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Bobcats back on the practice field

By MIKE FORMAN
Aug. 6, 2012 at 3:06 a.m.

Refugio runs through drills during the team's first practice Monday morning.

REFUGIO BOBCATS AT-A-GLANCE

• 2011 Record: 15-0 (2A, Division II state champions), 7-0 district

• Returning starters: QB Travis Quintanilla, RB Draigon Silvas, WR/DB Marcus Thompson, OL John Wesley Shipp, OL/DT Logan Myers, OL Jake Henderson, DE Jim LaFond, LB Jack Gumm, FS J.B. Brown, SS Louie Whetsel, DB Cameron Sternadel.

REFUGIO - John Wesley Shipp spent Monday morning working out in the heat and humidity and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Shipp and his Refugio teammates held their first practice of the 2012 season and the Bobcats took the field as the defending Class 2A, Division II state champions.

"You get most of your summer and when August comes around that's when it's time to slow summer down," the senior offensive lineman said. "You have summer nights, but you've got football during the day. It's a thing a lot of people are used to and they don't really ask too much about it."

The Bobcats concluded last season with a 36-35 win over Cisco in the state championship game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

If Refugio coach Jason Herring had doubts about his team's desire to repeat, they were erased during summer conditioning drills.

"The fact that 80 kids showed up on their own this summer to work out tells me a lot," Herring said. "If you're really, really not driven, those things are easy to skip. What's really impressive is we had 31 of 33 varsity kids make every workout. If that would have dropped off, I would be really uptight. That was a great sign to me."

Herring has warned the Bobcats about becoming complacent and this year's team has adopted the motto of "leave no doubt."

"Don't get satisfied," Shipp said. "A lot of teams who win state once are satisfied. They don't want to try as hard the next year because they already have one. You just try to keep everybody focused and don't stay satisfied."

Herring was pleased with what he witnessed during Monday's practice, which included team and individual drills without pads.

"We try to work on our team chemistry and make sure everybody is in and then just make sure we can get as many fundamentals as we can get," Herring said. "We want to get in shape, get our conditioning down and we want to get the best execution we can at our base fundamental stuff."

The Bobcats have less than three weeks to prepare for their season-opening game against Ingleside and are anxious to get started.

"At first, I thought man we've got a ring and what else could we ask for," said junior quarterback Travis Quintanilla. "But what I want to do is go back again and repeat. That has never been done here."

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