From the first kickoff, title hopes are on the line
First, a look at the Big Three in 2AD1 Region IV
The Mason Punchers, defending 2AD1 champs, will send out the first signal: they open on Thursday, August 29th, hosting the Wall Hawks. The Punchers have a new coach (DC Michael McLeod has been promoted to HC, replacing Kade Burns ) and this game will say a lot about how well the much praised Mason defense can meld with its offense under McLeod's direction. DT Slone Stultz, defensive MVP in the 2018 title game, returns as does RB Klay Klaerner
Not to be outdone, Shiner also has a new HC in Daniel Boedeker, formerly the Comanche DC. Offensively, RB Donyai Taylor will carry the big load behind a still-to-be-tested offensive line. The Comanches have one of the toughest pre-district 2A schedules in the state. They open at Hallettsville on August 30th; then, in Weeks 5 and 6 host Goliad and Lexington, in that order.
The Refugio Bobcats must forget about their 35-0 opening 2018 win over Tidehaven. This year, they'll be travelling into El Maton to take on a team that was a much-improved squad at the close of 2018. Senior QB Blake Garcia is at the helm of a team that Texas Football gave a preseason 3AD2 ranking of #10. Last summer, Garcia led his 7x7-ers into the state Division III quarterfinals in College Station. Late news out of the Mission city says Austin Ochoa will be the Bobcat starter at quarterback. OL Daeton Wills and LB Ysidro Mascarro are pre-season 1st Team all-state selections. HC Jason Herring no doubt hopes his team will not be looking past one bunch of Tigers to another bunch much tougher, Goliad. The Bobcats travel 25 miles northward on September 6 seeking revenge for the 35-0 pounding that Goliad inflicted upon them in 2018, their first shutout in 17 years.
Next, Around the Copano. . .
Joe Richard "JR" Castellano begins his first head coaching job for Taft (was DC for Beeville) leading his Greyhounds against John Paul II, in Taft. The Greyhounds won 3 and lost 7 in 2018, and did not qualify for the playoffs. They play in 3AD2 District 16, where Odem is the preseason favorite. Castellano is a native of Refugio.
Woodsboro Eagles, under new HC Gary Carpenter, open at home against Brackett
Sinton Pirates, La Vernia.
Bonus for Refugio Bobcat Fans, re noteworthy opponents of years past and their first games:
Cameron Yoe (3AD1), Mexia
Canadian (3AD2), at West Texas - Canadian is The Copano's #1 in its division
Idalou (3AD1), Shallowater
Cisco (3AD2), at Sweetwater
Openers for Copano Area ranked teams (Texas Football)
Note: The Copano's preseason rankings vary from TF in 2A and 3A. (To see the differences, go to our "featured games" tab above.)
CC Calallen (#3 5AD2), at San Benito.
CC Flour Bluff (#25 5AD1), at Pharr San Juan Alamo, 8/29
Port Lavaca Calhoun (#18 5AD2), at Victoria West
Cuero (#4, 4A D2), at Bay City
Rockport-Fulton (#22, 4AD2), Aransas Pass
Yoakum (#5, 3AD1), Boerne
Goliad (#8, 3AD1), at Columbus
Edna (#11, 3AD1), at Caldwell
East Bernard (#3, 3AD2), at Rice Consolidated
Tidehaven (#10, 3A D2), Refugio
Odem (#22, 3AD2), at West Oso
Refugio (#1, 2AD1), at Tidehaven
Mason (#2, 2AD1), Wall, 8/29
Shiner (#3, 2AD, at Hallettsville
Weimar (#14, 2AD1), at Manor New Tech
Mart (#1, 2AD2), at Bosqueville
Falls City (#2, 2AD2), Three Rivers
Flatonia (#25, 2AD2), at Runge