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Date Topic Contributor Sport
10/05/1999  District mark on line for Schulenburg www.thevictoriaadvocate.com  Football


District mark on line for Schulenburg

Tuesday, October 5, 1999

Mike Forman of the Victoria Advocate

In the past five weeks, Schulenburg has been blown out by five touchdowns; had 15 players suspended for one game for a violation of team rules as the result of alcohol consumption; lost a game by forfeit; had its starting running back leave the team during halftime of a game; lost to a county rival for the first time since 1988 and had one of its two quarterbacks transfer to another school.

Given the above, Schulenburg's first 0-5 start since 1976 might be understandable. But not in Schulenburg.

Schulenburg is among a handful of Texas schools to have won more than a 100 games (103) in the 1990s.

The Shorthorns won Class 2A state championships in 1991 and '92 and advanced to the state final in 1994.

"I definitely think there is pressure on the kids," said Schulenburg coach Don Wild. "There's pressure from themselves, from me and the coaches and from the people in town."

The pressure will only intensify this week as the Shorthorns prepare to begin District 28-2A play Friday night against Weimar in Schulenburg.

Schulenburg will carry a 45-game district winning streak into the game. The Shorthorns have not lost a district game in the '90s and have the opportunity to enter the state record book.

A victory over Weimar will tie the Class 2A record for consecutive district wins accomplished by Sonora from 1965 through 1972.

If Schulenburg, which dropped a 34-20 decision to Manor on Nov. 10, 1989, can go through district undefeated, it will become the first team in state history to go an entire decade without losing a district game.

"We thought we were a lot better team than we've been," Wild said. "The team has been through a lot of adversity. Now, it's for real. We've got to step it up."

The 0-5 start has been difficult for the players.

"We know what we've got to do," said senior Mike Davis, "I just think we get a little nervous."

Davis doesn't think the off-the-field distractions have led to the problems on the field.

"If anything, it's brought us closer together as a team," said Davis, whose two older brothers played football at Schulenburg. "I don't know exactly what it is. But we know it's time and we're better than we've played."

Weimar coach Alan Witte agrees it would be a mistake to write off the Shorthorns.

"They've been 1-4 and 2-3 going into district before and nobody's knocked them off yet," Witte said. "They know they've got a streak going and the pressure is on them to keep the streak alive."

Weimar will be trying to end a streak of its own. The Wildcats have lost 13 straight to Schulenburg since capturing a 14-12 decision in 1985.

"It's always a big game for both communities," Witte said. "But I think it's been a while since our kids felt like they had a chance to win."

The reason teams feel like they have a chance to beat the Shorthorns this season is obvious. Schulenburg has had major problems on offense, scoring a total of three touchdowns in four games.

"We just can't seem to get the offense to score points for us," Wild said. "We played a good game against Rice (Consolidated, a 12-6 loss in overtime) last week. We went to a power-I to slow down the game and control the ball. We just didn't put the ball in the end zone like we needed to."

Schulenburg has been able to do what it needed to do 45 consecutive times in district play in the 1990s.

Even with all the distractions, Wild thinks the Shorthorns have the potential to do it five times this season.

"We've just tried to remember we have 19 kids who care about what's going on," Wild said. "We just need to concentrate on the kids who really care and put the past behind us."