Refugio's Herring faces former team in quarterfinal
Nov. 30, 2011 at 5:30 a.m.
REFUGIO - One of the people David Sine consulted before leaving Flatonia to become the head football coach at Sonora in 2009 was Refugio coach Jason Herring.
Herring coached at Sonora for nine seasons, seven as the head coach compiling a 63-24 record and leading the Broncos to the Class 2A, Division I state championship in 2000.
"I appreciate coach Herring for being very up front and honest with me," Sine said. "He told me they had great kids who would do anything for you. It was a good situation for my family and me and I appreciate him for shooting straight with me."
Herring isn't surprised with the success Sine has had in his three seasons at Sonora, which he equates to the success he's enjoyed during his five seasons at Refugio.
"I think they've won five championships in Sonora so it's a football town," Herring said. "It's a lot like this place. Lots of tradition and lots of pride. One thing I loved about Sonora just like I love here and most football towns are like this when the lights come on it's a business. They're going to play you for four quarters as hard as they can and they're going to strike you."
Refugio (12-0) and Sonora (12-0) are in the running for a Class 2A, Division II state championship again this season, and the teams will meet head on in a quarterfinal game Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio.
"I was shocked two years ago when realignment came out and I saw it," Herring said. "We knew there was a chance if Sonora made it because we ended up in the same region.
"Last year, we thought it was going to happen and it just didn't work out. This year, it worked out and here we are."
Herring is familiar with the players and the coaches at Sonora.
Assistants Drew Cox, Stephen Boxell and Donald Patton came to Refugio with Herring, but six coaches from his staff are still in Sonora.
"Those seniors were my seventh graders and we went undefeated and won the district championship," Herring said. "If you've paid attention to how I am with these kids, I was real active with the elementary so I know all of them. I'm tickled pink. I think coach Sine's done a great job. I'm extremely happy for the Broncos. I spent nine years of my life there and raised a kid there. There's not any revenge factor."
Herring has done his best to play down the personal angle with his players.
He's tried to get them to focus on the opportunity to advance to the semifinals for the third straight season.
"If I could pick, I would probably rather play somebody else just so the drama's not there," Herring said. "Really, all I'm worried about is it's a quarterfinal football game and a step to the semis. I would rather the game be about that and not any extracurricular."
The Bobcats are aware of what's at stake, but they know how much a win would mean to their coach.
"It's personal to him," said wide receiver Lynx Hawthorne. "When it's personal to him, it makes it personal to everybody else. If I was playing my old town, I'd expect him to take it personal the way I would. We're one team and we're going to do everything we can to put on a show for his old hometown."