The 2015 season is in the rear view mirror, and lasting memories will stand the test of time. There are good times ahead, and times will force adjustments. An improved defense was spurred by senior All District linebacker Wyatt Bauman, and All District defensive back Cody Miller and his 12 career interceptions. Gone will be 4 year starter Colton Center in the offensive line as well as second team all district wide receiver Airon Layton. I will miss a very unsung offensive lineman in a very good Jose Arredondo. Cameron Brumley came on strong at the end and helped change the attitude. Juan Mungia made a hand on both sides of the ball. All good football players that help make this season one to remember.
2016 will bring something new. Players begin now preparing for next August. Leadership begins now. Hard work that includes getting stronger and faster, begins now. And if the All district team gives any incentive, Llano should have every reason to work hard. 8 Yellowjackets sophomores and juniors were mentioned on the District squad. Ray Dixon on both offense and defense. Brent Greenwood both on defense and as punter. Two year starter John Heflin at defensive back. Blake Dillard at the defensive end position. Sophomore Ian Fletcher had a great year at linebacker and was on the team. Hunter Roemer on the defensive line, as was Robert Alcala. And Sophomore running back Mason Greenwood will go after his second 1,000 rushing yard season.
Leadership must come now, leading in the weight room, and doing all the extras to be better than those guys over at Navarro. Ben Walling, Cameron Hall, Christian Martinez, Kegan Greenhaw, Jaden Napolez, Jason Gann and Sterling Rogers all were major contributors in 2015. Each can be really special in 2016, if they begin today preparing. These players are seniors now. 2016 begins now.
So many others will contribute…Look for good things from junior to be, Nolan Keller. Tyler Gann could move up and play with his brother on this 2016 team. Look for Jose Soliz and Dalton Bauman to make good hands. Austin Humphrey, Michael Lockhart, Hayden Cowert, Taylor Smith need to be heard from. Anthony Watson, Dakota Trull, Tyler Wright, Neil Blackman, Shane Flint and Gage Cox need to be in the mix. Who will step up in the leadership roles? It will be fun to watch.
New districts will be announced in February, and looks like we will be in the same district. Bandera might move into our district.
10 of the 12 teams Llano played in 2015 were in the play offs. There will be no easy wins. But goals are set now. Should Llano play Wall next season in the opener, beating the Hawks should be a realistic goal. I think Wall finished this season at 12-1. Winning against Brady in Llano next season against a very old rival game is a real goal. And being competitive against Navarro is a must. We play them in Llano in 2016. And we must beat Lytle in Llano next season. We let that one this season get away.
Can we win them all? Sure we can. But the season begins now. Don’t wait until August 2016. That’s when everyone else begins. 2016 can be very special. Make it happen.