The hottest summer in my history, has caused a cautionary vision, one of hope, but not of false hope. The 2011 Yellow Jackets must surprise if they are going to be good. They will have to shock, to make the state play-offs. Yet in 39 years of following the Jackets, hope was always a basis of what the Jackets would do. And surprises have been many. The reason is just plain old numbers. Few years has Llano been picked to win. Few years were we ever in the top 2 or 3 teams with high enrollment. Yet, it has to be in the water. Yellow Jackets out-perform many teams that are better. Jackets work harder, stay longer, and want to taste success more than most. 2011 will not be different.
Texas football has the Jackets picked fifth in District 25-3A. Last season the Jackets beat both Salado and Lampasas, now ranked ahead of Llano. Liberty Hill and Burnet are district favorites. Llano’s 510 enrollment is ahead of Salado by 43 pupils on average day attendance, but Lampasas has 477 more kids than Llano, and Burnet has 446 more. I think Bowie in 3A has the smallest 3A enrollment with 432 students. About 20 3A schools have enrollment of less than 500. Llano has two of the largest schools in 3A with , with Lampasas at 987 kids, tied with Lindale, followed by Fredericksburg with 968, and Burnet with 956. I’m feeling like if Bangs or Comanche would drop us from their schedule, we could go after Lindale for a game!!
No kidding … Llano will play against only three teams that we will be favored. Comanche……. even though Llano only beat the Indians last season by the score of 18-12. ended last season 2-8. Still, Llano did not play well, and it poured over into the following week when Llano lost t0 Bangs. Llano should be better early in this season, just going off the scrimmage of Somerset. Seems like the defense could be better. It will have to come along faster this season. Offense is still finding itself. And then Llano should be favored against Taylor. That may be all. In the other 7 games Llano could be big underdogs. But, that’s why they go ahead and play the season.
And now to Comanche. The 2010 Indians were 2-8 in 2010 with 9 offensive starters back for 2011. Friday night in Llano needs to be a statement from Llano. The experienced , or inexperienced Jackets need confidence. Confidence comes from seniors. I’ll be watching DE Jordan Johnson to show the younger kids what it takes to have a motor that goes full speed every play. LB Davis Hill may be playing on both sides of the ball. He takes no plays off. Also, Vance Bauer should be very sound in the secondary. Last season I liked Wes Haverlah and Clay Tarter a lot. These seniors can be difference makers. It must start for the seniors Friday night.
Comanche has a losing record of 7-13 against Llano. The Jackets will make it 14-7 Friday night. Look for Llano to win 27 to 10. Let’s get this season started right.