Llano Yellow Jackets
2018 OUTLOOK: Optimism doesn’t begin to describe what the Yellow Jackets feel headed into the 2018 season. That’s because of a trio of seniors: quarterback Cade Fly, running back Mason Brooks, and receiver Brooks Keele.
Fly threw for 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns and ran for 350 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Brooks ran for 681 yards and accounted for 35 percent of the team’s carries, and head coach Matt Green said Brooks will be given the ball often because “he’s a threat to score.” Keele scored eight touchdowns and had close to 500 yards receiving in 2017.
While that trio is impressive, they’re not the only weapons. Dalton Moore, who had 250 yards but only played in less than half of the contests, returns from injury and is expected to share the rushing duties with Brooks.
But the biggest reason for the optimism? The receivers.
“We have a lot of kids who can catch the ball and get open,” Green said.
They include Ethan Tisdale and Justin Yocum at slot receiver, two individuals who can take short passes and turn them into big plays because of their speed. Green also recommends fans keep an eye on Caleb Dodson, the program’s fastest runner, and Thomas Adams, who has emerged as a reliable target and improved throughout the summer.
These Jackets have allowed coaches to open the playbook and install four-receiver sets with one running back because they have the ability to score on every play. Green said he hasn’t had this number of options since he was the offensive coordinator at Lake Travis almost a decade ago.
“We’re blessed in the receiving corps,” Green said. “All kids anticipate getting reps.”
The offensive line doesn’t have the game experience it had a year ago, but Green said the players are progressing nicely. Tyler Lindell will anchor the line, but the other four starting spots were up for grabs throughout fall camp. Green believes the average weight his linemen is 250-280 pounds.
Just as the offensive line gains valuable experience throughout the pre-district, so too will parts of the defense. The defensive line will be tall, the linebackers have experience from last year, and the secondary will have competition because of the number of skilled players. Green believes the defensive backs will have a steady rotation so there won’t be a drop-off because of fatigue.
Look for Moore, Logan Duggar, and Mason Baker to be at linebacker.
“They’re hungry and intelligent,” Green said. “We have experience, talent, and a lot of desire. I’m excited about this group.”
Llano is picked to finish fourth in the district behind Cuero, Wimberley, and Navarro.
“There’s no doubt the district gets tougher,” the coach said. “It’ll be a fight every week. You’ll earn your way into the playoffs. There will not be a week off.”
All games kick off at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Aug. 31 vs. Hondo, 29-26 loss
Sept. 7 at Luling, 36-12 win
Sept. 14 at Brady, 47-21 win
Sept. 21 vs. Lago Vista (homecoming), 38-7 win
Sept. 28 at San Angelo Lake View, 27-7 win
Oct. 5 OPEN
Oct. 12 vs. Navarro, 14-10 loss
Oct. 19 at Cuero, 55-16 loss
Oct. 26 vs. Bandera, 34-0 win
Nov. 2 vs. Wimberley, 31-24 loss (OT)
Nov. 9 at Eastside Memorial, 58-0 win
Nov. 16 vs. Hond0, 21-14 win (OT)
Nov. 23 vs. Corpus Christi West Oso, lost 62-31