Shiner head coach Steven Cerny and defensive coordinator Billy Turek were discussing why the Comanches have gotten off to shaky starts the last two seasons and came to the conclusion the opposition played a major role.
"We decided we had been beaten by some very good teams," Cerny said. "Maybe we weren't that bad early. One thing about playing good teams is it exposes your weaknesses. We found out what we had to work on and that's helped us a lot."
Shiner began the season with losses to Schulenburg, Brazos Consolidated and East Bernard. East Bernard has already clinched a Class 2A playoff berth and Schulenburg and Brazos Consolidated are in playoff contention.
The Comanches have won five straight games, including four straight District 31-1A games and can clinch the district's Division I playoff berth with a win at Falls City on Friday night.
Shiner's district wins haven't even been close. The Comanches have outscored Louise, Pettus, Charlotte and Woodsboro by a combined score of 235-15.
"It's not so much what we're doing, it's what everybody else is doing," Cerny said. "We've been a lot bigger and stronger than the people we've played. We're playing well right now."
The Comanches have cut down on the turnovers that plagued them earlier in the season and gotten into a rhythm offensively.
"We do that every year," Cerny said of the early-season turnovers. "I don't think it's the veer. We've looked at it closely to see how we can cut that down. I know our offensive line is playing a lot better. We blew a lot of assignments earlier in the year and that makes a big difference."
Cerny is taking nothing for granted. Shiner has lost only three district games since dropping from Class 2A to 1A in 2000 and two of those loses have occurred in Falls City. The Beavers lost to Pettus 34-25 on Friday and fell to 2-2 in district and need a win to remain in playoff contention.
"We've always had trouble over there," Cerny said. "Falls City plays very well at home. They're going to put everything into this one. We know if we win, we're in. We're going to tell our players that this week and go from there."
Pettus and Flatonia are tied for second in the district with 3-1 records and will meet Friday in Flatonia before the Bulldogs close out the regular season at Shiner. Louise (3-2) has a bye this week before completing the regular season at Pettus.
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.