ON SPORTS: Refugio quarterback unaffected by coverboy status
June 26, 2013 at 1:26 a.m.
Travis Quintanilla left a lot of fans at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night shaking their heads.
Refugio coach Jason Herring wasn't one of them.
Quintanilla threw for 13 touchdowns to lead the Bobcats to 7-on-7 wins over teams from Victoria West, Victoria East, and Edna.
Herring has seen Quintanilla throw for a state-record 10 touchdown passes in one game, and the spectacular has almost become routine.
"What makes Travis special is he had a lot of success early in his career and sometimes kids like that who have success quit working," Herring said. "It's a tribute to Travis that he's continued to work out."
Herring has been so impressed with Quintanilla's work ethic that he hardly batted an eye when the senior was the Class 2A Coverboy in Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine, which recently hit the newsstands.
"If this kid was going to flake out on us, he would have done it as a sophomore," Herring said. "Here he was in Cowboys Stadium and we were down four times to Cisco and he just led us back. I think if he was going to have a letdown mentally or ego or whatever than I think it would have been after his sophomore year when we were state champs, he's undefeated, and he's the 2A player of the year.
"The coverboy - though it's a great award and it's awesome - I think he'll take it in stride. He understands that he wouldn't have it without the rest of his team."
Quintanilla has tried to set the tone by getting in the weight room, and attending summer conditioning drills after working for the school district moving furniture during the day.
He's also found time to participate in quarterback camps in Austin and Dallas.
"There's really no added pressure," he said. "Don't get me wrong it's an honor to be in the magazine. I just don't let it get to me."
Herring has seen a change in Quintanilla from his sophomore season when he led the Bobcats to the Class 2A, Divisiion II state championship.
The quarterback has grown from 5-foot-9, 160 pounds to 5-11 and 185 pounds.
"He comes to all the summer stuff," Herring said. "He's constantly in the weight room and he's probably put on 20 pounds of muscle. He's definitely thicker. Obviously, he's smarter and he's got more experience."
Quintanilla calmly directed the Refugio offense during the 7 on 7 tournament.
He adeptly mixed short routes and deep passes to receivers Devon LaFrance, Tyler Castellano, Dana Franklin, Isaiah Perez, J.B. Brown, Marquise Brown, Cameron Loveday, James Durst, Jaylon Mascorro, and Kobe Green.
Quintanilla has worked with Refugio assistant Cameron Cox on his throwing motion. Quintanilla is throwing more over the top, which combined with his arm strength, make his passes even more precise.
"I've worked out more on my technique," Quintanilla said. "Coach Cam, he's made a big deal about that. It's really helped me a lot."
Quintanilla had not lost a game as a starter from the time he put on a Refugio uniform in seventh grade until the Bobcats were defeated 54-23 by eventual state champion East Bernard in last season's quarterfinals.
Texas Football ranks East Bernard and Refugio 1-2 in its preseason poll.
The Bobcats have only three starters returning on offense, and must replace all but one of their offensive linemen.
"It's going to be totally different," Quintanilla said. "The last couple of years I had the best line in the state. I could sit back there for 6 seconds and just wait for somebody to get open. This year's going to be a little more jumpy and fast, and we're going to have to run a little more play action to get them confused."
Whatever play Refugio runs will have a chance for success as long as Quintanilla is taking snaps.
"He's working hard," Herring said. "Instead of just being satisfied, he's trying to take it to the next level and I'm real proud of him."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or email@example.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.