EAST BERNARD (3A Girls)
The girls from East Bernard are looking to win their third consecutive straight 3A title. They won the first one in the year of the mud back in 2015. They won the title that year riding the wave of their individual champ, Jessica Rabius. Last year, an injury kept Rabius on the side line all season, but that didn't stop he teammates. They went on to capture title #2 without their star runner in the line up.
This season, graduation has taken a few of their top seven runners, but they get their super star back. Rabius already has the girls top two mile time in 3A. The biggest challenge for East Bernard to capture their third straight title will be Eustace. Eustace took second last year, behind East Bernard and they are probably looking to reverse the award stand positions.
LULING (3A Boys)
The Luling train has been a smooth running locomotion for the last seven years. It wasn't by surprise or luck, it was good old fashioned hard work and believing in the system. Coach Barnett and staff engrained a hard nosed mentality into some already hard nosed kids and it has been a success. We all know about the "Labor Pains" that have brought us the "Baby" for the past seven years. Speaking of those seven years, this is a historical run we have been watching. The former record is long gone and all we can do is continue to see how long the new record will be set at.
Luling is in good shape to win their eighth straight title when you look at stats and their lineup. They did graduate some awesome runners over the last two years, but they keep gaining quality freshman classes every year. Not to mention, they still have that dude they call "Buster". That's right, Buster Roberts is back for his senior year, and he and his Luling teammates are focused on being the best runners they can be. That would be good enough for number eight.
Tornillo is the only team with a shot to throw the Luling train off the tracks. Tornillo is last year's runner-up team and are not scared of Luling. They believe they actually have a chance to win any race.
The other thing to watch is what, if any effect the coaching change has on the Luling squad. The Coach Barnett regime and staff is no longer at Luling. Coach Barnett suddenly retired right before the beginning of school and the season. Per Coach Barnett, "The best assistance coach one could ask for," took another coaching job out of state is also gone. With a new coaching administration in place, some things might be different, but if the climate and culture are still the same at Luling, we should be looking at an unbelievable eighth straight title for Luling, USA.