Jackets hit road to Wimberley
August 28, 2013, 5:30 am by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
LCJ Sports Editor
Llano played the spoiler role last year against Wimberley in the season opener, but this time around Wimberley will have its attention on the Jackets.
"Last year they may have overlooked us a little bit, they were the defending state champions and we were coming off a 1-9 season with a new coach,’’ Llano coach Craig Slaughter said. "This year, they are the one with a new coach. They’ll be trying to impress their new coach.’’
Wimberley’s new coach is former assistant Doug Warren, who is in his eighth season at Wimberley and first as a head coach.
"To the casual fan we’re going to look a lot like we have, of course as coaches you tweak things every year and we’ve done that,’’ Warren said.
The Jackets and Wimberley will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wimberley’s Texan Stadium.
The player that stands out for the Texans is West Lambert. The 205-pounder is a bull of a back. Last year, he played linebacker, too.
"As coaches we have to work real hard to get him the football because he can do a lot of things,’’ Warren said. "He’s a hard runner, he can catch the football and he’s a great blocker.’’
Slaughter said the Jackets will be challenged to gang tackle against Lambert, the featured player on a balanced team.
Wimberley "throws it as much as anybody,’’ Slaughter said. "They are a solid team like they always are. They don’t make many mistakes, they are not going to beat themselves. They try to put you in a tough situation and they like to play physical. I hope we are up to snuff and play well or we’re in trouble.’’
Llano has made strides in the preseason workouts and enter the season with a lot of confidence in year two of the Slaughter regime.
Quarterback Layton Rabb has the respect of his teammates and opponents after posting a strong junior season.
Carter Tatsch is the starting backfield mate and Isaac Hutto leads a gifted group of receivers.
The other receivers are Jalen Bauman, Kralen Dickerson and Sawyer Styles. Mason Ladd is another key receiver.
Wimberley returns six starters on offense and five on defense off a team that went 8-4 a year ago under longtime coach Weldon Nelms.
Nelms left Wimberley to coach at Class 5A Weatherford, near Fort Worth.
In stepped his top assistant Doug Warren.
Warren will bring some continuity and change to the Texans program, which is a traditional power in Central Texas over the last two decades. Wimberley has won four straight district championships and took state titles in 2005 and 2011.
Wimberley’s defense is paced by linemen Tristan Moore, Jackson King and Marshall Andrews.
"We feel pretty good about that group,’’ Warren said. "That’s a good place to start (with good linemen).’’
Llano’s defense is led by linebacker Caleb Penny, who averaged 10 tackles a game for the 3-7 Jackets a year ago.
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