Few seasons have I been so unprepared. With new duties in town, and key members of my family packing up and going on with their lives, it has been one wild summer. Yet, when the smoke clears….one ingredient stays the same. Llano Yellowjacket football.
Did not plan on letting the season get ahead of me, but this one did. The last four years, step-son Matt Center has been the focus at our house. Knew every minute what was going on. This year, not so much.
I think there is some let down from a parents point of view. When Tory graduated and went off to SMU, boy was my focus more in Highland Park, Texas than in LLano. But that season jerked my head quickly, as legendary coach John Parchmann turned Llano’s program around in only weeks.
When Jerrod graduated, the same thing took place. Many of Jerrod’s friends are stacked in the record books, and I can still see Brian Smith throwing to receiving great Michael White for so many yards and so many catches. Jerrod’s class was special and so under coached.
And now I want to get back in the saddle. And the reasons are many. Non less than Coach Craig Slaughter and his coaching staff that has brought the Jackets back to being “in the mix”. Sure, Texas Football magazine has us picked 5th in the District. But where else could we be picked. Brownwood, Gatesville, Liberty Hill, and Burnet! No weak sisters here. But I can say now, unlike like season, no one likes playing Llano. And 2013 is only goiong to reinforce that. A Slaughter team is always going to be ready. And the improvement from 2011 by a full 10 points in differential of scores has Llano back on track.
What to look for? I can only talk offense today. Our skill people are going to light up the score board. Our offense will be fast and quick. Llano has not had as fast a running back in Carter Tasch in at least a decade. Maybe longer. Ty Thuirman being close. And a better set of hands in Issac Hutto with few competitiors. Isacc had three TD catch game last season as a junior, tying a school record.
But the spotlight will be on senior quarterback Layton Rabb. Rabb as a junior threw for 1,899 yards, 15 Td passes, one game of 354 yards, and completed 26 passes in another. My expectations are high. Rabb to Hutto could be so special.
The key to these guys success will be five lineman who will get little recognition, except in this space. Let me learn their names first. I will pass their accomplishments along.
The defense will be better, and more aggressive. But their first test against the Texans Friday night will be so important. Playing with confidense is the key to playing great defense. Let’s watch the Jacket defense control this game….just like the old days.
Don’t know why I feel so good about Llano, but a Jacket win in Wimberley …..28-14 sounds about right.