Mason County News
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The Semi-Finals
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 • Posted December 7, 2011

Alright Puncher fans, here we go! The Punchers continue to roll to the State Semi-finals game to be played against the Bulldogs of Garrison. Last week’s game featured two fine teams with one having prepared for the elements and one possibly not. Last week’s practice for the Punchers in preparation for the Shiner game and forecast for Fridays game time included a good dose of water on all the player’s hands as well as rain soaked balls before each snap and each play. The results Mason 1 fumble, Shiner 10 fumbles. The players came home with dish pan hands and as it turned out it was for a good reason. The coaching staff that we have for our team has been summoned together with the reason being what I believe is to give us the best chance to win it all! In my early articles we talked about Destiny. Now let’s look at the facts. Let’s first start out with our A/D and head coach Kade Burns. I am sure most of you know that he is the son of Masons all time winningest coach the late Melvin Burns. What you may not know is the Punchers have been playing football for 97 years having more than 200 coaches in that time frame but yet we have Coach Burn’s son leading us on to the field of battle with this TEAM. In my humble opinion Kade being the baby of the Burns “litter of boys” had the good fortune to spend the most 1 on 1 time with Coach Burns and looking at the way he coaches obviously learned a great deal! What are the odds that young Kade Burns with his family would be in Thorndale, content one day, and Mason the next? Is it Destiny? Now let’s move to the defensive side of the ball for a moment. You have Coach Paul Smith, the defensive coordinator, Coach Raspberry with the linebackers and Coach McLeod with the safeties. The totals for the defense are astounding. Through 14 games the 1st team defense has given up 2 points per game, I repeat 2 points per game! That is by far the lowest allowed points average in 97 years of playing and recording football in Mason Texas. You could say that we played a soft schedule if you wish but I believe in the past 97 years there would at least have something to compare it to, don’t you? Let’s look at Coach Paul Smith. Why would you have a High School Tennis Coach that will be in the Texas Tennis hall of Fame running and coordinating our defense? The answer is simple. He is a super hard worker that achieves in all things he does. He will not be out worked period. If he does not know it he will learn it and learn it well. Coach Smith started out 37 years ago as a tennis coach. When he later arrived at Mason to coach Tennis he was also asked to coach Junior High football. Care to guess who was the A/D Head coach at that time. The answer is Melvin Burns. Destiny? Coach Kade Burns needed a baseball coach in a hurry and what did he find? He found Brian Rasberry. Brian played baseball for 4 years @ Angelo State and his father and mother's family have strong roots in Mason with his father Kurt Rasberry aka.(Trucker) being my personal best friend for my time in Mason. Guess what position Brian played for the Wall Hawks? It was linebacker and he was just as formidable as what you are seeing in our linebacker corps today. His teachings are evident as our linebackers are very, very physical. Remember we were just looking for a baseball coach when we hired Brian? Were we just lucky to get him? Let’s continue. Now, let’s look at the Golden Boy Coach McLeod. He was a great Quarterback for the Punchers not long ago and went to Angelo State and walked on I would assume to play that position wouldn’t you? The fact of the matter is that he was a standout safety for the Rams and that’s what he is coaching today. The secondary has more interceptions this year than the last three years combined and we have been pretty good during that span with a record of 31 wins and 9 losses. Just by luck? There are lots of factors for each and every coach as well as each and every player that we have on this team right here right now. With Jacob Bibb alone we have a movie that would sell out box offices across the USA in a heartbeat. His faith in God, his will to survive and be a part of this team is a story of winning in itself! As I have said in the past, is the Date of December 15th, 2011, a reality for this team and these coaches? I truly believe it is closer than farther away. Will the quest for the State Championship trophy continue? That question along with some other will be answered Friday night @7:30pm in Waco verses the Bulldogs of Garrison. GO PUNCHERS!

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