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Hallettsville senior hopes to repeat baseball team's long run (w/video)

Keldy  Ortiz

By Keldy Ortiz
Nov. 28, 2013 at 5:28 a.m.

Hallettsville quarterback Nate Kowalik, left, hands off the ball to running back Justin Reeves during Tuesday's practice on the baseball field at the Hallettsville City Park. Hallettsville will take on McGregor on  Friday night in Manor in a Class 2A, Division I regional playoff game.

HALLETTSVILLE - Playing football after Thanksgiving has become the norm for Hallettsville senior Justin Reeves.

Hallettsville (12-0) made it to the Class 2A, Division I quarterfinals last season against Cameron Yoe and lost.

In 2011, the Brahmas lost to Hempstead in the regional round.

Reeves wants this season to last longer.

"There's so many teams that are going into basketball right now," Reeves said. "There's only so many teams left right now in football. It gives you a good feeling to know that your team is one of the better teams in the state of Texas."

The Brahmas hope to make make it to a second straight quarterfinal round when they play McGregor (11-1) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Manor Mustang Stadium.

For Reeves, having success at Hallettsville has become common not just in football. In the spring, the Brahmas won their third state baseball title, their first since 1997.

"It really motivates you. Once you go far in one sport, win a state championship, it makes you want another one," Reeves said. "Even though you're going in another sport, you still want to do your best."

Hallettsville head football coach Tommy Psencik has seen the Brahmas success since taking over as the athletic director four years ago.

"The whole culture of football has changed in the last four years as far as putting Hallettsville back on the map in football," Psencik said. "The kids have gone toward all sports to make all sports successful."

Reeves has led by example. He's a three-year varsity player in football and in baseball.

In football, he's played on fourth-down situations and has gotten the yards needed to get the Brahmas in position to score. But sophomore Kaden Hardt is the team's primary running back.

That doesn't stop Hardt from getting tips from an upperclassmen.

"He's a great leader, Justin is," Hardt said. "He'll tell you to your face if there's something wrong. I ask him for pointers and stuff, mostly on defense and offense."

Psencik uses Reeves primarily at linebacker but doesn't mind using him on offense when needed.

"Justin's a very unselfish player," Psencik said. "He wants to make tackles. That's the only thing he's selfish about is he wants to be in on tackles. That's a good thing. He's probably averaging right around 15 tackles a game. He's all over the field, sideline to sideline."

Though the Brahmas have not faced McGregor before, Reeves has looked at the season-ending loss to eventual state champion Cameron Yoe last year to learn from mistakes.

"There was a bunch of big things that killed us against Cameron," Reeves said.

But that was last season, and Psencik believes the team can improve.

"Catch another gear," Psencik said. "I think that's what the playoffs is all about. Not only just playing normally, your normal improvement, but you want to see people step up that may have not been a regular starter. That's when big differences are made."

The Brahmas have not won a state title in football. Reeves already has a one in baseball and would like to add one in football.

"Baseball and football are my two favorite sports," Reeves said. "I love them equally. To win one in baseball and to get one now in football would mean the world to us."



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