The excitement back in early February is one classic tale. Be careful what you wish for. The Llano Yellowjackets have been buried in a 3AAA district for decades that has clamed state championships by Bandera, Liberty Hill, Gatesville, Wimberley and state finalist in recent years with Burnet and Brownwood. There were no easy weeks, yet the 2013 team made the playoffs by beating both Gatesville and Brownwood, a year 20 years from now “will go down in infamy.” Llano as always, shows up to play. Llano is not taken for granted on anyones schedule. The little train that could has left powers in the dust for over 4o years. That reputation today far exceeds any great coaching dynasties. It is all about the character of our kids.
A quick reminder; In 1973 the Yellowjackets beat #2 ranked Bastrop in a bi-district contest 7-0. Llano beat West Lake the first two years they played. Llano beat an undefeated and #1 ranked team in Central Texas, Leander in a snow storm, I think the score was 34-0. And as recent as 2003 beat a good Wimberley team when Llano was ended a 3-7 season. Take the Jackets lightly, and our kids will smell blood.
The UIL has tried to rearrange the schools to make it more fair. Llano has been playing many schools with double Llano’s enrollment. Llano, at 496 kids in high school, move to 13-4A. All school move up an “A”, as now there is a 6-A. Llano gets Hondo (592), Lytle (520), Geronimo Navarro (513), And Wimberley (673) in our district. Navarro has given Wimberley fits the past few years. Every team in 13-4A made the state playoffs in 2013. Four will make the playoffs this season.
The Jacket’s pre-district schedule looks like it could have been from the 1960s’. Brady, Lakeview, and Fredericksburg. Throw in 15-1 from last season Wall, and Bangs and Salado. There is not an easy team to play on Friday nights.
Llano is blessed with great young coaches. These guys load up in the mornings and help with the junior high 7th and 8th grade teams. The whole staff helps each other. Few times have I seen more togetherness, and focus for what is best for all teams that right now. Head Coach Craig Slaughter is athletic director also. He cares for every single program, and helps in all phases when there is need. Another reason our Jackets will be competitive in every game.
After the Sonora scrimmage this week, we will look at who plays where, and how do we beat state finalist Wall in Llano on August 29th.