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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 29, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas 0    Smithson Valley Football    n Playoff-bound Rangers host East Central in final home game of season.    Mm Time: 7:30 p.m.    |Q New Braunfels tennis After winning district tournament, the Unicorns begin regional play. Information: Time and place to be determined. A' is    ^    SSW* E DAILY K-E-T The Wurst Bowl Canyon visits New Braunfels with first place in the district on the line. Time: 7:30 p.m.Wednesday, October 29, 2003 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A Herald-Zeitung senior cross country runner Jesus Guerra Running to district Unicorns harriers prep for district meet To have your event publicized, contact David Rupkalvis at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e-mai! at [email protected] opens playoffs Saturday The Canyon Cougare-ttes open post-season play with a bi-district match against Austin Travis at 2 p.m. Saturday at Hays High School. The Cougarettes finished second to New Braunfels .in District 25-4A while Travis was third in District 26-4A. With a win Friday, the Cougarettes will advance to the district playoffs. Smithson Valley wins district championship By Jason Chlapek Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO — After a hard-fought match against Southwest, the Smithson Valley volleyball team claimed the District 27-5A Championship Tuesday The Rangers did so in convincing fashion, winning in four games, 25-15,26-24,22-25,25-21. Coach Usa Daigle, filling in for Brian Funk, was happy to walk away with the title. “The kids played great tonight. Coach Funk would be so proud of their effort,” Daigle said. The district championship was also a reward for the Rangers' senior trio of Sydney Teuton, Amber Mueller, and Hannah Werchan. “This is great, we've been through a lot this season," Teuton said. “I just give all glory to God. Without him, none of this would've hap pened." Teuton led the Rangers in digs with 16 and aces with five. Mueller led in assists with 33, and Werchan led in kills with IB and blocks with two. “This is an awesome feeling. We just came out and gave it all we had,” Mueller said. "We needed this match tonight." After coasting to a 25-15 victory in the first game, the Rangers had to fight for their lives in the second frame as Southwest jumped out to an 18-12 lead. Then the Rangers came to life, using a 9-1 run to gain a 21-19 lead. After dropping the third game, 22-25, the Rangers came on strong in the fourth, jumping out to an early 12-9 lead. The Dragons used a 6-1 run to gain a 15-13 lead, which forced Daigle to use a timeout. The strategy worked as the Rangers went on an 11-4 spurt to gain a 24-19 lead. A Dragons serve into the net on match point was followed by a huge celebration on the Smithson Valley side of the court. Smithson Valley finished district play with a 9-1 record and the Rangers receive a first round bye before playing someone from District 25 or 26 in the playoffs. “Now it's time to prepare for the playoffs," Werchan said. “We need to practice hard and come out fighting."Unknown kickers ready to shine MMI REBECCA 8. ROGERS/Herald-Zeitung Canyon kicker Bryan Jonas has made field goals from more than 50 yards in practice. CANYON AT NBW BRAUNFELS 7:30 P.M., FRIDAY UNICORN STADIUM I Tickets for the game will be sold today and Thursday at New Braunfels High School from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reserved tickets cost $7; pre-game student tickets cost $2; and general admission tickets cost $6 Tickets at the gate will cost $7 for reserved seats and $6 for general admission seats. I On game night, students attending the game will not be allowed to enter with footballs. Students will be required to sit in the stands and will not be allowed to gather under them. I It is advised that motorists attending the game arrive early to find adequate parking REBECCAS. ROG ERS/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels kicker Trim Rust gives the Unicorns a legitimate chance to score anywhere in the red zone.Canyon’s Jonas, New Braunfels’ Rust could be the difference Friday Wally Gullick Correspondent Long recognized as the “ 100-yard war,” Friday night's showdown for first place between New Braunfels and Canyon could be shortened by 20 yards or more on the strength of two superior field goal kickers. With Trint Rust of New Braunfels and Canyon’s Bryan Jonas standing on the sidelines, going the distance isn’t necessary to pick up points. Either team can light up the scoreboard with at least a three-pointer if their offensive units run out of gas outside the red zone. Rust and jonas are a pair of side-winding, soccer-stylg kickers who have demonstrated a consistent, long-range accuracy that puts fur ther pressure on the defense. “Trint approaches each kick with great confidence,” Unicorns special teams coordinator Todd Behling said. “I remember against Del Valle they were trying to ice him by calling a time-out. I told him we could go out and run another play, but he wanted to go in and kick.” Confidence