The times are changing, and Llano is no different. But the 2017 regular season schedule is the same as the 2016 schedule. I do think the teams we play this season are ones we should be competitive with. But most often, that is not enough. We expect more than just being competitive. Llano wants to win. And after 6 seasons of varsity football with non winning seasons, even worse, many times we were not competitive. I can tell you that no one finds this harder to take that our Llano Yellow Jackets. In 2017, things will change.
September 1, Smithville at Jacket Stadium
Last Seasons Score: 31-15 Llano Won All Time Record 3-0 Llano
Smithville went through another 0-10 season in 2016. But with 19 starters returning, and running back Nomar Rivera with 1,034 yards last season, do not expect a weak Tiger team to show up in Llano. In last seasons opening game, Smithville never let down. I suspect they will play their best game in years in a game they think they can win. This is a must win for the Jackets.
September 8, Sonora at Jacket Stadium
Last Season Score: 14-28 Sonora Won All Time Record 5-5
Sonora was 12-2 last season, and enter this season ranked #6 in 3AAA Div. II according to Texas Football magazine. Returning quarterback Kaden Cordell is the preseason All State Quarterback in Class 3AAA. This is a statement game. This is where the Jackets need to step it up. And play to impress, but maybe most important, play to impress themselves. This is a winnable game.
September 15, Llano at Brady
Last Season Score 7-21 Brady Won All Time Record 25-26-2 Brady
Want to impress the old timers? Beat Brady in Brady. That is where it all started in 1965 in Brady. Llano won that game 19-7. The previous season, in Llano, Brady beat Llano 64-6, and tried a field goal with less than a minute to play. The 64-6 battle cry lasted over 2 decades with Llano teams. Llano won over 75% of the games played against Brady over the next 35 years. Llano was not competitive last season in a real disappointing game. Brady was 4-7 last season in 3AAA. Must win for the Jackets. And we need to get the over-all record back to even.
September 22, Llano at Lago Vista
Last Season Score 13-41 Lago Vista Won All Time Record 0-1 Lago Vista
This was a stinker last season. Coach Craten Phillips moved over from Sonora, and put former Yellow Jacket great Brad Kassell in as his defensive coordinator. Beat Jackets by 28, and it was not even close. Returning QB Jared Defelice passed for over 2,400 yards in an 8-3 season. Another 3AAA school that is looking for bigger things. This is an opportunity for the Jackets to reach for the higher hanging fruit.
September 29 Llano at Burnet
Last Season Score 6-32 Burnet Won All Time Record 39-35-2 Llano
A legit loss last season. Burnet was 7-4 last season in 4AAA Div. I. I think Llano has not beaten the Bulldogs since mid ’90s. Wow…But this is the year Llano should win. The Jackets long time rival has put enough hurt on us. Few things could better equip the Jackets for district play than a win against the green slim. Burnet is always good. 2017, the Jackets just might be better.
The Regular Season is 1/2 Over My Prediction is Llano will be 4-1 at this point.
October 6 Austin Eastside at Llano
Last Season Score 62-7 Llano Won All Time Record 1-0 Llano
Nearly a non-game. I think this is only Eastside’s second varsity season. Will be another rough season for the Panthers. But with 850 enrolled, do not poke the eye of the cat. Someday they will get revenge. Great opportunity for Jackets to play great technique, no penalties, and heal for the coming District 13-4AAA play.
DISTRICT 13-4AAAA Div. II Play Begins:
October 13 Llano at Navarro
Last Season 0-42 Navarro Won All Time Record 0-3 Navarro
Navarro was 14-1 last season. These guys are good. But the Jackets can rise to a new level of play. QB Will Eveld returns. An improving Jacket defense will get its opportunities against a high quality offense. This could be the game Llano is looking for. An opportunity to tell the football world “We are Back”.
October 20 Wimberley at Llano
Last Season 16-35 Texans Won All Time Record 6-14 Wimberley
I really believe Llano will beat the Texans in this great contest. The Texans were 10-3 last season. Returning QB JoJo Weeks is good. Many others are good also. But I think the Jacket seniors would love to make another statement in District play and put a hid on the wall. Beating the Texans would be a lifetime game to remember.
October 27 Llano at Hondo
Last Season 48-21 Llano All Time Record 3-3
The Jackets best played game in 2016. But this could be a trap game. Llano has not played well in Hondo. Sure hope the team does not get to eat at Hermann & Sons until after the game…when we win. Running back Jordan Gomez had over 1,200 yards last season. 9 returning starters on defense. Cannot let this scrappy bunch of Owls slip up on you. This is where you do not let the mental part of the game relax. Llano will be better. But must prove it in Owls Stadium.
November 3 Bandera at Llano
Last Season 22-13 Llano All Time Record 14-7 Llano
Never liked playing the Bulldogs. For some reason they seem to beat Llano when we are not looking. Bandera won the State Championship in 2002. They beat Llano in overtime in last game of regular season of 2002. They will beat you when you relax. Don’t relax here. Jackets need to finish strong for a strong ending to a great season. This is how you prepare for the playoffs.
Prediction for District Play: 4-1 Season Prediction: 8-2
I feel so good about this season. I have never in 44 years made a season forecast like the above. I could be easily wrong. The Jackets have talent all over the field. Players that I know want to prove something. Prove they are good. Prove they have it. And are tired of the records of the past. This team has an opportunity. But having an 8-2 season, or even 6-4 season, this team can play up to its ability. I believe it will.
*** Many names and records of other teams were borrowed from the Bible of Texas High School football magazine…Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. By the end of the football season, my copy is in rages. A must for all to have for all serious minded fans. Copies available at HEB and Walmart.