor McGee and QB-LB Braden Kahanek. “These are the players we are looking at to lead this team,” Psencik said. The direction of the season will likely depend on the efforts of the seniors and sophomores. “I feel the season will be determined by how the underclassmen work and how our seniors lead,” he said. The Brahmas did put in the effort to work out during the summer. “Majority of the kids went through summer conditioning and it paid off,”’ Psencik said. “The conditioning is ahead of where we were at the start of two-a-days last year.” Hallettsville was picked to finish fifth in District 14-2A which also houses Hemp-

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

HALLETTSVILLE — The Hallettsville Brahmas have some questions to answer to improve the team for the 2011 season. Last year, the Brahmas finished the season at 3-7 and 1-5 in district play. “We want to be more than just an average team,” head coach Tommy Psencik said. “But we do have to find out if we are a physical enough team and how aggressive our offensive line can be.”

stead, Rice, Edna, Industrial, Van Vleck and Hitchcock. “That prediction is just a starting point for us,” Psencik said. “We will work to be in playoff contention. The favorites for the district are Hempstead, Rice and Edna. “I feel Edna is the favorite because they return the most seniors,” he said. In non-district, Hallettsville faces Ganado, Refugio, Yoakum and Palacios.

Lady Brahmas hungry for post-season

Volleyball: Hallettsville Lady Brahmas
Now, Hallettsville is hungry for the playoffs. “Every day we remind ourselves how much it hurt,” head coach Karen Darilek said. The Lady Brahmas are ahead of the curve on the team chemistry aspect. Which is very important, according to Darilek. “If you do not have team chemistry, you will not be successful no matter what talent you have on the team,” she said. Another aspect that will be vital is solid defense. “We focus on team defense,” Darilek said, “We will work hard because defense will be bigger factor this year.” The Lady Brahmas will run the 6-2, double-setter system. She said Lauren Jones and Heather Hennecke will be the setters. Cassidy Targac and Cheyenne Dowdy will play in the middle blocker spot. Outside hitters will be Madeline Schindler and Sha’Taria Runnels. Lining up on the right side will be

HALLETTSVILLE—The Hallettsville volleyball team came very close to making the playoffs in 2010. So close, they could taste it. The Lady Brahmas finished in a tie for third place with Schulenburg, with the Lady Shorthorns advancing to the playoffs.

Hennecke and McKenzie Schindler. Libero will be Katie Wagner and rounding out the roster will be Crystal Stoner, Maddie Allen and Ali Patek. The Lady Brahmas played in the Columbus, San Marcos and Schulenburg tournaments and take on Cuero, Round Top-Caramine, Victoria West, Needville, Luling and Ganado. Darilek said her non-district schedule would be tough. In district, Hallettsville faces Schulenburg, Weimar, East Bernard, Brazos, Rice and Hempstead.

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Page 30

Cross-country district-by-district

Cross Country: Regional Review
gionals); Jose Campos, jr (2nd at regionals, 6th at state); Danny Castillo, soph (18th at regionals, 19th at state); Fabian Guerrero, soph (23rd at regionals); Arturo Rodriquez, sr. Girls made 2010 regionals. Top returners: Carley Glass, jr (1st at state and regionals); Maira Salinas, sr (3rd at regionals, 15th at state); Maria Castillo, jr (27th at regionals); Kristaly Munoz, soph (29th at regionals); Michelle Tetley, soph. Nixon-Smiley Boys 2010 district finish: 2nd. Key losses: Pillar Vasquez. Top returners: Baltizar Tovar, jr (19th at regionals); Robbie Mejia, sr; Luis Vasquez, jr; Jose Vasquez, sr; Luis Vasquez, jr; Cain Perales, soph. “We lost one but we have two new kids coming in, so I expect us to stand out team-wise,” said head coach David Mendez. “We plan on giving Luling a run for their money.” Maria Ochoa was the lone runner for the girls team last year, but might not return. She is taking extra classes for the purpose of graduating early. District 27-1A Teams: Burton, Flatonia, Ganado, Louise, Milano, Shiner, Snook, Somerville, Thrall 2010 district champions: Boys - , Girls - Shiner Flatonia Boys. Top returner: Zachary Thibodeaux, sr. (regional qualifier) Girls. Top returner: Hillary Koncaba, jr. (regional qualifier) Shiner Boys 2010 district finish: 4th. Top returner: Lucian Blaschke (regional qualifier). Blaschke ran well enough last year to qualify for regionals, where he finished in the top 50. Head coach Jo Ann Muehlstein said the Comanches will be hard-pressed to duplicate, let alone improve on last year’s performance. “The numbers for the boys are go-

The Gonzales Cannon Fall Sports Issue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

