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Bobcats ready for state title game to begin

By MIKE FORMAN
Dec. 18, 2013 at 6:18 a.m.
Updated Dec. 19, 2013 at 6:19 a.m.

Head coach Jason Herring watches his team and calls out instructions at the Refugio practice in Plano. They were running drills in preparation for the State Championsihp game Thursday in Arlington.

CLASS 2A, Division II

• TIME: 8 p.m.

• TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Suddenlink Ch. 96)

PLANO - The wait is the hardest part for Refugio senior J.B. Brown.

The Bobcats (14-1) went through their final practice Wednesday evening at the Plano West indoor facility.

But Brown was ready to take the field at AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the Class 2A, Division II state championship game against Cisco (15-0) on Thursday at 8 p.m.

"I'm waiting on the game," Brown said. "I just want to play. I wish we had already gone to the hotel. I wish we would have practiced already. I wish it was game time, to be honest."

The Bobcats went through their final walk-through for their second state final appearance in three years. Refugio coach Jason Herring liked what he saw from his players.

"I look for them not to be nervous. That's the first thing you worry about is them being uptight," Herring said. "Of course, with this bunch, they don't even know what that word means. I wanted to make sure we weren't too uptight, and I wanted to make sure our focus was there and flawless execution."

Herring has no doubt the Bobcats benefited from their 36-35 win over Cisco in the 2011 championship game.

"I think it's huge because of the awe factor," he said. "Even going to Reliant Stadium last week was really good for us because we got the 'ooh' and the 'awe' out, because it's so overwhelming compared to Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium. Cowboy Stadium and the stage is so awesome, forget that it's the championship game just the stage is so awesome. I think it's good that a bunch of them even if they didn't play have been to the championship game."

Senior Dana Franklin played in the 2011 final and learned from the experience.

"We have to focus really," he said. "We need to stay focused 24/7. No jacking around. Do what our coach tells us to do, make sure we've got all our plays down and go to work."

The Bobcats went to their hotel in Arlington after practice. They went to Chili's for dinner, and watched tape before Herring gave them some free time. They should arrive at AT&T Stadium around 2 p.m. Thursday.

"It's a lot of anxiousness," Franklin said. "It's the sites and getting ready and being here and hopefully, getting a ring."

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