The reaction of Kenedy coach Lin Havron when he found out his team ended up in District 15-1A, Division I is not printable, but understandable.
The district's five teams all made the playoffs last season, including Three Rivers, which gave Class 2A, Division II state champion Refugio arguably its stiffest test in the area round until the state final.
"If it isn't the toughest district in the state," Havron said, "I don't know another."
Kenedy lost in bi-district to Shiner, which went on to the quarterfinals before losing toe eventual state champion Mason.
Ganado, which was ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the season, lost to Mason in the regional round and Yorktown made it to bi-district.
"That's one of the reasons why we beefed up our non-district schedule," said Yorktown coach Trey Alexander. "It was because of our district."
Shiner was ranked No. 12 and Ganado No. 14 in the Class 1A preseason poll.
Shiner returns a number of players at the skill positions, but will be inexperienced on the line.
"We have to avoid turnovers and be more consistent moving the ball," said Shiner coach Steven Cerny. "We have to eliminate mistakes so we have an opportunity to get our skill players into space. Defensively, we have to come up with the big plays to give our offense a chance."
Ganado lost heavily to graduation, but coach Jimmy Thompson isn't concerned about his team's ability.
"We're still pretty talented," he said. "It's just that we're talented and inexperienced. We're going to make mistakes. We just hope we can quit making mistakes and at the end of the year we can be pretty good."
Yorktown lost some players at the skill positions, but returns eight starters on defense.
"We're going to have to play good defense," Alexander said. "If we play good defense, we'll be fine."
Teams will have to be at the top of their game to ensure a return to postseason play.
"They understand it is going to be a challenge," Havron said. "We're looking forward to it. It's a big hurdle, but we feel like we can be competitive."
2012 Shiner Comanches • Coach: Steven Cerny • Years at current school: 11 • Record at current school: 100-33 • Years at head coach: 11 • Last year's record: 8-6, 3-1 in district • Last playoff appearance: 2011, quarterfinals • Returning starters: QB/MLB Jacob Stafford, RB Caleb Curtis, C Cole Strauss, TE Caleb Kalich, SB Evel Jones, OLB Max Huth, DB Brady Cejka, DB Trevon Flowers 1 Marcus Coleman SE/CB Jr. 3 Trevion Flowers QB/SS Sr. 4 Evel Jones WR/CB Sr. 5 Daniel Hernandez SE/CB Sr. 7 Caleb Kalich TE/DE Jr. 9 Jacob Stafford RB/LB Jr. 11 Brady Cejka QB/SS Sr. 12 Justin Stovall SE/CB Fr. 22 Caleb Curtis RB/DE Sr. 24 Rigo Baray SE/WS Jr. 33 Chad Neubauer RB/WS Fr. 48 Isidor Cerny RB/CB Sr. 49 Brian Kloesel TE/LB Jr. 50 Kris Patek OG/LB Sr. 51 Michael Lawrence OG/DT Jr. 55 Cole Strauss C/SS Sr. 57 Hunter Mraz C/LB Jr. 61 Joey Overton OG/LB Jr. 62 Tanner Pietsch OT/DE Jr. 63 Jonathan Albrecht OG/NG Sr. 64 Max Huth OG/LB Sr. 67 Weston Roller OG/NG Jr. 71 Nathan Schneider OG/LB Jr. 72 Zach Arnold OT/DT Sr. 74 Edwin Wright OG/NG Sr. 77 Jaace Chumchal OT/NG Sr. 78 Austin Remmers OT/NG Sr. 79 Craig Kneifel OT/DE Jr.
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.