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Refugio ready to begin defense of state title


Aug. 5, 2012 at 3:05 a.m.

Refugio head coach Jason Herring made sure to encourage each player during the weightlifting session. Herring also personally thanked every student for coming to the optional summer conditioning program.

REFUGIO - Jack Gumm has a message for his Refugio teammates before they take the field Monday for the first time since winning the Class 2A, Division II state championship last season.

"You've just got to know in your mind that if you don't give it your all every day, you're going to get beat," the senior linebacker said. "You've got to put that behind you. It doesn't matter what you did last year. It matters what you're going to do this year. You've got to keep reminding yourself about that."

Refugio coach Jason Herring will make sure Gumm's message gets through to the Bobcats, who went 15-0 last season to win the school's third state title.

"We're rated preseason No. 1," he said. "We've got 6 and 6 back. We didn't lose a game at any level. Everything looks like there's a chance we can make another run, but all of that is stuff that has already happened. This team, the 2012 Bobcats really haven't done anything."

The Bobcats and other teams around the state begin workouts facing new restrictions implemented by the University Interscholastic League on the time they can spend on the field.

"We've always tried to use common sense and use it to motivate our kids," Herring said. "For instance, we tell them if they work their rear ends off and have two great practices tomorrow we'll only have one. Or if our morning practice is perfect, in the afternoon we'll just have a walk through. We've been doing that forever. It's really not that much of a change at all."

Herring was pleased with the turnout at summer conditioning drills and hopes for more of the same during preseason practices.

"The team has to come together and become unified and you've got to start bonding," he said. "In an eight-team district, it happens fast. You can't have the nonsense of selfishness. All that garbage has got to be worked out."

The Bobcats have just over three weeks to prepare for their season-opening game at Ingleside.

"We try to use two-a-days and a our first three games to challenge us as much as possible," Herring said. "We try to play the hardest three people we can find every year. We want to use the first three games to No. 1 become a unit, become a family, and No. 2 get as good as we can possible can in those five weeks at executing our base offense."

The Bobcats know they have an opportunity to be just as successful as they were last season.

"Everybody needs to go in with a positive attitude and expecting to do what we did last year," said senior lineman John Wesley Shipp. "I know it's hard and people get lackadaisical, but you've got to keep pushing and hopefully 15 weeks later you're doing what we did last year."



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