HALLETTSVILLE - Hallettsville had a 10-0 record in 1979 and had a chance to repeat the feat in 1980.
The Brahmas went into their final regular-season game with a 9-0 record, but lost to an Edna team that included Tommy Psencik.
Psencik is in his fourth season as Hallettsville's head coach and went a long way toward erasing any long-term hard feelings by leading the Brahmas to their first 10-0 regular-season record since 1979.
Hallettsville finished its perfect regular season and claimed the outright District 14-2A, Division I championship on Friday night with a 22-19 road win over Hempstead.
"You kind of look at your schedule and I thought if we were 8-2 or 9-1 that would be a great year and we would make the playoffs," Psencik said. "I asked them what they wanted to achieve way back in January and they wanted to play in December. That's their goal to play and win in December."
The players give much of the credit to Psencik.
"Ever since I was a freshman, he's been there for us," said running back Teidrick Smith. "He's been talking to us. He's been a good role model for us. He preaches about things we're going to remember in life. Not only about football, but we're going to be good people as a whole. He's been like a father. We respect him and he's been a very good coach."
Hallettsville's first district championship since 1991 and first outright district title since 1979 did not come easily.
The Brahmas trailed Hempstead 13-0 at halftime and did not take the lead until quarterback Carson Schindler scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 17 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
"We definitely didn't play our best half in the first half," Schindler said. "The coaches were able to get us going and we rallied as a team. It felt good to come out on top."
The Brahmas traced their ability to come back to the hard work they put in the offseason and during their weekly practices.
"We all have a role and we all just play hard," said lineman Quinton Wright. "We don't quit. All four quarters we just play hard."
"We just stay focused and keep on with our game plan," said lineman Troy Murphy. "We just do what we do."
The Brahmas advanced to the regional playoffs last season before losing to Hempstead and should benefit from the experience.
"We got the experience, the feeling, the atmosphere that you get in the playoffs," said center Will Wallace. "It was a taste of what is hopefully to come this year. I just hope we can keep it going for five weeks."
Hallettsville will keep working during its bye week as it awaits the winner of the Odem-Luling bi-district game.
"We saw a lot of fundamental things that we did that we need to work on," Psencik said. "I brought the seniors in to look at the Hempstead film and told them that we didn't play a good overall game and they all knew it. They saw how many fundamentals we didn't take care of. They were just little, bitty things."
Psencik knows from experience how important paying attention to detail becomes in the postseason and has imparted the message to his team.
"The last game determines what you remember for the rest of your life," he said. "You can always tell your grandchildren you had a pretty good year at 10-0, but that one little loss is what you dream about for 30 or 40 years. I still remember those losses, the last game more than any of them."
Nominations for the Advocate's all-area team are being accepted.
Only coaches may make nominations and they should include a player's grade classification, position, height, weight and statistics.
Coaches of playoff teams may wait until their season ends to send nominations.
All-district teams are also needed and won't be published until teams are no longer playing.
Nominations and all-district teams may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 361-574-1220.
Nominations for the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors all-state team are being accepted.
The team is based on the regular season and only coaches may submit nominations.
Nominations should include a player's position, grade classification and statistics.
Nominations may be sent to email@example.com.
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.