Goliad will wait until Friday to decide if senior Kiki Hill plays in its District 15-3A, Division I opener against Hallettsville.
Shiner sophomore Ty Boedeker runs the ball after catching a pass during practice at Shiner High School on Wednesday. The Comanches take on Refugio on Friday for the first time ever.
[ NOTE: click any photo to enlarge ]
photos by Victoria Advocate
The Goliad school district is still trying to verify whether the Hill family meets the requirements of the UIL parent residency waiver, which was denied by a waiver officer.
"All loose ends have to be tied before any decision made," Goliad athletic director and head football coach John Mares said in a text message Thursday.
Hill transferred to Goliad from Aransas Pass where he was an all-district receiver and defensive back when his father, Green Hill, was hired as an assistant principal at the high school in August.
Kiki Hill has not played this season, but senior quarterback Nate Kowalik has and will definitely be on the field when Goliad (5-1) and Hallettsville (4-2) meet in the DQ Big Game of the Week at Goliad's Tiger Stadium.
Kowalik transferred from Hallettsville to Goliad in May when his father, Russell Kowalik, became the principal at the high school.
Kowalik has passed for an area-leading 1,988 yards and 24 touchdowns and will face his former teammates for the first time.
"The hype of the game is there," Mares said. "It will be an early taste of what to expect down the road. It should be to the advantage of both teams. Our kids just need to stay focused. It's a big game, and they understand that."
The Brahmas are on a four-game winning streak heading into district play.
"We know it's a big game, and Goliad knows it's a big game," said Hallettsville coach Tommy Psencik. "We try to coach our kids and who we've got and focus on our team. It should be a great spectators' game. The fans should get their money's worth."
The same should be true when Shiner (5-0) and Refugio (5-0) open District 15-2A, Division I play Friday at Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium in Refugio.
Refugio is ranked No. 1 in the state poll, and the Comanches are ranked No. 7 heading into their first-ever meeting.
"I like it because it's a meaningful game," said Refugio coach Jason Herring. "I don't care what anybody tells you, I think everybody would rather play a meaningful game. The chance to play a meaningful game is going to make us better and them better too."
Shiner coach Steven Cerny also welcomes the opportunity to gauge where his team stands.
"In the playoffs, you lose and you're done, and you pick your pads up for the year," Cerny said. "With this game, it gives you your chance for the district championship. It's going to be a great game for the fans. They've been talking about it."
Fans in DeWitt County have been discussing the Cuero-Yoakum rivalry for over a century.
VIDEO: Shiner preps for Refugio
Quarterback Blake Michalec pitches to a running back as the Shiner Comanches prep for first ever matchup with fellow 2013 state-contender Refugio at practice Wednesday.
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Cuero (5-1) and Yoakum (4-2) will square off for the 104th time in the District 15-4A, Division II opener Friday at Yoakum's Bulldog Stadium.
"One thing I've noticed in the six years that I've been here is there is not a lot of talking that goes on in this game," said Yoakum coach Brent Kornegay. "The kids play good, hard-nosed football. Our kids are in the mind set of playing Cuero and the district race."
The Gobblers lead the series 66-31-6, but Yoakum has won the last three games.
The Bulldogs haven't put together four-consecutive wins over Cuero since the 1940s.
"We know we're playing an excellent football team, and it's the start of district," said Cuero coach Travis Reeve. "Our kids are playing well and have a lot of confidence."
Confidence is a key in important games, and the players are aware of what to expect.
"It's going to be the toughest challenge we've had all year," said Shiner senior Micah Morkovsky. "We have to be mentally tougher than the other team and go out there and ground and pound for four quarters and be as tough as you can."
"They're going to come out and play hard," said Refugio senior Johnathan Rosas. "We're going to play hard too."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for The Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at email@example.com.