The 2019 season began about three weeks ago as the Jackets began working out as a team. Last Friday night the Jackets scrimmaged Blanco. A longtime close rival of yesteryear, but the 2019 version of the Panthers produced a fine 10-3 record in AAA.
The Jackets travel to Manor Tech this week to end the scrimmage season. This Saturday morning, the real season begins. Llano will play Hondo on August 30th, playing in Hondo. Second best part of this 100 plus mile trip is eating at Hermann and Sons Steak House. The best part is playing a very good Hondo Owls team that will play Llano like it is a play-off game. What has been in the past, a “fill-in-game”, Hondo has become somewhat of a rival game, due to most part in Llano beating the Owls in over-time in last seasons first play-off game. The Owls beat Llano in the first game of last season 29-26.
The Jackets are loaded. As is Hondo. With 9 starters on offense, and 7 starters on defense back from the 2019 team, the Owls have many players that have long memories. November 2019 was a long time ago. Hondo is picked to win their District 14-4A,Div. 11.
I too…the season begins after the Manor scrimmage. Already began putting together article before the Hondo game. Statistics from last season. Players that have made a name, and new players that will be difference makers this season. And how does Llano stack up? Loaded I said. Yet still picked by Texas Football to be a 4th place team in 13-4A, Div. 11. Yes, State Champion Cuero will play in Jacket Stadium this year. We travel to Wimberley and Navarro.
Will only speak of one Jacket today. Aiden Cuthbertson. Brought up last season as a safety and a Sophomore. He was a difference maker in District play. Could have been a starter on both sides of the ball, this his junior season. But an injury has derailed that path. Likely out all season. He will be missed. But my expectations are, Aiden will have a great senior year. See you in 2020.
The Jackets have very large jerseys to fill. Record breaking senior quarterback Cade Fly has graduated. Three year monster on the defensive line, Drew Cooper, too. Last year’s stars such as Kendall Downey and two way starter Mason Brooks. Tyler Lindell, and Presley Lynch, and receiver and record book entree, Brooks Keele…all gone. Jason Stark, Joe Pagany and Ethan Tisdale and Christian Kirby…gone. Kaleb Dodson, Thomas Adams, Iver Godo, Alex Shaw, Ethan Eastwood,Dylan Inge…gone. But not forgotten.
To me, this is get ready mentally week. Play hard against Manor, and come out well. Play with few mistakes, but don’t dewell on them long. Watch lots of film on Hondo. Know their tendencies. Likely to be much the same as 2018. Because being mentally ready for Hondo can set the table for this 2019 season. Llano may be loaded. but as Head Coach Matt Green said, it must translate out to the field on Friday night. Being loaded doesn’t count for much if you are not prepared.