August 31, the 2018 Fighting Llano Yellowjackets will kick off the new football season with much anticipation. Only the second time in memory have the Jackets opened play in August (last year was the first time) and hot weather will be a factor. Team with the best conditioning could determine outcome. But, usually it will be leg cramps and hydration that keeps players off the field.
The over all record of 4-3 over the Owls shows that the teams have been near even. But last year, in a “have to” win for the Jackets, Llano rolled. And it was played in Hondo for the second year in a row. This year we play in Llano. Which should be a good thing. Home field advantage should be a big plus. Yet, playing in Jacket Stadium on the new artificial turf has been dismal. Over the past two seasons at home, Llano is 3-7. These Jackets need to change those numbers. Playing in Llano should be a dread for any team coming into our home territory. Playing Llano in Llano needs to be a victory penciled in. No one should look forward to this game. The 2018 seniors can start a trend here. A real source of pride and accomplishment.
One of the biggest items to think about, is the big white elephant in the room. The Jackets have played 7 seasons without a winning record. In 2010, Llano went 6-5. And in 2009 Llano was 8-4. But the seven seasons since we are a combined 24-51. Last season in the Bi-District game, a heartbreaker if there ever was one, should get this team prepared for some hard times. And that game was hard times. This season will be as tough. Hondo will be trying hard to even the records at 4-4. Llano needs it to be 5-3…pulling away with a two game winning streak.
The Jackets may be playing in the toughest 4-A District in the State. Wimberley, Navarro and Cuero combined for a 36-5 record. They played in 11 playoff games with a record of 8-3. The Jackets faced a tough schedule last season. And played very good against Burnet and Navarro. All in all, these things that have happened to Llano, should give this team confidence and a resolve to play harder. To play more determined. And to play thru the last play. Llano is on the brink of turning the corner. And turning the corner begins this Friday night at Jacket Stadium and beating Hondo.
The fun part of this from a fans stand point is seeing how players have developed. Most of the juniors from last season will weigh 10-20 pounds more. More speed can be seen. And Llano had nice skill players last season. This season, some could be really skilled. New players will arise, as they always do. Players that we have not seen or heard of. Yes, most of the parents have seen these kids, but hundreds in the stands have not. Our anticipation will be high. We all will be there together. Supporting our Llano Yellowjackets. Making 2018 a season to remember. I can’t wait.