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ON SPORTS: Shiner looks to continue success in new facility

By Victoria Advocate
Aug. 7, 2013 at 3:07 a.m.

Shiner athletic director and head football coach Steven Cerny hopes the Comanches can add to their run of 14 consecutive playoff appearances when they move into a new field house this season.

Shiner at a glance

Coach: Steven Cerny

Last season: 12-2, 4-0 District 15-1A, Division I

Returning starters: MLB/RB Jacob Stafford, OLB Brian Kloesel, DE/TE Caleb Kalich, OT Tanner Pietsch, OG Joey Overton, OG Nathan Schneider, OT Craig Kneifel, WR Tyler Patek.

SHINER - The old field house at Comanche Stadium is gone but not forgotten.

The building may have been an eyesore but produced its share of memories.

"I remember the time we locked a player in there at halftime," said former Shiner athletic director and head football coach and current assistant Billy Turek. "Our manager locked him in there. He was on the kickoff team, and he was beating on the door. We had 10 men on the field. We had to go back and get him."

Current Shiner athletic director and head football coach Steven Cerny recalls coming to the field for a two-a-day practice and discovering the roof had been blown off during a storm the night before.

"You never knew what was in store for you," Cerny said. "There were some creatures running around. It was a little bit of everything. But it worked. I can't say it didn't. It was definitely time to say goodbye and start something new."

The old field house was not only small in size, but it also had no air conditioning except for wall units in the coaches' office and training room.

Turek said the old facility was built in 1964 when he was a student at Shiner and Calvin Tucker was in his first season as head football coach.

The new facility will include locker rooms for the high school and junior high players, a training room, a laundry room, a weight room for male and female athletes, dressing facilities for the visiting team, and a room for officials.

The facility should be ready for Shiner's home and season opener Aug. 30 against Industrial.

"They're excited and they can't wait," Cerny said of his players. "Not that many of them have walked in and have any idea of what's in store when they go into that locker room. I think there's going to be some surprised faces and some excited looks the first time they go in there."

The new facility was built at a cost of around $1 million. The Shiner school district was able to foot the bill without floating a bond issue.

"Some came from school district funds and other from donations," said Trey Lawrence, superintendent of the Shiner school district. "We feel fortunate that people came forward and obviously the funds we have with the Eagle Ford Shale have helped."

Cerny is hoping to fill the weight room - the only portion of the facility that won't be air conditioned - with new equipment at a cost of $47,000.

The booster club and athletic fundraisers have brought in $19,000 and the school is continuing to raise funds.

"It's the community taking pride and getting by with what you have," Cerny said. "You don't have anything extravagant and even this - the size is great, but it's definitely not over-budgeted and lavish - it's going to be awesome. With the tradition we have I think it's going to be a big step in maybe pushing us to another level."

Shiner has made 14 consecutive football playoff appearances and won state championships as a Class 2A school in 1986, and a Class 1A school in 2004.

The Comanches won the District 15-1A, Division I championship last season and advanced to the semifinals.

Shiner is hoping to welcome the new facility with more of its old success.

"We're going to have a lot of guys that have not had experience on a Friday night and some that did have it are going to be at a new position," Cerny said. "It's definitely going to be a different year for us. We have a lot of changes going on, but I think you'll see the old-style veer for true again.

"We're starting off with something new, but we're going to work with something old again."

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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