Victoria Advocate On-Line

Shiner St. Paul seniors show athletic excellence in 2010-11
St. Paul teams bring home five titles this year, most in school's history

by John Hornberg, Advocate Sports Editor
Monday, May 30, 2011 Article   |   St. Paul Cardinal Sports   |   Return to Shiner Home Page

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From left.
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Shiner St. Paul seniors (from left) Brandon Sciba, Emily Wagner, Paige Werner, and Blake Radicke hold four of their five championship trophies earned by Cardinal teams this school year.
photos by Frank Tilley, Victoria Advocate
SHINER - The walls of the gym at St. Paul High School are covered with plaques, Texas-shaped frames with pictures of players from bygone years.

Each one represents a title a Cardinals team has won, and shows the school's long tradition of winning.

For the 16 members of St. Paul's outgoing senior class, it was their motivation.

"You walk in here and it's like walking into a hall of champions," said Blue Hybner, who participated in four sports - baseball, football, basketball and track and field - while at St. Paul.

"We've had a lot of success athletically and academically in the past, and just walking in here there's a lot of expectations to do well and to win."

Space is becoming a problem on the walls. The last few spots lining the walls were filled with the title won in 2008. And after this year, school officials will have to find more space for more plaques.

The senior class of Shiner St. Paul leaves having helped win nine TAPPS titles while at the school, including an unprecedented five in the 2010-11 school year, the most of any year for the Cardinals, and the most since 1993, when the school brought home three titles.

"These kids have grown up knowing they have a responsibility to the school," said athletic director Dana Beal. "Athletics is just one of the ways of showing that. They've followed competitive groups and have competitive groups behind them."

And do they ever. All but four students at the school, Beal said, participate in some kind of athletics. Many participate in multiple sports.
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Shiner St. Paul's senior class has won nine titles combined during its time there. This includes five this season. At least three of those are baseball titles, one of them is football title this year.

From left: Devin Pesek, Chase Capplemen, Kyle Wallace, Tyler Blanton, Dustin Adamek, Blue Hybner.

Each member of the graduating class will remember their senior year differently.

For Dustin Adamek, it will always be about the football title the team won this year. His father had been a quarterback at St. Paul, graduating in 1985, and had never won a title while playing.

The Cardinals almost missed a title, having lost in the second round of the playoffs three straight years before completing a 14-0 year to win the TAPPS 1A/2A football title this year.

"The last three years, we had always lost in the second round," he said. "My dad never won one."

Adding to that, at just 62 students at the last TAPPS count in 2009, Shiner St. Paul is the smallest school in the athletic organization - and the state of Texas - to field an 11-man football team.

"It's been so long," said Devin Pesek, who played football, baseball, basketball and track and field. "An undefeated season really doesn't happen all that often."

Three of the titles the Cardinals won in the last four years were baseball titles, including one this year. But the football one stands out, Pesek said.

"With the baseball ones, we are happy about them, but we won three of them. It doesn't take away how tough it was to get them," he said. "It felt like it was a lot tougher to get."

Blake Radicke said he felt the senior class made a difference in football title.

"We've been good since we were freshman," he said. "This year, we decided that we wanted it. This year, we were all starting, we were all together, and I think that helped us want it more."

Brandon Sciba will remember that football title for the play he made at the end of the game to help wrap up the title for the Cardinals.

"It was neck and neck, either team could have had it," he said. "We kept plugging away and limited our mistakes, they made a mistakes. I ended up recovering a fumble on a reverse and got the ball back instead of giving them another possession."

Emily Wagner said the senior class had a sort of sibling rivalry among its members. It was a race to see who could top the other, and helps create a ultra-competitiveness.

"There's a competitive spirit, not only on the court but in the class room," she said. "It just transfers over. We all have that edge where you hate to lose. Whenever the seniors feel that way, the rest of the team takes that on."

Wagner participated in five sports and was a member of three state champions - in track and field, cross country and softball.

Of all those, softball will be the most memorable. The Lady Cardinals had reached the title game in each of the last three years, but the first two had run into Hallettsville Sacred Heart and lost.


TAPPS state titles in girls cross country, football, softball, baseball and girls track and field.

State final appearance in volleyball

Girls golf finished fifth at state tournament.

Had players in boys singles, girls singles and doubles earn trips to state for tennis.

This year was different. After struggling in the semifinal game and almost losing a late lead, St. Paul run-ruled Watauga Harvest Christian 10-0 to win the TAPPS 1A/2A title.

"It gave it a taste of what it was like to be so close," Wagner said. "To get so close and not take it all, it was so miserable."

Paige Werner, who also participated in softball along with cross country, basketball, track and volleyball, was at the center of the softball title. She pitched both games, and was key to the semifinal win in the seventh inning.

Werner pitched a five-inning no-hitter to secure the state title.

"The semifinal game, we were going into the seventh inning, and the other team got a lot of hits and came back," she said. "I came up, got a single, and Emily came up and drove it to the gap and scored me."

The baseball title this year holds an important spot for Tyler Blanton. When Shiner St. Paul won its baseball titles his freshman and sophomore year, he had played JV baseball.

The team came up short his first year of varsity play, and he had missed out at the state track meet. The baseball tournament in mid-May was his last chance at a title.

"I was the only one on the team without a ring," "I didn't play football. ... I was happy. I wanted to win really badly."

Chase Cappleman also got his first chance at a state title this year. He had transferred to St. Paul as a junior from Luling. After getting bounced in the second round his first year, he said the team wanted pushed to get as far as it did.

"We were real strong, because it was my first state title," he said. "Last year, we made it to the second round and were eliminated. ... We were really confident, sometimes a little too confident. But the seniors pushed each other."

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