Coaches from each district met to determine schedules for the next two seasons after the UIL released its biennial reclassification and realignment in February.
Refugio quarterback Jaylon Mascorro carries the ball during their District 15-2A, Division 1 game against Shiner last season ( Friday, October 9, 2015 ).
[ click photo to enlarge ]
photos by Frank Tilley, Victoria Advocate
Most were determined by draw and even soothsayers would have been hard-pressed to predict what has occurred in three area districts.
The last week of the regular season has arrived and district champions have yet to be crowned.
The outright champion will be determined Friday in District 15-2A, Division I when Refugio travels to Shiner.
A share of the District 12-4A, Division I and 15-4A, Division II titles will be at stake when Bay City hosts El Campo and Wharton visits Cuero, respectively.
"We kind of figured this might happen if everything went well," said Cuero coach Travis Reeve, who was speaking of his district, but could have been making a general statement. "It's definitely going to be a heavyweight fight."
No. 3 Refugio (8-1, 4-0) and No. 10 Shiner (7-2, 4-0) will be playing for the fourth time overall and all of those meetings have taken place in the last two years.
The teams split two games last season with the Comanches winning the district contest and the Bobcats prevailing in the quarterfinals.
Both coaches wouldn't be surprised if a similar scenario were to take place this season.
"They're as good as they've always been," said Shiner coach Steven Cerny. "They are bigger and stronger up front and their skill people are good athletically. They're definitely physical. They're solid defensively. They have everything it takes, including the numbers and outstanding players."
"What makes Shiner special is the same thing that makes them special every year is they're very, very well coached and very disciplined," said Refugio coach Jason Herring. "They've got tradition, they've got great coaching and they've got great talent. They also have great discipline and great work ethic. I think they're just as good as they've always been."
No. 4 Cuero (9-0, 4-0) and Wharton (6-3, 3-1) played in the season opener the last four seasons and were planning to do so again until they wound up in the same district.
The Gobblers look to wrap up the outright district title, but the Tigers, who lost to Sweeny, could gain a share of the title and the top seed in the playoffs with a win.
"Cuero has a lot of good players," said Wharton coach Tim Finn. "They've got some size and good linemen and the good skill guys to go with them. They have a lot of guys going both ways, but they do a good job of spreading the ball around to keep their players fresh."
"Wharton has got so much speed on the outside, but is also very physical," Reeve said. "Offensively, they're so balanced. They can hurt you running and throwing. Defensively, they're very athletic. They also have good special teams. I think they've returned a number of punts for touchdowns."
No. 10 El Campo (9-0, 5-0) and Bay City (6-3, 4-1) play for the 113th time and 97th consecutive season in the state's oldest continuous rivalry.
The Ricebirds have won the last 10 games between the teams and took a big step toward the district championship with a win over Stafford last week.
But the Blackcats have won four straight games and could force a three-way tie for the title with El Campo and Stafford with a victory.
The playoff seeds would be determined by points.
"El Campo is a good football team," said Bay City coach Lupe Florez. "You go watch them on film and it's not that they have a team full of athletes or studs - they play good football. They're sound, they execute on offense, defense and special teams. They don't make mistakes. They don't turn the ball over. They do everything statistically that you need to do to win a football game."
"We've still got to beat Bay City," said El Campo coach Wayne Condra. "Anytime El Campo and Bay City get together, I don't care what we're playing for it's a big game."
Games don't get much bigger than when a district title and playoff seeding is on the line.
|Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org|