San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 25th, 2008
Rattlers to begin tough district football schedule

STAFF REPORT

You’ll hear lots through the fall that District 27-4A is the toughest Class 4A district in Texas high school football. You’ll also hear no complaints about it from San Marcos head coach Steve Van Nest.

Van Nest, who is always willing to schedule a tough game, picked up a slate of them when the University Interscholastic League (UIL) put the Rattlers into District 27-4A. It begins Friday night, when the Rattlers go to Cibolo Steele for the first of seven league tussles.

During the non-district portion of the season, District 27-4A teams went 18-7, including 3-0 starts for Steele, Boerne Champion and Schertz Clemens. Kerrville Tivy, New Braunfels Canyon and San Marcos all began 2-1.

The Rattlers have never played Steele, who went three rounds into the playoffs with an 11-2 record last year, it’s second season of varsity football. The Knights have benefited from high school districting decisions made by the Schertz Cibolo Universal City ISD, which zoned a healthy batch of athletes towards the new school and away from traditional power Schertz Clemens.

Beyond that, Steele plays sound football.

“You have to have a philosophy,” Steele head coach Mike Jinks said. “We’re going to play defense and run the football.”

They play defense with a unit that returned only four starters from last year’s dominant unit. In three games, the Knights have allowed only 32 points.

They run the ball with Malcom Brown, a sophomore who debuted last year with a game-breaking performance at Hays in the regular season finale to push Steele into the playoffs. Brown already has carried for 548 yards this season.

Following a 35-6 loss at Waco to open the season, San Marcos has bounced back with two victories, including a 41-13 win in Lampasas on Sept. 12, its last game.

During the week, Van Nest made a change in the coaching staff, promoting running backs coach Jason Pape to offensive coordinator/first assistant coach and moving Paul Kilby from Pape’s new position to running backs coach.

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