Everything has to go just right. Friday night in San Marcos in the second half, the storm moved East Bernard into another round of the playoffs.
“In every single ball game, there’s a winner and a loser,” Herring said. “In the past six years, 80 times, it’s gone our way, only five have not. We’ve really been blessed many, many times.”
Heartbreak was as visible as the sweat beading up on the young men’s brows. Many of the players, like quarterback Travis Quintanilla, have never lost a football game, so the sear is new.
“My heart is broken too,” Herring said. “We put our heart and soul into it. I told the kids that the sting will wear off and heal.”
Along with Refugio’s loss to the East Bernard Brahmas Friday night, every other defending state champion lost as well.
“Two great football teams were on the field,” Herring said. “I hope they go on to win a championship. Number 10 (Slanina) might be the best we’ve ever played against.”
The Brahma storm was nearly perfect the second half as balls bounced off the Bobcats and landed in the hands of defenders, almost to the point of bizarre.
“We just couldn’t make a play to stop the bleeding,” Herring said. “It’s just fate if you watched with any objectivity at all. We didn’t change anything in the second half and they didn’t either. It just wasn’t in the cards. And maybe it was their turn.”
Herring says they came away with a lot of respect for the Brahmas and wish them well.
“Our kids are resilient and they’ll bounce back,” he said. “We’ll start working again, our goals have not changed.”