Shiner's Chris Baer doesn't enjoy one playing position over another. Whether he's playing running back or linebacker, he still gets to hit people.
Athlete of the Week
The 6-foot, 200-pound Baer punished the Charlotte Trojans with touchdown runs of 23, 23, 6 and 3 yards and finished with 164 yards rushing. He also led a defense that limited the Trojans to only 33 yards rushing and 158 total yards in the top-ranked Comanches' 37-7 Class 1A area playoff win on Friday.
For his efforts, Baer was named the Advocate Athlete of the Week.
"It really doesn't make a difference," Baer said when asked if he prefers playing running back or linebacker. "I just go out and do what I have to do. If that involves laying a blow on somebody, then that's what I have to do."
Baer has been doling out the hits ever since becoming a part-time starter at linebacker four years ago. Last season, he shared Advocate All-Area Football Team honors with teammates Garet Pustka and Quentin Wright after the Comanches fell 28-27 to Windthorst in the Class 1A championship game.
"He's been here four years," Shiner head coach Steve Cerny said. "It's going to feel funny next year to go out there and not see him out there. He's a good kid, who makes good grades."
Baer's grades are so good, in fact, that he has drawn interest from Ivy League school Harvard as well as Rice, the Air Force Academy, and the Naval Academy.
"It's going to be weird putting on a different uniform," Baer said.
Charlotte focused on containing Baer with new defensive schemes. But none worked.
"They tried to stop him by slanting their nose tackle to his side," Cerny said. "They still couldn't stop him. He would take a hit and keep on going. With our veer system, you have to take a hit. He won't slow down or back off. Just when you think he's about to play out, he puts it in another gear. He just has so much endurance. That's his strength."
"The offensive line was making huge holes for me," Baer said. "We just had a great game all together."
Baer has rushed for 1,536 yards and an area-leading 32 touchdowns this season. The Comanches (12-0) take on Chilton (8-3) on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Round Rock's Dragon Stadium. A victory would put Shiner closer to its goal of returning to the Class 1A title game.
"We definitely have the talent to go all the way," Baer said. "We just have to go out and play hard every week.
"Chilton has a pretty big running back. He'll be tough to stop."
Baer looks forward to the challenge.