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Hallettsville talking district championship as season nears

Aug. 28, 2012 at 3:28 a.m.

Hallettsville head coach Tommy Psencik gathers his team  during practice at Brahma Memorial Stadium.   The Brahmas open the season at home against Ganado on Friday.

If you go

Ganado Indians vs. Hallettsville BrahmasFriday, 7:30 p.m.Brahma Memorial Stadium in HallettsvilleLast meeting; Ganado won 32-7 in 2011Last season: Ganado went 11-1 and made it to the Class 1A, Division I regional playoffs. Hallettsville went 7-6 and made it to the Class 2A, Division I regional playoffs.

HALLETTSVILLE - Talk is cheap.

They are well aware of that in Hallettsville. It's why the Brahams are trying to put in the sweat equity to make all the preseason predictions more than just talk.

Hallettsville returns 11 starters from a team that surprised many, by advancing to the Class 2A, Division I regional playoffs last year. At one point last year Tommy Psencik's team was 2-5, before a 51-14 romp over Van Vleck started the Brahmas' season.

They rallied to win their final three regular season games to earn a playoff spot, Eventual state finalist and district foe Hempstead ended their playoff run after three rounds.

"You can't listen to what anyone else is (saying)," said senior center Will Wallace. "Last year is last year, and you're starting with a new slate. You have to get everything going again."

There will be plenty of new faces this year, in a program expected to advance out of District 14-2A, Division I.

Then again, last year, the Brahmas were picked to finish fourth. Rice Consolidated was picked to win it. The Brahmas qualified the playoffs, the Raiders missed the playoffs and Hempstead made the state finals.

Head coach Tommy Psencik said he hasn't read Dave Campbell's Texas Football, a magazine that picked his Brahmas to finish second. He doesn't look at stats and projections because he wants his team to prove it on the field. That, however, hasn't stopped his players from reading their preseason press clippings.

"What it does is it forces your team to show maturity," Psencik. "If you are an immature team, then you are going to believe all that hype and stuff about being good, stick your chest out and not do anything to show it when it comes time."

Among the coach's biggest concerns is finding boys to step up and fill leadership roles.

Sophomore Nate Kowalik will be the starting quarterback. Troy Murphy, Quinton Wright and Teidrick Smith form the core of a defensive line, which will be the most experienced area on that side of the football.

Wallace said the three defensive linemen - all of whom also play offense - have become some of the leaders of the 2012 team, along with senior wide receiver Carson Schindler and junior offensive lineman Kyle Leopold.

After one practice, without any prodding from coaches, Kowalik and Schindler were spotted working on various routes. Everything from a curl, to a fade, to a deep cross were part of the 20-minute throwing session.

In practices, the Brahmas openly talk of a winning "championship." Whether, it's a district championship, or something more prestigious, remains to be seen.

Psencik, who enters his third year at Hallettsville, said the keys to those aspirations will be becoming a physical football team, and finding a way to run the football.

"We have to believe that through hard work good things will happen," Psencik said. "We have to believe in that stuff. You can't just talk about being a champion. You have to believe that the hard work is going to get you to that championship."

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