At the beginning of the season, Coach Jason Herring didn’t mince words: the 2011 team was special, collectively and individually. And each week on the gridiron, they proved him right.
Sophomore quarterback Travis Quintanilla was selected offensive MVP for the state game, AP Player of the Year, first team state quarterback, and this week, Victoria Advocate’s All Area Most Valuable Player of the Year - all divisions.
Also an all-state pick, Cory Brown was the defensive MVP for the state game and Victoria’s All-Around Player of the Year, with Louis Whetsel named Newcomer of the Year.
The Bobcats dominated Victoria’s picks, with John Wesley Shipp, Lynx Hawthorne, Shiloh Whetsel, Draigon Silvas, Donald Trevino, and Jake Heryford all making the All-Area First Team and Justin Padilla and Richard Tuttle chosen for the All-Area Second Team.
The Victoria Advocate also named Herring as the Coach of the Year.
The Bobcats’ sweep of individual honors were a fitting tribute; however, throughout the season, the “studs” as Herring likes to call his starters, were unwavering about staying linked as team players.
All-stater Hawthorne paid tribute to Quintanilla while the young quarterback gave credit to the receivers who gave credit to the linemen.
“We’re all just one part of the chain,” Quintanilla said.
This year’s teams, from seventh grade through the varsity completed what may be the only across-the-board perfect season in the state - if those kinds of records were kept. Quintanilla may also be the only player who has never lost a game as a starting quarterback.
Herring also credits the coaching staff, especially Drew Cox who has been at this side for the past 15 years.
“He is the best there is, no question,” Herring said. “He is the reason we are where we are, and I’m not ashamed to say that.”
The Bobcats now hold the state scoring record, the most appearances in the playoffs, the most point-after touchdown kicks, and the most wins of any 2A team.
So, it’s no wonder to football enthusiasts that the playoff game in Victoria against Poth drew 11,000 spectators, a record for Memorial Stadium.
It’s also no wonder that Herring was chastised by fans and coaches from weaker teams for sticking to his guns and not holding this year’s team back.
Allowing this team to play three full quarters like other state contenders paid off.
The sign in the turf room reads “December football is in our blood.”
The 500 state championship T-shirts sold out in no time proving that Refugio, collectively and individually love the Bobcats.
“Football means so much to this town, people just don’t understand,” Herring said. “It’s everything to this town. I know people will say it’s that way in all the other towns. No, it’s not. Not like it is here. It’s everything.”