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Bears set sights high this season

 
Bears set sights high this season
ROBERT C. McDONALD — A Bear receiver looks in a pass during a morning workout in La Vernia. The Bears will begin their 2014 quest for a state title this Friday, Aug. 29, as the team travels to Wimberley to face the Texans.

After making a great run all the way to the state quarterfinals, the 2013 season ended with some measure of disappointment for the La Vernia Bear football team. This year, the Bears are working hard to take that next step, and to hopefully compete for a state title.

La Vernia lost several key players to graduation in the spring, but do return a number of players from last season’s roster, including 17 starters. The Bears have nine guys back on offense, and eight are back on the defensive side of things. The team is loaded with talent, and Head Coach Bro Robinson said his guys are working harder than ever before.

Robinson said the team isn’t planning any major changes for 2014, and that it will just keep working hard to get better at what it does. A new coach did join the staff in La Vernia, though, and Robinson is thrilled to have Coach Pete Gibbens on staff.

“He was over in the Jud-son school district for 20-something years,” Robinson said. “He was at Judson, and then Wagner. He is a great coach and is going to make us a better team.”

While the goal remains to win a state title, the Bears can’t look too far down the calendar. The team starts the year against several very strong non-district teams -- many of which made deep playoff runs last year.

The Bears start the season this Friday with Wimberley, a team they defeated twice last year. La Vernia and Wimberley have formed a good rivalry over the last several years, and nothing will come easy in that game. From there, the Bears host the Port Lavaca Calhoun Sandcrabs. Port Lavaca was La Vernia’s only regular-season loss in 2013, and the Bears will undoubtedly have that game in the back of their minds. The Bears will play La Grange on Sept. 12, and then enjoy a bye week before hosting Sinton -- the team that bounced La Vernia from the playoffs by winning the Region IV title. The Bears wrap up their non-district schedule at home against Navarro.

When district starts up on Oct. 10, things won’t get any easier for La Vernia. Playing in District 15-4A D1, the Bears will face the teams from Beeville Jones, Gonzales, Pleasanton, Robstown, and Rockport-Fulton.

“It is the toughest schedule we have had since I’ve been in La Vernia,” Robinson said. “The last time I had a schedule this tough was when my kids played for the state title two years in a row at Bangs.”

For the Bears to repeat, or hopefully exceed, their success from last year, Robinson believes it’s going to take several things, including some luck, hard work, and good health.

Robinson said he also believes a natural team chemistry is important for a truly successful team. He said that when the kids genuinely enjoy being around each other, and are like a family, it makes the long season much better, and keeps everyone working hard. He admits that not all teams are like that, but feels that the 2014 Bears do have the connection.

The Bears will travel to Wimberley this Friday, Aug. 29, to open their 2014 season with the Texans. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

 
 
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