Shiner, Refugio fans send off teams (w/video)
For more information about the games, check out Advosports.com or our Sports section in the paper Thursday.
SHINER - Sandra Strauss held her Shiner Comanches poster up high as the football team's charter bus drove by.
"It's all about tradition here," said Strauss, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Shiner Elementary. "Playoffs are part of our lives."
The stretch of pavement outside the campus was lined by Shiner students Wednesday morning wishing their Comanches well at the state finals game.
Strauss' son was on the team last year.
"We're all about being here for each other," Strauss, 54, said.
Strauss, who is also Shiner High School's cheer sponsor, traveled with her squad to Arlington on Wednesday afternoon.
Last year, the Comanches lost the state semifinal game against Mart.
Last week, Shiner defeated Mart and punched its ticket to the state championship for the first time since 2004.
"I call us a Cinderella team," Strauss said. "This team is all about heart."
Jacquis Miller, 11, shouted, "Comanches" from the top of his lungs as the bus rolled by.
"They've worked hard at this," said Jacquis, a sixth-grade student at Shiner.
Kenneth Coleman, 48, was there with his wife, Keisha, to bid their cousin, running back Marcus Coleman, the best of luck.
"This is going to be one of the biggest highlights of his life," Kenneth Coleman said. "Just to be in this spot."
Shiner isn't the only team headed north for the state finals.
The Refugio Bobcats will be playing for their fourth state championship.
Jack Gaskins has been the Refugio school district superintendent for the past five years.
"The entire season has been a real thrill," said Gaskins, 51. "We're a young team this year, younger than I think we've ever been."
Raquel Flores, a teaching assistant at Refugio Elementary, shed a few tears Wednesday morning after saying goodbye to her son, Travis Quintanilla, Refugio's senior quarterback.
"It was the last time that I'd be able to walk my son to the charter bus for a high school football game," said Flores, 42. "I feel good now; the sadness has passed."
Refugio County Judge Rene Mascorro's family spent Wednesday evening decorating their car for the drive to Arlington to see their son, sophomore Christian Mascorro, play in the state championship.
Rene Mascorro, a former Refugio Bobcat, reached the state championship as a sophomore in 1987.
"It was pretty surreal when it hit me this morning," said Mascorro, 41. "I told him to give it everything he's got."