SHINER - Shiner senior Dustin Boedeker went to Comanche Stadium last Friday night to watch Shiner St. Paul's playoff game.
Shiner running back Curtis Shields (1) and the Comanches had a bi-district bye and will face Goldthwaite in the Class 1A, Division I regional playoffs on Friday in Elgin.. photos by Frank Tilley, Victoria Advocate
"I just watched a little football," Boedeker said. "I wanted to keep it in my head. It felt weird not to play on Friday night."
The feeling was shared by Boedeker's teammates and players for Louise and Ganado. The District 27-1A teams had byes in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
"I kind of chilled to get ready for this week," Shiner's Justin Wiese said. "I just wanted to prepare my body for this week."
Shiner coach Steven Cerny and his staff took advantage of the bye to scout Goldthwaite's 34-21 win over Thorndale.
They used the open week to start preparing the Comanches (9-1) for Friday night's Division I regional game against the Eagles (11-0) in Elgin.
"When you have a bye, you have two weeks to prepare for a team," Cerny said. "We kind of expected Goldthwaite to win so we kind of slanted our preparations toward them.
"It gave us an opportunity, especially having played them last year and what they did against us, it gave us an opportunity to get ready. We definitely got more reps in with what they do."
Shiner cruised to a 33-7 win last season, but Goldthwaite returned a number of starters from last year's team and finished the season ranked No. 4 in the state poll.
"He's changed things, but we still know what his bread and butter is and he still knows what our bread and butter is and you've to to stop it," Cerny said of Goldthwaite coach Gary Proffitt. "It's not so much you do it different, it's you do it well."
Shiner took Monday of last week off before practicing Tuesday through Thursday. The Comanches were back on their regular schedule this week.
"We pretty much went after it," Wiese said. "We set our sights for Goldthwaite because we were pretty sure they were going to win. We just buckled down and did what we had to do to get things done."
Shiner came off its previous bye week and opened district play at Louise. The Comanches needed a 46-yard field goal by Drew Stafford with 3 seconds left in the fourth quarter to claim a 20-18 win.
"I don't think we weren't ready," Cerny said. "We had good practices before Louise. It was a tough night to play. It was cold, it was rainy, it was at their field. Louise played really well. But maybe we did learn a lesson and we're going to have to be more focused than that."
The Comanches are sure their focus will be on Goldthwaite. They've been hitting each other for two weeks and they're anxious to hit somebody else.
"Last week we had very hard practices and they prepared us very well for Goldthwaite," Boedeker said. "We've had two weeks to work for them and we played them last year. We just need to come out and play good football and go as mistake- free as we can."
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.