Refugio did not play a single home game last season.
But the structural damage at Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium has been repaired and once District 15-2A, Division I play arrives, Refugio will play every game on its home turf.
“It’s going to be awesome,” said Refugio coach Jason Herring. “After doing what we did last year, I’m tickled pink about that. I can’t wait. Our kids are fired up.”
The Bobcats enter the season ranked No. 1 in the state poll, and are likely to dominate the district as they did last season.
“We want to try and maintain and even keep improving and not take anything for granted,” Herring said. “We want to make sure we’re still sharp in everything.”
Kenedy has made the playoffs in the two seasons since Shawn Alvarez took over as head coach.
The Lions have an opportunity to continue their progress with a large senior class.
“We’ve talked to our kids and our seniors,” Alvarez said. “We’ve been able to build some sort of culture in terms of expectations. I think early on it was more of let’s try to and now it’s to where it’s expected to win. Our kids have really bought into that.”
Bloomington will have to overcome a lack of depth to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
“We ‘ve got to do a better job of running the ball,” said Bloomington coach Chris Horn. “We didn’t do a very good job of running the ball last year. We’ve got to play some better defense that’s for sure. We’ve got low numbers so we’ve got to stay healthy and keep the kids in shape.”
Refugio outscored its district opponents 208-14 last season, but Kenedy, Three Rivers and Freer advanced to the playoffs and won their bi-district game.
“Three Rivers for the most part has been traditionally good for a long time,” Alvarez said. “Freer lost some good players, but back in the day, they were really good. You can’t ever count a Freer team out. Besides Refugio, nobody is a world beater. I think you have to play hard every night.”