SHINER -- The players on the field will be different, but the standards remain the same in Shiner.
Shiner's Carson Schuette throws the ball during Thursday's practice. all photos by Chase Cofield, Victoria Advocate photographer
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The Comanches will go into the season ranked No. 9 in the Class 2A, Division I state poll with only three starters returning on offense and two on defense from last year's team, which advanced to the regional final.
"The expectations are still the same," said Shiner head coach Daniel Boedeker. "The kids understand that. We as coaches are coaching these kids just as hard as we have in the years past. We've had some really good experiences with them, but at the same time we know we have to take it slow where they don't get frustrated. We take it one day at a time and I know they'll improve because these kids work hard."
The Comanches will not only have to replace starting quarterback Ryan Peterson, but also all-state running back/defensive back Dalton Brooks, who is playing at Texas A&M after leading Shiner to state titles in 2020 and 2021.
"Our seniors are taking that leadership role," Boedeker said. "Anytime you have special players like Doug (Brooks) and Dalton and a couple of the other guys with them, they're easy guys to follow just because they way they handle themselves and lead by example. That's what we've got to develop here."
Junior Carson Schuette will step in at quarterback. Schuette got reps in practice last season, and was able to play in a number of games.
"It's nice to have that experience," Schuette said. "We've been running the same system since I was in seventh grade. It's just kind of second nature at this point."
Daniel Boedeker, Shiner's head football coach, talks with players after a drill.
An area of concern is the offensive line where the only starter returning is senior center Colton Winkenwerder.
"We really just need to help the new guys get the plays down and make sure they know all their blocking schemes and stuff," Winkenwerder said. "We just need to make sure they know which way they are going. I believe in them, they'll get it done."
Shiner has three other state-ranked teams in its district, and all four of its non-district opponents are larger schools.
"You've got to take things a little slower," Boedeker said. "It's a lot of teaching involved, from technique to assignments. We're taking it slow with these guys trying to build their confidence up so they can play fast."
Schuette knows questions exist about the potential of this season's team, but he isn't concerned.
"I like people doubting us," he said. "We're going to be good again like always. Having people doubt us, we like to prove people wrong."
Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or email@example.com Chase Cofield is a staff photographer for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-574-1206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.