is an illustration of the mental intangibles that separate the good kickers from those who are given the job by default. “Mentally, I just try to imagine I’m out at practice,” Rust said. “Regardless of the situation and no matter how the crowd is reacting, I just try to block it all out.” Rust’s approach has netted six field gcfals in eight tries with a 38-yard boot in the opener against San Antonio I iighlands his longest. jonas, who at 6-0, 173-pounds, dwarfs the 5-5,135-pound Rust, has what he calls a comfort zone from as far away as 50 yards and once made good on a 63-yarder in practice. “I approach every kick with a clear mindset, and my focus from wherever I am on die field is the top ofThe uprights,” said Jonas. • His strong leg has attracted the attention of scouts from Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. Jonas has field goals from 30 and 31 yards this year, but that doesnt reflect his ability to kick. It instead shows that the sturdy rushing attack of the Cougars has wound up in the end zone more often than they’ve been stopped. But, when they’re left outside looking in, there’s Jonas. “Bryan is just a real strong competitor,” Cougars special teams coach Donnie Slater said. “It's tough to ask someone to stand on the sideline for the whole game and then at a critical time, ask him to go in and kick a game-wining field goal, but that’s the dimension he gives us.” Jonas was playing soccer for Slater as a freshman when Canyon head coach Brad Wright toured the soccer fields in search of a kicker. “I thought, here was my chance to play football,” Jonas said. “Now, I'm hoping to get a scholarship and maybe even get to the pros.” Rust was also a soccer prodigy as a freshman at New Braunfels and was encouraged by his father to go out for football. “Trint has done everything we’ve asked of him. He spent endless time this summer and works out with his holder and snapper after practice," Behling said. Rust and Jonas will both tell you that despite the attention drawn to the kicker trying that game-wining field goal, it’s a three-step task to make it work. “The snap, the hold and then the kick. It all has to be perfect and I ve been fortunate to have my teammates really perform for me,” Rust said. Unlike Rust, who is competing on See KICNBRS. Page 6A Cougars must be able to throw the ball to beat Unicorns While few teams can assemble the intricate balance of talent that Smithson Valley showcases week in and week out, Brad Wright’s Canyon Cougars are going to have to amend their playbook if they’re to claim the district crown. The Cougars successfully rode a smash-mouth, one-dimensional rushing attack to six straight wins, but the need to diversify became apparent in the 31-24 loss at home to Bastrop. Cougars quarterback James Green is a threat to score at anytime and from anywhere. He’s exceptionally quick. He has the ability cut inside or out, and never gives tacklers a clear shot. He also tries to sell the pass, but the defenders aren’t buying the pump fakes. There’s no reason to, for the threat of a vertical passing game hasn’t been established. Green completed three passes in the loss to Bastrop and two of them were practically laterals. None produced more than eight yards. T he lack of a passing game became even more magnified when the Cougars were robbed of tailback Jeremy Molinet. The junior had already eclipsed a 1,000-yard season, but a hip flexor sidelined him against the Bears. Molinet’s ability to get to the outside, lower a shoulder and still possess the quickness to cut against the grain, prevented defenses from keying on just one offensive weapon. His absence has now put it all on the shoulders, or legs if you will, of Green. Sophomore halfback Jerris Springfield earned the call-up from the JV ranks to spell Molinet. I le’s going to be a good one, and gave a courageous effort against the Bears. Its just that Wright doesn’t want to rush the maturation process. Springfield belongs with the other 15 year-olds getting seasoning, not trying to play the role of feature back when his team is in a play-off race. A quick hitter up the middle gave Springfield 11 yards on his first varsity carry against Bastrop, and he turtled some heads. I Ie showed strength when he picked up a clutch first down on a fourth and two call inside the ten that set up a touchdown. Another two-yard plunge rewarded him with his first varsity touchdown, but six of his 13 carries produced two yards or less. Playing against varsity competition will pay future dividends, but not in the next few games. Wright accepts the injuries as part of the game. He’s not moaning about the fact that he may not have Molinet for Friday’s first-place showdown at Unicorn Stadium. But without him the Cougars could be in trouble. New Braunfels has been vulnerable to the vertical passing game. In two of their three losses, quarterbacks have hit the deep ball. Pressure from the down linemen hasn't been consistent. Canyon though, hasn’t shown that they have the weapons to make New Braunfels pay. Ironically, the strength of the See COUGARS, Page 6AWALLY GULLICK Wally Gullick is a correspondent for the HeraldlZeitung ;