Shiner lost 22 seniors from its undefeated, state championship team.
But the Comanches enter the season ranked No. 2 in the state and the favorite to claim the District 13-2A, Division I title.
“Obviously, Shiner is still the class of the district until someone proves otherwise,” said Weimar coach Ryan McIver. “Everyone else is fighting it out for second through fifth.”
Shiner appears to have the firepower to make another playoff run, but doesn’t expect to dominate like it did last season.
“Everybody is going to be improved,” said Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker. “A lot of the teams were young last year and were good football teams and I expect them to be better. We have to be able to condition ourselves in non-district to get ready for district. We have to be ready to play four quarters of football because that’s what we’re definitely anticipating.”
Shiner was the only team to make it through district play unscathed last season, and the scenario could repeat itself this season.
“I personally like it that way,” said Ganado coach Brent Bennett, whose team finished second last season. “You aren’t afforded the opportunity to take a week off. But the competitor in me likes that we’ve got to get the game film and get the game plan in and achieve that week. We consistently try to raise the bar. We figure out where we are today and try to move the bar tomorrow.”
Flatonia returns a number of starters and has loaded up its non-district schedule with Mart, Falls City and Tidehaven to prepare for district play.
“We play a pretty stout non-district schedule that gets your kids ready,” said Flatonia coach Chris Freytag. “It gets them up to the speed of the game and gets them up to play at that level and that’s what you have to do in this district.”
Schulenburg lost to Ganado by seven points and played Shiner closer than any other team in the district, but failed to make the playoffs by virtue of the district’s points formula.
“I came in and COVID hit so the biggest thing with us is we got to have an offseason,” said second-year Schulenburg coach Walt Brock. “We’ve got some running backs and skill positions that are returning. We have to stay injury free. You have to keep everybody healthy in this district.”