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Bobcats break losing streak

Aug. 29, 2011 at 3:29 a.m.

The Bloomington Bobcats  practice on a very hot Monday afternoon.  The team is looking for its best start since 2007.

BLOOMINGTON - Senior Drae Castro wasn't making any predictions going into Bloomington's season opener against Woodsboro, but he had positive feeling.

"I wasn't sure we would win," Castro said. "I knew that we were going to put up a fight because we've gotten way better than last year."

Bloomington prevailed 6-0 to snap a 16-game losing streak.

Castro hopes the win is a sign of better days ahead for a program that hasn't been to the playoffs since 1999.

"People say it's surprising that we won," Castro said. "I tell them we've gotten better."

Castro attributes much of the Bobcats' improvement to head coach Randy Perez and his staff.

Perez is only the second Bloomington coach in the last 10 years to return for a second season. Four assistant coaches are also back from last season.

"I don't know if the turnaround is there yet," cautioned Perez, who came to Bloomington from Corpus Christi Ray. "We've got a little ways to go. The kids' attitude is a whole lot better. There's optimism there and there's hope and I didn't see that last year."

The number of players in the program has increased to around 50, which allows Perez to field a junior varsity team.

The Bobcats also have a new field house, which includes a weight room, training room, and locker rooms.

"I think what it represents is the community wants these kids to be successful," Perez said. "They were willing to build that for them."

Perez admits the Bobcats were the beneficiaries of some good fortune against Woodsboro.

The Eagles turned the ball over six times. But Bloomington also stopped Woodsboro five times on fourth down.

"I was very proud of our kids," Perez said. "Just to see the kids overcome adversity was a great thing. That was one thing the coaching staff wanted to see was how well these kids handled adversity."

Adversity has been a common theme for the Bobcats, who haven't had a winning season since 1998.

"All of the coaches before me worked on fundamentals," Perez said. "It was beyond the fundamental part of the problem and I'm not saying that we've fixed that 100 percent.

"I'm just saying there's been some consistency here for a second year where there hadn't been in a long time and I think that goes into the optimism and hope of these kids."

The Bobcats have already turned their attention to this week's game at Nixon-Smiley. The Mustangs defeated Flatonia 36-33.

Bloomington will play at Flatonia on Sept. 9 before opening District 15-2A, Division II play on Sept. 23 at Schulenburg.

Bloomington last started a season 3-0 in 2007, and the Bobcats don't need to be reminded they haven't won a district game since 2002.

"I'm just going to keep working with my teammates," Castro said. "It's getting better. The people that we have, it's been steady. We want to win as many games as possible."

Fresh start

Four Advocate-area head coaches made successful debuts in Zero Week.

Brad Wright led Wharton to a 29-25 win over Brookshire Royal. The Tigers won their season opener for the first time since 2003.

Shane Lothman was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach at Industrial after last season and directed the Cobras to a 20-7 win at Shiner.

Ken Wallace took over at Runge in the spring and the Yellowjackets beat San Antonio Brooks 14-8.

Paul Johnston became the head coach at Shiner St. Paul less than a week before two-a-days began, but the Cardinals opened the season with a 28-24 win over Pettus to stretch their winning streak to 15 games.

Lions stop streak

Kenedy had lost 11 straight games to Karnes County rival Karnes City before capturing a 13-12 win on Friday.

Kenedy running back Deon Mayberry rushed for 193 yards and a touchdown.

The Lions last win over the Badgers was a 16-13 decision when the teams were District 31-2A opponents in 1999.

Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361- 580-6588 or mforman@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.

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