REFUGIO – Refugio quarterback Austin Ochoa doesn’t have many personal goals for the upcoming season.

His main focus is on what the Bobcats can achieve.

“I want to go win a state championship,” Ochoa said. “I just have to do what I have to do for the team and the accomplishments come along with it.”

The Bobcats come into the season ranked No. 1 in the state Class 2A, Division I poll.

Refugio held its first practice Monday morning at Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium, and coach Jason Herring was pleased with the execution.

“All we’re trying to do is get their legs underneath them and get our base stuff taught,” Herring said. “We had a real good spring and a real good summer, so we’re way ahead of the game. We’re miles ahead of the first day.”

Herring’s optimism is based in large part on the return of Ochoa, who took over as quarterback at midseason last year, when the Bobcats went back to the spread offense.

“One reason we already look as good as we do is you’ve got Austin back,” Herring said. “He’s had all spring and all summer. He knows the offense. He’s been in the fire before. He does a good job. Having a kid like Austin is a huge, huge blessing.”

Ochoa feels comfortable with the offense, especially with a number of starters returning.

“We want to perfect our offense,” he said. “We need to get our blocks and everybody doing their job. I’m really confident about what we can do this year.”

Refugio’s biggest question mark is on the defensive line, where the Bobcats will build around Daeron Wills.

“We start from scratch,” Herring said. “The very basic fundamentals of our offense and our defense, and we start building on it. It’s just a stepping stone.”

Refugio’s bid for a third straight state final appearance was stopped in the quarterfinals by Mason last season.

The Bobcats are aware the work habits they establish in August will factor into playing through December.

“I feel hungry,” said senior running back/defensive back Naaji Gadsden. “I feel like I’ve got something to prove. I’ve got to show something that they haven’t seen. We have the offense down good. There is no negative energy. Everybody is positive and up the field.”

NOTES: Refugio will not practice Friday so Herring can attend the graduation of his daughter, Kenzie, at Texas A&M.

“We plan on playing until the end of December,” Herring said. “It will be good for the kids to get their legs back under them. It will be one of the last few times we have the weekend off. In the big scheme of things, it comes at a good time.”

The Bobcats will scrimmage Bishop on Aug. 16 at home and go on the road for an Aug. 22 scrimmage against Odem.

Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

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