District 28-3A Teams: Cuero, Gonzales, La Vernia, Pleasanton, Poteet, San Antonio Sam Houston, Yoakum 2010 district champions: Boys - La Vernia, Girls - La Vernia Gonzales Boys 2010 district finish: 3rd. Key losses: Misa Ontiveros, Augustine Martinez, and Eduardo Silvestre. Top returners: Gilbert Chavez, jr (top finisher at regionals, 33rd); Jose Olalde, jr; Chris Garcia, jr; Michael Guerrero, sr. Girls 2010 district finish: 4th. Key losses: Maria Aguayo. Top returner: Kim Deleon, sr (finished 74th at regionals). Yoakum Boys 2010 district finish: 5th. Key losses: Roberto Aleman. Girls 2010 district finish: 2nd. Top returners: Brittany Rosas, soph (finished 22nd at regionals); Courtney Carroll, sr; Stephanie Kornegay, sr; Parker Janssen, jr; Harley Braun, jr; Ana Cabello, soph; and Emily Kelley, soph. District 28-2A Teams: Altair Rice, East Bernard, Hallettsville, Hempstead, Schulenburg, Wallis Brazos, Weimar 2010 district champions: Boys - East Bernard, Girls - East Bernard Hallettsville Boys 2010 district finish: 4th. Key losses: Clayton O’Neill (regional qualifier). Girls 2010 district finish: 5th. Top returners: Shelby Bozka, jr (finished 42nd at regionals). District 29-2A Teams: Luling, Marion, Nixon-Smiley, San Antonio Brooks, San Antonio Cole, Stockdale, Universal City Randolph 2010 district champions: Boys - , Girls Luling Boys won 2010 2A state championship. Key losses: Kolton Crowell and Emiliano Magallanez. Top returners: Michael Barnett, sr (4th at state and re-

Moulton Girls’ Cross country
ing to be down and Blaschke might not come back in order to focus on football,” she said. “He’s done both in the past, but now he wants to concentrate on one thing.” Girls 2010 district finish: 1st. 2010 regional finish: 10th. Key losses: Adrienne Boedeker. Top returners: Cassie Stafford, Jordan Pietsch, Kristin Schacherl, Destiny Chumchal, and Shanan Pardy. The Lady Comanches ran well enough

Back L-R Bethany Braeuer, Kendall Kristynik, Graisyn Nieto, Megan Mitchon, Chelsey Darilek Front L-R Megan Euceda, Paige Bartos, Brandee Dolezal, Malori Mitchon to win district last season, much to the surprise and delight of Muehlstein. “I knew the girls would do well at district, but I didn’t expect us to get first,” she said. “I was very happy and pleased when they did.” “The expectations are little higher going into this season. We’re not quite good enough yet to expect to win state, but I don’t see why we couldn’t win dis-


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Thursday, August 25, 2011

trict again and maybe place in the top six at regionals.” District 32-1A Teams: Austwell-Tivoli, Bruni, Lasara, Moulton, Nordheim, Prairie Lea, San Isidro, San Perlita, Tilden-McMullen County, Waelder 2010 district champions: Boys Moulton , Girls - Moulton Moulton Boys 2010 district finish: 1st. Regional finish: 3rd. State finish: 4th. Top returners: Alex Reyes, soph (13th at state); Ty Ramos, sr (14th at state); Eric Munoz, soph; Jaime Moreno, sr; Layne Caballero, soph; Dallas Rothbauer, jr; Cameron Jalufka, soph. “I had a good group of boys and I’m returning nearly everybody,” said head coach John Meisetschleager. “It ought to be a pretty good year. Alex and Ty both enjoy running and I don’t think either one likes to be beaten by the other one. It’s more of a race between those two all the time. They’re not really worried about the kids on

Good Luck!!

the race course, they’re just competing against each other.” Girls 2010 district finish: 1st. Key losses: Juliana Duenez (17th at regionals). Top returners: Chelsey Darilek, sr; Paige Bartos, soph; Megan Mitchon, jr; Kendall Kristynik, soph; Brittany Kalisek, sr. “We’ll be about the same this year with the girls,” Meisetschleager said. “We should win our district and I set a goal for them to be in the top 10 at regionals. We don’t have anybody who is going to stand out, but I’m hoping to put together a group of five girls who are going to run side by side.” Waelder Boys. Key losses: Cory Fonseca. Top returner: Clay Orona, jr. “Clay is a really good runner,” said Waelder head coach Jarvin Hall. “During the summer, he was running between 15 and 20 miles a week to get ready. Cross country is one of his strong points, so he’s really concen- Back L-R Dallas Rothbauer, Dennis Lopez, Ty Ramos, Layne Caballero Front L-R Mario Pinedo, Alex Reyes. trating on it this year.”

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Moulton Boys’ Cross country

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