CUERO – The cold front that blew through South Texas did nothing to deflate spirits at Gobbler Stadium as Cuero prepared to begin postseason play.
The Gobblers (9-1) go into Thursday’s Class 4A, Division II bi-district game against Pearsall (4-6) at San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium riding a wave of momentum after capturing their third straight undefeated district championship.
“We’ve got to stay energetic and looking at the big picture and what we’re working for so we can do what we want to do,” said lineman Scott Olsovsky. “If you don’t have that energy, practice takes forever. If you don’t have a good practice, you play like you practice.”
Cuero’s smallest margin of victory in district play was 36 points, but the Gobblers went through some difficult times to start the season.
Injuries forced Cuero to make a number of position changes, and it needed a last-minute touchdown pass to defeat Bay City before losing to Yoakum.
“Going through adversity made us tougher and made us come together,” said running back Keiran Grant. “Most of the time adversity kills the momentum and hopes for teams. It made us all better, and we clicked and became a unit.”
Cuero is the healthiest it’s been all season entering the playoffs and will get off to an early start in a rare Thursday game.
The Gobblers played a district game against Austin Eastside Memorial on Thursday, but none of Cuero coach Travis Reeve’s teams have played a Thursday postseason game.
“We won’t have to wait around near as long,” Olsovsky said. “It kind of gives us a chance to get our health back and rest up a little bit. We’re not beating up on each other as much. We just have to make sure we’re mentally and physically ready for the game.”
Reeve has seen what his team has accomplished with its physical skills.
The key to making a long run is the Gobblers’ ability to handle the mental obstacles.
“I think that’s one of the greatest challenges of the playoffs,” Reeve said. “If you’re going to win a state championship, you’ve got to play at a high level for six weeks in a row. A lot of the times, it’s the mental challenge that’s even greater than the physical challenge.
“One of the things we have to do a good job of is trying to keep our kids fresh, keep them excited about what we’re doing with what we do during the week of practice, and from a player’s standpoint you’ve got to understand what we’re playing for,” he said. “That’s No. 1 – to win this game this week but also to try and accomplish some big goals that our team has set for itself.”
NOTES: The winner will advance to the area round against the winner of Friday’s Ingleside-Rio Hondo game.