SHINER - Brady Beal knows exactly why Shiner was still practicing football Monday afternoon instead of getting ready for the basketball season.
Shiner's Evel Jones (19) runs for yardage in the Comanches' District 15-1A, Division I loss to Ganado. Shiner won three straight district games to end the season, making the playoffs. Marie De Jesus/Victoria Advocate
"It's every one of these coaches out here that held us together," he said. "Some of us had our doubts, but they didn't. They had faith in us and they kept it together and kept us pushing to fighting harder than we ever had before and we went out did what we had to do for district."
The Comanches began the season at 1-6 before winning their last three games to finish second behind Ganado in District 15-1A, Division I, and advance to the bi-district playoffs against Charlotte on Thursday night at Schertz.
Shiner's non-district schedule included one Class 3A and four Class 2A teams, and the Comanches had to deal with a slew of injuries on what was already an inexperienced team.
"We just had to hang in there, but when you keep losing it doesn't matter," said Shiner head coach Steven Cerny. "A loss is a loss and it starts to work on you and our confidence started to go down. We played a good game against Ganado even though we lost and from there things started to turn around. The confidence is back so that's a big factor."
The Comanches struggled at times in their veer offense, averaging a very un-Shiner like 214.4 yards rushing per game.
Cerny had a difficult time figuring out what worked on offense and he continues to make adjustments.
"It just took us so long because we kept getting an injury," Cerny said. "We thought we knew the direction we would go, and we had to change.
"It took us a long time to figure out, and even right now we really kind of live from week to week. We can't say that the veer's going to be the best thing this week just because of the personnel we've got. I don't know if we really ever figured it out, but we do know where each kid needs to be at right now."
The biggest difference between this year's team and Shiner teams of the past has been the lack of the big play.
"It wasn't the fact that we don't have the personnel to get the big play, it just wasn't happening," Cerny said. "It's slowly starting to turn. Defensively, we're coming up with a few more sacks and turnovers. It seems like it's starting to turn back our way a little bit, but for the longest we were saying when are we going to get that break go our way."
Shiner has made the playoffs every season since dropping from Class 2A to 1A in 2000 and the seniors didn't want to see the streak end.
"We all got fed up with it," Kenneth Coleman said. "It was just a matter of practicing hard and playing hard. We started getting all our players back and all the chemistry started coming back and that was a big deal."