Bobcats shatter state record
by Kenda Nelson
Dec 15, 2011 | 3134 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Bobcat head coach Jason Herring tells the Bobcats after practice on Tuesday, “We’re not just going to win, we’re going to dominate the championship. Ours isn’t even going to be close. This is the team that cannot be beaten.”
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The Associated Press announced this week that Bobcat quarterback Travis Quintanilla was selected as the player of the year and senior defensive tackle Donald Trevino as defensive player of the year.

Quintanilla and Trevino were also named to the all-state first-team along with three other players — Lynx Hawthorne, John Wesley Shipp and Jake Heryford. Shiloh Whetsel was named second team all-state.

The announcements came on the heels of a broken state record last Friday night in Heroes Stadium in San Antonio against the Lexington Eagles.

On the last play before the half, Whetsel sailed over the defensive line from one-yard out for a touchdown. The TD put them ahead of an 824-point record held by the Big Sandy Wildcats since 1975.

In addition, kicker Adolfo Cordero tied the 100-point after touchdown state record set last year by Bobcat Cristian Padron. Cordero kicked his 100th kick during the Lexington game.

Having six players on the all-state teams and sweeping the AP player of the year awards isn’t enough for the Bobcats, the coaches or the town. Their focus is on Cisco for the state championship Friday at noon in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

“It’s a real honor for these kids,” said coach Drew Cox, who has been head coach Jason Herring’s right-hand man for 15 years. “I’m proud of them but it doesn’t mean anything unless we take care of business Friday.”

All-state receiver Lynx Hawthorne signed a letter of intent to play for Baylor during his junior year in Weimer before moving to Refugio. He’s never had a regret about the decision.

Eating oranges while waiting for his turn at practice, he said, “if it weren’t for me moving to Refugio, I would have never gotten on the all-state team. They didn’t have a quarterback like Travis Quintanilla.”

Hawthorne has caught 46 passes from Quintanilla for 20 touchdowns and 1,200 yards, including a spectacular finger-tip catch for a touchdown against Lexington.

Quintanilla said he didn’t expect the degree of success he’s experienced. He credits what he calls the “four threats” – wide receivers Hawthorne, Whetsel, Marcus Thompson and Cory Brown.

The sophomore passed for 3,557 yards – a whopping two miles – for 49 touchdowns. In the quarterback slot, Quintanilla has never lost a game since his seventh-grade year. Plus he’s won every punt, pass or kick competition at every level since he was six.

“If we have a perfect season and win state, every team in Refugio football will have had a perfect season,” Quintanilla said. “I don’t know if another school has ever done that.”

Shipp, a junior offensive lineman, has never allowed a sack and is credited with 47 pancakes. He gives credit to the Bobcat supporters.

“If it wasn’t for the fans, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” he said. “Thanks to everybody for supporting us.”

Both Hawthorne’s and Heryford’s fathers are Bobcat coaches. Heryford said he was grateful to his dad for “coaching me every day of my life.”

“Thanks to my teammates, I could not have gotten (all-state) without them,” the all-state linebacker said.

Herring calls player of the year Trevino, “the heart and soul of the team.”

Trevino has led the defense all season, recording 116 tackles, 13 for losses, 75 solo tackles, two sacks and seven forced fumbles.

The defensive tackle said he was never focused on individual honors.

“We’re all focused on playing for state,” he said. “The honors are nice, but we want that ring.”

Trevino says he owes a debt of gratitude to the coaches and teammates for buying in to the goal to win state.

“Nobody is selfish,” he said.

Running back Whetsel is still in awe.

“Honestly, I’m still shocked that we’re playing in Cowboy Stadium,” he said. “We’re still working hard but it’s fun.”

With excitement building about going to state, taking semester exams this week is another matter.

“It’s hard to take tests,” Whetsel said.

After watching the Cisco tapes, the Bobcats remain confident.

“They don’t pass very well,” Quintanilla said. “They’re like Three Rivers but better.”

Junior Malcolm Franklin said, “They may see some air raid football.”

Coach Herring told the team Tuesday after practice that he believes the team is just now peaking.

“Do you know what peaking is?” he asked. “It’s reaching the top of the mountain.”

Herring also reminded them what’s at stake.

“You get to go to Cowboys Stadium and play for a ring!” he said. “A million other kids would love to be doing that.”

He also reminded them of what got them to the state game — discipline, unity, focus and hunger.

“This is the year of the Cats,” Herring said. “We’re not just going to win, we’re going to dominate the championship. Ours isn’t even going to be close. This is the team that cannot be beaten.”

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