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Date Topic Contributor Sport
08/22/1997  Class 2A/Others www.chron.com  Football


8:49 PM 8/22/1997

Class 2A/Others

As the Hale-Bopp comet streaked across the skies last fall, with millions believing there was a UFO in its tail, an even stranger happening was taking place here on earth.

Schulenburg was bounced from the playoffs in the first round by East Bernard.

It probably will be a long time before another comet gets the publicity that Hale-Bopp got. If Schulenburg has its way, even more time will pass before the Shorthorns make another early exit from postseason play.

"We definitely didn't like to end it that early," said coach David Husmann, "but East Bernard had a lot to do with that. They beat us."

The world has returned to normal this year, as the Shorthorns hold the No. 1 ranking in the Chronicle's Class 2A/others poll.

State finalist Groveton, which edged Schulenburg for the top preseason spot last year, is No. 2, followed by East Bernard.

Here is a look at the area Class 2A district races:

District 22-2A -- East Chambers rolled through the regular season at 10-0 last fall and is the heavy favorite again.

The Buccaneers have an edge at the skill positions with QB Jeremy Chlamons (700 yards passing), RB Jermaine Allen (900 yards rushing) and FB Ted Marshall (700 yards).

Hull-Daisetta, which was hit hard by injuries in a 2-8 season, returns eight offensive starters and nine defensive starters. Hemphill and Deweyville also should challenge for a playoff spot.

District 23-2A -- Groveton coach Don Hill says the district race is wide open, and he managed to say it with a straight face.

Yes, the Indians (15-1)graduated Class 2A Player of the Year Jim Bird and three other all-state performers, but among the veterans returning is RB Chris Spivey, who rushed for 1,678 yards and 22 TDs. Spivey is one of 11 returning starters for the Indians; only one team in the district has fewer.

Elkhart (6-4) returns 16 starters -- eight on each side of the ball. The Elks' offense again will be led by RB Cory Brown (1,460 yards, 20 TDs). New Waverly (6-5) hopes a potent offense (360 yards a game) can provide a return trip to the playoffs.

District 24-2A -- Iola and Somerville are the area squads, but the playoff favorites are Rosebud-Lott, Lexington and Franklin.

Iola was 10-1 in Class A in 1995 but managed just a 5-5 mark against the big boys. Cody Evans, who rushed for 686 yards and 12 TDs and passed for 1,416 yards and 13 scores, runs the offense.

Somerville (2-8) looks for improvement with 12 returning lettermen, including eight starters. Robert Mock picked up 754 yards on the ground and was in on 131 tackles.

District 27-2A -- Schulenburg shoul have its way again, leaving Weimar, Shiner and Bloomington fighting for second place.

The Shorthorns return only seven starters, but they are some good ones. Joel Blansitt threw for 1,188 yards as a sophomore. Clarence Irving and Kurt Kubenka should be his top targets.

Also returning are LB Ryan Kleiber, who led the defense with 132 tackles, and NG Ruben Gilliam.

District 28-2A -- The toughest district in the state last year had three teams -- Ganado, East Bernard and Industrial -- who spent at least a week in the Associated Press Top 10. The same three likely will be there again in 1997.

Ganado (14-1) has won more games (23) in two seasons under coach Monte Althaus than it did in the previous eight seasons (22). East Bernard (11-2) improved from 2-8 a year ago. Marlon Bluntson, the district MVP as a sophomore with 1,294 total yards, returns at QB.

Industrial (8-2) returns six starters each way but must replace QB Ashley Jalufka.

-- JEROME SOLOMON