September 30, 2005
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Play To Win
By Mikel R. Virdell…recording the history of the Fighting Llano Yellowjackets since 1973.
The “open week” of high school football gives teams a breather. Some get refreshed…some get the blahs. The 2005 Llano Yellowjackets have the opportunity to get better, because there has already been vast improvement in play and attitude.
I cannot hope for more than the improvement in the offensive line. The jump that these young men took from week one to week 5 is off the scale. Still, in hard times, old habits can come back and haunt. These players that include Kyle Miiller, Johnathan Hill, Michael Anderson, Zack Lanford, Patrick Bigger, Tyler Hoerster, Justin Fry, Brent Wooten and Daniel Warren have each gotten better. This off week, they must get much better.
The defense improved from last season and playing the same schedule, has allowed three fewer touchdowns. I really think the improvement has come from players with more mobility, more gang tackling, and a more aggressive style. There are players on this defense that like hitting, and being in the right place has prevented big plays. The over-all defense is better. But with so many younger players on defense, mistakes will still happen. The play of defensive lineman Sam Whitaker and Luke Meador has been spectacular at times. When these two underclassmen realize the impact of never taking a play off, they can be as good as anyone. What happens over a course of a game is the player they line up against are given breathers when a player does not go 100% on a play. The opponent gets to rest also. This gives new life.
Llano has players that are getting close to playing 100% on every play. Lead by senior Davis Willmann at linebacker, junior Chris Saverance in the secondary, Jordan Clayton in the secondary, as well as Garrett Thompson, and sophomore Lance Dickey at safety…these players are getting to the point where Llano can compete with anyone in District 27 AAA.
The special team players have really played well. With the kicking of Grant Morgan, getting down field has become crucial. Players like Davis Lindley, Robert Schendel, Craig Miller, Corey Ritchie, and Robert Coffey have already made a difference. Their improved play can bring Llano to a point to believing it can make the playoffs.
District 27 AAA is as tough of a district in 3-AAA as there is. With Wimberley and Liberty Hill getting the headlines and the top 15 State rankings since August, you would think that is enough. But anyone in this district cannot be over-looked. Llano beat Wimberley last year. The Texans went two games deep into the play-offs last year. Brady too was an 8-4 team. And Liberty Hill was one game away from the State Championship. And the most dangerous team to Llano is Ingram.
Llano beat Ingram last year in Ingram. The Warriors always have talent. They know they cannot allow Llano beating them in the first District contest. Ingram has every reason in the world to beat the Jackets. And you can bet they will be fighting to the end. This gives Llano every reason in the world, not only to be ready, but also to be aggressively ready, and put together four quarters of sound, unrelentless football.
Llano’s week off can mean two things. Llano was preparing for the
Ingram game, or they were coasting along. District is a new season for everyone.
It needs to be a new beginning for the 2005 Jackets. Beating Ingram is the
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