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Bobcats go through final walk-through before state championship

By MIKE FORMAN
Dec. 16, 2011 at 6:16 a.m.

Refugio head coach Jason Herring leads his team in their final practice of the season Thursday at Grand Prairie High School before taking on Cisco High School in the state title game. He encouraged the team to stay focus and follow through on the hard work they've done this season.  ANGELI WRIGHT/AWRIGHT@VICAD.COM

GRAND PRAIRIE - The pressure of playing in a state championship game doesn't seem to faze Travis Quintanilla.

Refugio's sophomore quarterback sat calmly listening to rap music on his headphones in the Colonel James Almand Student Activity Center at Grand Prairie High School while the defense went through its final walkthrough for Friday's Class 2A, Division II state final.

"My butterflies aren't starting," Quintanilla said. "Not yet. They'll probably start 12 o'clock, whenever we start the first down. I don't think about it until the time is here. I just zone out until then."

The Bobcats (14-0) showed no signs of fatigue after a long bus ride as they prepared to meet Cisco (14-0) at noon at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

"Today we ran the plays that we're going to see and we were just making sure we were polished," said senior running back Shiloh Whetsel. "What we're fixing to do is crazy. I can't wait."

Refugio coach Jason Herring was pleased with the business-like attitude of his team.

"Typically our walk-throughs are indicative of how we're going to play," Herring said. "It was a typical walk-through, our kids were very focused. You're going to make one or two mistakes because they're 17-year-old kids. I think we just ran off 120 plays and basically ran 118 of them perfect so I'm pretty pleased with those odds."

The Bobcats ate dinner after practice and watched the first half of the Class 2A, Division I championship game before returning to their hotel.

"There's not going to be much sleep probably," said senior wide receiver Lynx Hawthorne. "It's definitely going to be visualizing yourself out there. Making sure everything we went over for the last week is going to be perfect. Honestly, it's all about perfection, that's why we're polishing up right now."

Refugio will be making its first state final appearance since 1987 and is seeking its first state title since 1982.

"I feel real good about it," Herring said. "Our kids are hungry. They know it's their last game of the season. The seniors are trying to win one for Donald's (Trevino) mom. It's the state championship the first time in 30 years. There's so much to play for. I feel like our kids are going to play lights out."

The Bobcats had six hours to think about winning a state championship on the trip up, and hope to celebrate a title on the ride back.

"Bus rides are never fun, but bus rides to state championships are a little different," Hawthorne said. "You've really got something to get on that bus for. We've been talking about this bus ride since week one and coach Herring has been preaching about the bus coming through town and if we'll have our ticket.

"We've got that much of the process done, the next step is winning it and that will really determine what the bus ride home will be like."

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