Woodsboro will head south to Falfurrias and Refugio will travel north to Victoria, but both teams have the same goal: a bi-district championship.
Playoff fever has struck football fans in both towns and is evident by each school’s colors.
“This is really great for our county,” said Raul “Pinky” Gonzales, game warden. “I am a Bobcat fan and I am also very happy for Woodsboro. To have both of our football teams in the playoffs is really special and it is a testament to the caliber of students in our county.”
The Eagles will get a second chance at a familiar foe, the Bruni Badgers, in a Class 1A Division 2 contest. Kickoff is set for 7:30 tonight. Bruni defeated the Eagles 22-6 in the second game of the year for both teams. Five turnovers hurt the Eagles and Coach Brad Vickers expects his team to do a better job of protecting the ball this time.
“We will need to eliminate our miscues and take advantage of opportunities,” said Coach Brad Vickers. “We have accomplished another one of our goals and as Dillan (Blaker) said, it is time for us to take that next step. We have played in a lot of close games that will help us and we have to remember to take things one at a time. We appreciate the great support that we have received from our believers and we hope to see our side of the stadium full of green and white.”
The Eagles outrushed the Badgers 271 yards to 249 yards, but the five turnovers proved to be very costly. The “mean green hitting machine” will also be keeping an “Eagle-eye” on Bruni quarterback Daryl Garcia. Garcia was a one-man wrecking crew in the previous game as he ran for one score, threw for two more, intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles. “We will know where Garcia is at all times from the moment he gets off the bus,” added Vickers.
Refugio athletic director Jason Herring said he was proud of the Eagles.
“I’m real happy and proud of those kids,” Herring said. “They’ve been working especially hard. Coach Vickers is a good friend of mine and I wish Brad and the Eagles the best of luck tonight.”
The No. 1-ranked Refugio Bobcats will face the Tidehaven Tigers in a Class 2A Division 2 match that begins at 7 p.m. at Victoria’s Memorial Stadium. The kickoff will be a little earlier than usual.
The Bobcats bring a high-powered offense and a stingy defense to go along with their experience in the playoffs.
“I like our team’s chemistry and I’m real pleased with the way the boys have been playing on offense and defense,” Coach Herring said.
Last week’s lopsided victory over Bloomington provided an opportunity for the Bobcats to work on plays by special teams. The new plays were noticed by fans in the stands. Eric Martinez, known for his deep end-zone kicks, practiced on-side kicks and specially placed kicks last Friday.
“We’ve been constantly working toward the playoffs and special teams are key important elements in the playoffs,” Coach Herring said. “We’re trying to get better at them.”
Jack Sportsman, the voice of the Bobcats for more than 50 years, says he doesn’t think anyone could put an all-star team together in Class 2A and beat the Bobcats this year.
“We have so much talent and these kids are so well coached under Jason Herring and his staff,” Sportsman said. “I’ve watched them get better and better each week.”
The voice of the Bobcats says Coach Herring’s coaching style and personality is also a prime factor in the team’s success.
“They like to play for Coach Herring,” Sportsman said. “The winning tradition is there and to tell you the truth, they’ve spoiled the fans. We’ve gotten used to winning.”
Even so, beating the Bobcats for some teams is like winning the Super Bowl so from here on out, their foes will give the game their best. Sportsman said everybody is out to get the Bobcats.
“This team and the coaches are talented, great, wonderful, excellent and I’m running out of adjectives,” Sportsman said. “I’ll put them as number one. Sitting up there in the press box watching them, I see them executing so well and they don’t make many mistakes.”
Both elements are required to win championships.
The Bobcat team won its 33rd district championship last week, the most of any 2A team in Texas. A state championship has been elusive for the Cats since 1982, though they’ve made numerous runs into the playoffs.
The Bobcats are itching for a perfect season and the fans like Jack Sportsman can just about taste one.