Shiner is used to playing in big games.
Shiner running back Donyai Taylor darts towards the open field during a non-district game against Goliad ( on September 28, 2019 ). photo by Evan Lewis, Victoria Advocate photojournalist
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The Comanches have made 21 consecutive playoff appearances, played in four state finals and won two state championships.
“It’s something we expect,” said long-time assistant and first-year Shiner head coach Daniel Boedeker. “That’s something we prepare for and when we come out here in August that’s what we’re looking for right away is to be able to perform well in those big games.”
Weimar doesn’t have the same tradition, but the Wildcats have had success under second-year coach Ryan McIver.
“We weren’t undefeated last year, but we played an elite team Mason in the second round and we really played them pretty well,” McIver said. “Our players have seen elite teams and programs and know what it looks like. I don’t think our kids are scared. That doesn’t mean we win or lose and we’re excited about playing them.”
The playoffs are a month away, but that doesn’t diminish what’s at stake when No. 2 Shiner (7-0, 1-0) and Weimar (7-0, 1-0) square off in a District 15-2A, Division I game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Weimar Wildcats Stadium.
The game will be one of six in the state featuring two undefeated teams.
“We’re 7-0 and from what I understand, it’s only happened once before (2009),” McIver said. “We really don’t care about the last seven or the next how many, all we care about is the one in front of us.”
Shiner has yet to be challenged, outscoring its competition by a combined 383-68.
“We’re improving each week,” Boedeker said. “There are still some things we’re trying to get better at, especially defensively as far as our fits go. The kids have done a good job with that. Our tackling has improved. Offensively, it’s about staying consistent, taking care of the football and no penalties.”
Weimar has made great strides on defense, limiting opponents to an average of less than nine points per game and not more than 17 in any game.
“I think there’s a little more understanding of the defense as a whole after a year of being in it,” McIver said. “We have a lot of returning players on the defense. One is Vicente Cabrera our Sam linebacker. He sets the tone for the defense. We pride ourselves in getting as many people to the ball carrier as we can. We give a sticker for their helmets if we get 11 people into tight view. Our goal is to get 11 people close to the ball.”
Shiner is averaging over 465 yards per game, and has rushed for 2,720 of its 3,257 total yards.
“The No. 1 thing would be our offensive line,” Boedeker said. “We knew we had some skill kids coming in and we have a lot of depth in that area. We were concerned about our line coming in the spring and didn’t know what we were going to get in the fall.
“We knew we weren’t going to be very big. But we’re really happy with the way they’ve come on. They play aggressive, they’re quick off the ball, and they’re smart. They all work together and it’s been good for us.”
Shiner and Weimar will each have two district games remaining, but recognize the district title and playoff seeding is likely on the line.
“I think our kids know,” Boedeker said. “We always talk about it. It’s about how we do things and what we want to do and that’s the main thing we look at. We want to go out and perform well each Friday. If we do get some adversity, it’s about how we’re going to handle it. We challenge ourselves in practice to make sure we’re ready for that.”
“It’s a tough task,” McIver said. “We’re going to give it all we got and see how the battle plays out.”
NOTES: Weimar running back Ravon’Dre Wicks, who has rushed for a district-leading 1,025 yards and 14 touchdowns, missed last week’s win over Kenedy with an ankle issue. McIver said Wicks’ status was “day to day.”
|Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org|