KARNES COUNTY – Football addicts, or maybe fanatics would be a better description, are straining at the bit as the annual first part of August comes around. It means football practices begin and the games are soon to begin.
The Falls City Beavers (14-1) are looking for another trip to the state finals, having just missed last year with a loss in the semifinal round to eventual state champ Mart. The Beavers, under head coach Britt Hart will have to find a replacement for four-year starter Keyshawn Johnson at quarterback but senior Brad Lyssy moves over from running back to guide the offense.
The Beavers are ranked second in the state in Class 2A football, Division II.
The Runge Yellowjackets finished 3-8 last year and made the bi-district finals. Head coach Abraham Vargas will have seven returnees on both offense and defense to bolster the Yellowjacket chances this year. Numbers, as always, will be a problem for the Runge boys who can ill afford an injury to front line players.
“Our first week of practice was pretty good considering the heat. We have 22 kids that have come out for football. Our kids understand what our expectations are for the season. Having some players with experience really helps set the tone for our practices each day,” Vargas said.
The Kenedy Lions (0-10) had a rough year last year but are now under the tutelage of first-year head coach Shawn Alvarez, who came over from a state champion Cuero squad.
“I really like what I am seeing. The guys are young and inexperienced but they are working hard and have worked hard all summer. They are improving every day,” Alvarez said.
The Karnes City Badgers are under head coach James Wood and will be looking to rebound from a 1-9 season. With eight players back on offense and nine on defense, the Badgers should be improved. Their lone win came against county rival Kenedy. It will be the 101st meeting between the two teams when they face off on the opening night of football this year, Aug. 30.
“First week of practice went very good. Kids came in and really got after it. Getting them accustomed to the afternoon heat, and then we went full contact on Saturday. Have a good number of kids out,” said Wood.