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Maurer using the past to shape the Braves’ future - Odessa American: Iraan

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Maurer using the past to shape the Braves’ future

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Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 12:59 pm

IRAAN Two years removed from their loss to Bremond in the Class 2A state title game, this year’s batch of Iraan High School football players are trying to pave their own path.

Corby Maurer replaces Mark Kirchoff as head coach after six years. Maurer is no stranger to Iraan, having graduated from the school in 1992.

With such a rich tradition of success, the Braves will have to write their own history book.

“The bar has obviously been high for a lot of years and that’s a credit to a lot of coaches,” Maurer said. “I’m telling them they’re going to forge their own path. They’re not going to be built the same way as other teams before them. Our goals are still the same, but they’re going to have to do it their way.

“It’s a little bit of a new system for them, but I want them to forge their own path. They’re not going to be like any team in the last 30-plus years. I think they bought into that aspect back in the spring and understand this is your team.”

The Braves finished 7-5 last season with an appearance in the area round.

They return 18 lettermen that include 11 starters.

District 1-2A will be a competitive slate with rival McCamey in the hunt for a district title.

For the Braves, getting a new head coach hasn’t changed their overall attitude. They’ll still be a relentless team.

Senior quarterback Brodey Myers, a four-year letterman, doesn’t want his team to get too caught up in the hype.

“Nothing’s changed — just relentless and crazy football,” Myers said. “We’re still brothers. We’ve all grown up together. Mostly every day we come up and play football together.

“We’re a family. We pretty much live together and we’re jelling real well. We don’t want to be too big-headed. We want to kind of fly under the radar and be us.”

It’ll be up to the experienced players to help guide the young talent this season. The upperclassmen know what it takes to succeed and get to the state championship game.

“Everything’s great. We’re just moving one day at a time,” senior and four-year letterman Ivan Castilla said. “We have a lot of confidence in our team, we have great guys out there.

“We just have to train a little bit harder than most people, we have to get conditioned, we have to set the mentality right. We’re gonna get tired, but we just have to push through it. We have some experience out there, we have some veterans that can teach the other kids.”

There will be growing pains early in the season as the Braves try to develop into a well-oiled machine. The players have endured plenty of tests, and at this point the main goal is for them to come together as a solid unit.

“From an offensive standpoint, it certainly helps. We got some linemen returning. We got a signal caller that’s back,” Maurer said. “They’ve been battle-tested. They got some new things being thrown at them.

“Defensively, we have some kids that played last year. We’re gonna try to line up right on the football. We’ve got some good football savvy kids out there. The sooner we can get them all rolling in the right direction the better off we might be.”

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