Shiner has good reason to be very, very optimistic about the 2018 football season.
The 2018 Shiner Comanche Football Team: Bottom row, from left, Zane Rhodes, Brock Sestak, Tyler Palmer, Devin Lehnert, Collin Bujnoch, Gage Brooks, Justin Redfern, Mason Lakey, Michael Coppola, Caleb Neal and Trevor Haynes. Middle row, from left, is coach Jordan Rehak, coach John Peterson, Cole Patek, Lane Nevlud, Max Machacek, Cross Rankin, Colter Darilek, Allan Jaehne, Cody Rainosek, Garrett Cowan, Noah Matthews, Doug Brooks and coach Daniel Boedeker. Top row, from left, coach Noe McCarthy, coach Randy Palmer, C.J. Miller, Jacquez Miller, Brendan Yoakum, Chris Reyes, Donyai Taylor, Tyler Mikes, Hunter Kloesel, Michael Rodriguez, Kason Landman, coach Wendell Boner and head coach Steven Cerny. contributed photo
A good number of returning players and a team that has come into practice in great physical shape due to well-attended summer workouts has given the Comanche program a good pre-season boost.
“We are returning a lot of starters,” Comanches head coach Steven Cerny said. “We had a great summer workout with as many as 30-40 guys attending per week and that was outstanding.”
The departing seniors left a couple of holes on the offensive line/defensive line and one in the secondary and the Comanches will shuffle some people around to fill in those holes this season.
“We are bringing back a lot of experience,” Cerny said. The offense will have a little bit of a new look called the “slot-bone”.
There will be three backs, instead of the usual two in the backfield — fullback, halfback and tailback. One of the backs will be used as a slot and will be in motion a lot.
“It’s the Slot-T and the veer combined,” Cerny said. “We are trying to make it our base because it matches our current personnel.” The base plays will be veer, toss and trap plays.
Players at quarterback are Tyler Mikes, Tyler Palmer and Devin Lehnert. Mikes started every game behind center last season.
Working at tailback will be Donyai Taylor and Trevor Haynes; fullback will be Doug Brooks and Zane Rhodes; halfback will be Lane Nevlud and Collin Bujnoch.
One of Shiner’s tight ends is called “Flash” and can also be split out wide. Hunter Kloesel is set to play that position. At the regular tight end position will be Cole Patek and Cross Rankin.
On the offensive line will be Cody Rainosek (right guard), Michael Rodriguez (left guard), Kason Landman (center), Chris Reyes (left tackle) and Brendan Yoakum (right tackle).
“We are two-deep at most positions and who we go with will depend on who goes both ways,” Cerny said.
On the defensive line, Reyes and Landman will be on the inside with Rodriguez and Patek as the ends. CJ Miller will also get some time on the line.
Cerny said plenty of the sophomores will get lots of playing time to give other players a quick rest. Nevlud and Bujnoch, joined by Rainosek, will make up the Shiner linebacker group.
Kloesel, Jacquez Miller, Mikes, Palmer and Noah Matthews are the players to compete for the cornerback positions. Inside defensive secondary will be Taylor, Lehnert, CJ Miller and Rhodes.
During work on special teams, the Comanches had Rankin, CJ Miller and Connor Winkenwerder try a total of 18 point-after kicks and every attempt was good. Mikes and Rankin will be the punters.
Shiner has a pretty competitive non-district schedule with five of those six contests against 3A opponents.
The Comanches open at home with Hallettsville, are at Industrial, host Burton and Tidehaven before going to Goliad and Lexington.
“Hallettsville is a game where you will be tested right away,” Cerny said. “They are always aggressive, quick and strong. We have not played Industrial in a couple of years. Not sure what they are running. But they are always physical.
Burton has lot of speed and two Division I players. That game will see how we match up with speed.”
“Tidehaven did well last year and has a solid program; Goliad is predicted to have a chance to win a state championship; Lexington is always fast. We will be tested with speed and size, and hopefully we will stay healthy.”
The 15-2ADI makeup is slightly different: Refugio moved to 16-2ADI while Ganado was promoted to 3A-DII.
Wallis Brazos, after serving as non-district game the last couple of seasons, has moved into the district. Weimar, Kenedy and Yorktown remain.
“I think Brazos will be very good in district; Weimar is always fast but has a new coach. Not sure what to expect there.
Yorktown is an established program. Kenedy has an outstanding athlete on their team this year but struggled last year and I am not sure how many are returning,” Cerny said.
Shiner’s chemistry was very well put together in preseason. Cerny said the first week was one of the smoothest he has had with Shiner.
“With our offseason and summer programs doing well, we came into camp in really good shape. Very few have come out here and struggled because they were not in shape,” he said. “That has allowed us to be ahead in installing the new offense.
As the usual trend with the Comanches, the seniors have taken to their leadership roles well with working hard and leading by example. Cerny said the team has shown great work ethic in practice.
|Mark Lube is the sports editor for the Shiner Gazette. Contact him at 361-594-3346 or email@example.com