SHINER - Shiner players and coaches don't mind making their way around the clutter in the field house at Comanche Stadium.
Workers are in the process of installing an air conditioning and heating system for the office and dressing rooms.
Not much else has changed for the Comanches, who still dress in the same lockers in the old concrete building, and are still practicing on the grass field up the hill from the field house.
But what matters most to Shiner is it continues to win as it has for the past six seasons. Shiner, which is ranked No. 3 in the state Class 1A poll, will take a 3-0 record into today's final non-district game against Universal City Randolph (3-0) at 7:30 p.m. at Comanche Stadium.
Shiner coach Steve Cerny watches as his team prepares for tonight's game against Universal City Randolph at Comanche Stadium. Shiner and Randolph come into the game with 3-0 records. Frank Tilley, Advocate Photo Editor
"We're doing the same old stuff," said Shiner coach Steven Cerny. "That's been our strength over the years. We're consistent in what we do."
The Comanches have used their traditional veer offense to produce 986 yards of offense and their defense has limited three Class 2A opponents to 338 yards.
"It's pretty much the same every year," said senior Kevin Berger. "Everyone has made a commitment. The backs are hitting their holes and the linemen are doing their jobs."
Shiner has averaged nearly 30 points per game in wins over Poth, East Bernard and Boling, despite returning only four offensive starters from last year's team, which went 14-2 and advanced to the state final before falling 28-27 to Windthorst.
"Last year we had a lot of experience," said senior Clayton McCorkle. "But everybody on this team was on the JV or played in the playoffs. They work hard and have shown a lot of dedication. I think we'll be all right."
As it has in the past, most of Shiner's yardage this season has come via the run. Chris Baer, the lone returning starter in the backfield, has rushed for 362 yards and an area-leading seven touchdowns. But quarterback Trey Curtis and running back Kenzley Wright have combined to rush for 449 yards and five touchdowns.
"I go by what's working in a game, but we're going to be run first," Cerny said. "When people take away the run, then we'll look for the open pass."
Cerny has been impressed by the poise Curtis, a sophomore, has displayed in directing the veer.
"There's no doubt that was a question mark, but he's answered that," Cerny said. "He's shown he's capable of running the offense. There's a big difference in his maturity level. He's come a long way."
Cerny placed a great deal of responsibility on the defense and it's lived up to expectations. The Comanches have yielded only six points and forced nine turnovers, including four interceptions.
"I said from Day 1 the defense would be our strength," Cerny emphasized. "We have nine seniors and two juniors so they really have nobody they can point any fingers at. But they haven't had to because they've been doing the job."
Shiner figures to get its sternest challenge from a Randolph team that advanced to the Class 2A, Division II regional playoffs last season. The Ro-Hawks have captured impressive wins over Nixon- Smiley (25-6), Ingram Tom Moore (41-12) and Marion (33-2).
"We've played good teams," Cerny said. "But by far Randolph is the best. It has the size, the speed, and it's got the experience."
"This will be a good test for us," McCorkle agreed. "It will show us where we're at mentally and physically."
The Comanches will take a week off after the Randolph game before opening District 31-1A play at home against Falls City on Oct. 1.
"Our first goal is to make the playoffs and win district," Berger said.
"Then, we want to do well in the playoffs and take it all the way to state like we did last year. But this time, we want to win a state championship."
Notes: Shiner and Randolph were Class 2A district foes in 1992 and '93. Randolph defeated Shiner 15-0 in 1992. Both teams advanced to the playoffs and lost to Schulenburg, Shiner in bi- district and Randolph in the quarterfinals. Shiner beat Randolph 42-6 in 1993. Shiner lost to Wimberley in the area playoffs and Randolph lost to Schulenburg in bi-district.