The Shiner coaching staff spent quite a bit of time this week going through old videotapes and even old reels of film. The coaches were searching for anything they could find of Yorktown when Tommy Bludau was the head coach.
"We wanted to see what we did to stop them," Shiner coach Steven Cerny said. "Of course, we know he's made some adjustments just like we've made some adjustments."
Shiner and Schulenburg will get a first-hand look at each other's adjustments when they open the season today at 7:30 p.m. at Shiner's Comanche Stadium.
Bludau left Yorktown for Columbus and went to Boerne before becoming Schulenburg's athletic director and head coach last spring. He inherited a team that went 11-1 and won the District 28-2A title and returns quarterback Clayton Besetzny. The Shorthorns earned some votes in the Class 2A preseason poll.
"I feel like we're making progress," Bludau said. "We're feeding them as much information as we can every day and we're trying to come up with a game plan we can execute."
Shiner bounced back from a 47-14 season-opening loss to Schulenburg last year and advanced to the Class 1A, Division I quarterfinals. The Comanches come into this season ranked No. 3 in the Class 1A poll.
"We made some mistakes last year but what really disappointed us is we let them take it to us," Cerny said. "They blew through us at the line of scrimmage. We're taking a different approach and want to be more physical this year against Schulenburg."
Both teams operate out of the veer offense although they may vary their formations.
"There are a lot of similarities," Bludau said. "We both run the mid-line, the sweep and throw the ball. If anything with their present quarterback (Kyle Condel), they may throw a little more. But they're still running the same offense."
"We look very similar," Cerny agreed. "We may do some different things with our blocking assignments. We might steal a few things from him and he might steal a few things from us."
The coaches are aware of the pitfalls of playing a quality opponent in their first game but they have no doubt the plusses far outweigh the minuses.
"I feel like it's important to win any game," Bludau said. "But these are the games that build you up so you're ready for district play. We have to play teams like Shiner so we'll be ready for Industrial in three weeks."
"I'm never afraid of playing good teams and I don't look at it as taking a risk," Cerny said. "Pre-season rankings really mean nothing. We want to win the game but we've got to be there when district play begins."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at email@example.com.