Shiner Gazette Sports

St. Paul Cardinals to face Arlington Grace Prep Lions
in title game in Waco Friday

Thursday, December 1, 2016
by Mark Lube, Gazette Sports Editor

St. Paul Cardinal Football   |   St. Paul Cardinal Sports

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Shiner St. Paul Cardinal Football State Championship Game Preview:
Shiner St. Paul Cardinals vs. Arlington Grace Prep Lions

The Shiner St. Paul Cardinals will conclude the 2016 season in the same place they did the 2015 season in the state championship game.

The Cardinals will play for the 2016 TAPPS IV state title at noon at Panther Stadium in Hewitt, in the Waco area.

"I'm very proud of our kids for reaching the title game," St. Paul head coach Jake Wachsmuth said.

"It is nice to see how they have stepped up, and gotten better and better over the course of the season."

St. Paul will be going up against Arlington Grace Prep.

The Cardinals found a way to win in the semifinals against Bryan Brazos Christian, rallying from a 10-point deficit several times and won 41-38 with a late fourth quarter touchdown.

The Lions edged Fort Worth Temple Christian, 24-21, in their state semifinal.

Incidentally, Lions head coach Mike Helmer was the head coach of Cedar Hill Trinity Christian, who played St. Paul last year in the title game at Bastrop Memorial Stadium.

St. Paul will be seeing some things from the Lion offense that they saw last year against Trinity Christian.

"They do not have the same kids but it is basically the same offense," Wachsmuth said.

Arlington Grace Prep is a spread team who is balanced, and will run the counter and jet sweep on the ground.

The Lions will throw a variety of passes when they do drop back. Arlington Grace Prep will rely on the hands and feet of quarterback Jeremiah Tucker.

"He is a great passer and can make plays with his feet if he is driven from the pocket due to pressure," Wachsmuth said. "We will have to keep their receivers in front of us, contain Tucker and force some turnovers."

The Lions will line up in the '50' defense, with three interior lineman and two ends. The secondary will play man coverage.

"We will have to make some big passing plays, run the ball well like we have been and have no mistakes," Wachsmuth said.

Cardinal running back Conor Kresta had rushed for 200 yards or more in the last two games to carry a good chunk of the offensive load.

Wachsmuth said he anticipates Kresta having another solid performance and supported by the play of the other offensive backs.

This will be St. Paul's fifth trip to the state championship game in the past seven seasons.

Wachsmuth said the success of the football team it is a testament to the work ethic of the athletes, the parents who encourage them and the support of the community.

He said the town of Shiner is fortunate to have two successful school sports programs.

"For St. Paul Catholic and Shiner ISD, building tradition is not easy but the kids of both schools have high expectations and work hard," Wachsmuth said.

Mark Lube Mark Lube is the sports editor for the Shiner Gazette. Contact him at 361-594-3346 or

St. Paul Cardinal Football   |   St. Paul Cardinal Sports


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