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2014 Fall Sports Preview: Bears working hard to achieve new heights
ROBERT C. MCDONALD —
La Vernia special teams players work on their kicking game to start the Bears’ Aug. 16 scrimmage with Floresville.
LA VERNIA -- They made a good run in 2013, but came up short in the state quarterfinals. This year, the La Vernia Bear football team is looking to take that next step, and hopefully win it all.
The Bears lost some big-time players to graduation, but still return a healthy portion of their roster, including 17 starters. With nine of 11 back on the offensive side of things, and eight back on defense, La Vernia is far from being in the middle of any sort of “rebuilding phase.” The team is loaded with talent, and is working harder than it ever has before.
Head Coach Bo Robinson said his Bears aren’t planning any major changes for 2014, and that they will just work hard to get better at what they do. A new coach did join the staff in La Vernia, though, and Robinson is thrilled to have Coach Pete Gibbens on staff.
“He was over in the Judson school district for 20-something years,” Robinson said. “He was at Judson, and then Wagner. He is a great coach and is going to make us a better team.”
While the goal remains to win a state title, the Bears can’t look too far down the calendar. The team starts the year against several very strong non-district teams -- many of which made deep playoff runs last year.
The Bears start the season with Wimberley, a team they defeated twice last year. The Bears and Texans have formed a good rivalry over the last several years, and nothing will come easy in that game. From there, the Bears host the Port Lavaca Calhoun Sandcrabs. Port Lavaca was La Vernia’s only regular-season loss in 2013, and the Bears will undoubtedly have that game in the back of their minds. The Bears will play La Grange on Sept. 12, and then enjoy a bye week before hosting Sinton -- the team that bounced La Vernia from the playoffs by winning the Region IV title. The Bears wrap up their non-district schedule at home against Navarro.
Robinson said that if his team is healthy when they are entering district play, then he will consider the non-district phase a success.
When district starts up on Oct. 10, things won’t get any easier for La Vernia. Playing in District 15-4A D1, the Bears will face the teams from Beeville Jones, Gonzales, Pleasanton, Robstown, and Rockport-Fulton.
“It is the toughest schedule we have had since I’ve been in La Vernia,” Robinson said. “The last time I had a schedule this tough was when my kids played for the state title two years in a row at Bangs.”
The schedule didn’t happen by accident, though, and Robinson freely admits he sought out the toughest schedule he could put together for the Bears.
“Easy wins and teams don’t make you any better,” Robinson said.
For the Bears to repeat, or hopefully exceed, their success from last year, Robinson believes it’s going to take several things.
“Well, it’s going to take a little bit of luck,” he said. “We also have to stay healthy, and to get better every week. We have to be willing to practice well into the season. Some guys decide they have had enough and don’t want to practice hard anymore. You won’t make it very far with that attitude, though.”
Robinson said he also believes a natural team chemistry is important for a truly successful team. He said that when the kids genuinely enjoy being around each other, and are like a family, it makes the long season much better, and keeps everyone working hard. He admits that not all teams are like that, but feels that the 2014 Bears do have the connection.
“Those teams that are like a family are more successful,” he said. “Those kids will still be playing football when there are Christmas carols on the radio.
“The kids are excited, and ready to play,” Robinson said. “They have worked harder during the summer than any other group I have had. Lots of kids showed up. They have the expectations to be really good.”
The Bears will travel to Wimberley this Friday, Sept. 29, to open their 2014 season with the Texans. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
La Vernia Bears Football
1 Colton Kubena B 12
2 Cody Martinez B 11
4 Samuel Thompson B 11
5 Justus Parker B 12
7 Colby Skelton QB 12
8 Rusty Story B 12
9 Ricky Utt QB 12
10 Christian Bruce B 11
11 Ethan Dennis B 12
12 Kyle Douglas K 12
14 Kyle Kincaid B 11
15 Gianni Avril K 12
17 Colton Parrish B 12
18 Nathan Muehe B 11
20 Hunter Dennehy B 12
22 Reagan Tucker B 11
23 Trace Venske B 11
25 Karsten Holm B 12
27 Tristan Summy B 12
28 Koby Bullard B 11
35 Tristan Gardner B 12
37 Ben Spaulding B 12
43 Austin Starks B 12
44 Matthew Montgomery B 11
45 Noah Wells B 11
50 Anthony Trevino OL 11
51 Cameron Maha OL 11
52 Esteban Vijil OL 12
54 Christian Guerrero OL 11
56 Blake Wright OL 12
57 Brandon Floores OL 11
58 Joseph Belenski OL 12
62 Tyler Cosentino OL 12
63 Patrick Sullivan OL 12
66 Patrick Goynes OL 12
70 Zach Zaiontz OL 12
71 Luke Moczygemba OL 12
77 Miguel Luna OL 11
82 Nick Simpson E 12
84 Tyler Reinhard E 11
87 Tyler Wenke E 11
88 Noah McMeans E 12
90 Conner Towns E 11
99 Zack Beach E 12
La Vernia Varsity Football Schedule
Aug. 29 Wimberley Away 7:30
Sept. 5 Calhoun Home 7:30
Sept. 12 LaGrange Away 7:30
Sept. 19 Open
Sept. 26 Sinton Home 7:30
Oct. 3 Navarro HC Home 7:30
Oct. 10 Rockport* Home 7:30
Oct. 17 Beeville* Away 7:30
Oct. 24 Gonzales* Home 7:30
Oct. 31 Pleasanton* Away 7:30
Nov. 7 Robstown* Home 7:30
* District Games, HC-Homecoming
La Vernia JV Football
Aug. 28 Wimberley Home 6:30
Sept. 5 Calhoun Away 6:30
Sept. 11 LaGrange Away 7:30
Sept. 18 Open
Sept. 25 Sinton Away 6:30
Oct. 2 Navarro Away 6:30
Oct. 9 Rockport Away 7
Oct. 16 Beeville Home 7
Oct. 23 Gonzales Away 6:30
Oct. 30 Pleasanton Home 6:30
Nov. 6 Robstown Away 6:30
La Vernia 7th Grade Football
Aug. 28 Wimberley Home 5
Sept. 5 Calhoun Away 5
Sept. 11 LaGrange Home 7:30
Sept. 18 Open
Sept. 25 Sinton Away 5
Oct. 2 Navarro Home 5
Oct. 9 Rockport Away 7
Oct. 16 Beeville Home 7
Oct. 23 Gonzales Away 5
Oct. 30 Pleasanton Home 5
Nov. 6 Robstown Away 5
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