Fall Sports Preview: Bears young, but should compete for district title
La Vernia Head Coach Bo Robinson gives some direction to his young team during a morning workout.
LA VERNIA -- After a slow start to their 2011 football season, the La Vernia Bears were rolling by district, and once again made a good run into the playoffs. Unfortunately, Head Coach Bo Robinson lost over half of his team to graduation in the spring, and will have to bring players along a bit faster this year. Robinson isn’t discouraged, though, and said he feels this year’s team should be as good as the playoff team he put on the field last season.
La Vernia has seven starters returning from last year’s regional playoff team that went 4-2 in District 28-3A, and 7-6 overall. Robinson doesn’t have plans to change anything major, saying the Bears will do “pretty much the same thing” offensively and on defense.
Key players to watch this year include senior Jake Wiatrek at defensive end and fullback, quarterback Vince Gill, Colby Sims and Alec Dews, who both play at cornerback and wide receiver (Dews will handle the kicking duties); Levi Andrews at wide receiver, Landon Richter at running back, Braeden Wegehaupt and Adam Alcorta at linebacker, and Nathan Perez on the offensive line.
As appears to be the theme each year, La Vernia will once again play a difficult non-district schedule, including quality 4A opponents like Medina Valley and Port Lavaca Calhoun. The Bears will also face Canyon Lake, Wimberley, Bandera, and Taylor before settling into their district schedule. In 28-3A play, La Vernia will face Somerset, Sam Houston, Pleasanton, and Poteet. La Vernia’s district opponents will be a little different this year, but Robinson said he is “looking forward to another challenge,” and he believes the district should prove to be quite competitive.
Robinson said his team’s greatest strength lies in the players’ positive attitudes, as well as with the senior leadership his team has on the field this season. As far as a weakness he has identified early on, Robinson said La Vernia’s overall lack of experience and depth is a challenge they will have to overcome. The Bears have a small senior class, but Robinson was reassuring, saying that everyone is working hard to get better.
“We have some young guys that have to grow up fast,” he said. “We have some sophomores who are going to play for us, and they need to be ready to go on Friday nights.
“We will be very similar to last year,” he said of his team’s overall status. “We will probably struggle with a tough schedule early, but should grow from that and be a solid club before the end of the season.”
La Vernia will open its 2012 season with a tough road game in Castroville Friday, Aug. 31, as the Bears take on the Medina Valley Panthers. La Vernia will then return to Bear Stadium for its first home game of the season Friday, Sept. 7, as the Bears take on the Port Lavaca Calhoun Sandcrabs. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.