Yellowjackets play with new intensity


Alfonso Moreno, Sports Writer

   The bright lights are shining across the field as the players line up on the  50 yard line. In the background, you can hear the cans loudly shaking as the band plays the school song. You can smell the tension in the crisp, cool, fall air as the kicker runs up to the ball. Head Coach Greg Winder stands on the sideline hoping for a win for a chance this season to play in the state championship. As the fourth quarter ends, the jackets take home a 71-0 win over Big Spring. This is Friday night football.

    The team is going into district with a better record than last year, and hope to go farther into playoffs this year. Winder says the leadership and bond of the players play a big role in the team’s success.

   “The group of kids here have a very tight bond, they all believe in each other, and the leadership is great,” he said.

   Although he says it is a tough district, offensive coach Jeremiah Butchee looks forward to competing against other teams.

   ”We have one of the most formidable districts in the state with Abilene Wylie and Brownwood steeped in tradition along with Big Spring and Snyder who routinely field great athletes,” Butchee said. “I look forward to watching our kids compete and turn all of their hard work into victory.”

  With the absence of starting Quarterback Easton Jones due to an injury, Butchee appreciates the role quarterbacks Tyler and Cole played.

 “Schouten and Stanley did a fantastic job of leading our offense while Jones was finishing rehab,” Butchee said. “They helped us win by controlling the ball and scoring points,”

Winder agrees.

“They both played well, did what we asked them to and managed the offense the way I wanted them to,” Winder said.

 Last year, the Yellowjackets had a 3-8 overall record; their current record is 7-2.The team’s success this year is in part due to new Head Defensive Coordinator Cody Moore.

  “Moore has implemented a great defense that has been good for us and understandable for the kids,” Winder said. “The whole defensive staff has done a really nice job on their side of the ball.”

  Butchee believes that defense this year has “played lights out.”

“Their passion, physicality and the emotion in which they play the game set the tone for our team,” he said.

  Moore is also pleased by the way the defense has played each week. His goals being the best defense in district.

  “I feel like the defense has done a tremendous job adapting to the different offenses we see each week,” Moore said. “I feel like they are playing physical and improving on tackling. Our kids are very smart and are very hungry when it comes to learning new terminology and new assignments.”

  The team is ranked first in the district and hopes to keep it that way for a run to another state title.

 “In offseason we see a lot of the hard work being put in,” Moore said. “We had a really great summer program and really bonded well with the team, and the teammates got a lot closer as well during 7 v 7. The coaches also do a great job of making our players improve.”

  As the Yellowjackets are already guaranteed a spot in Bi-District playoffs win or lose, this season can definitely be defined as a winning season numbers wise, but Butchee defines a winning season as much more.

  “I define a winning season by the players on the team playing at the absolute highest level of their ability and constantly improving week after week and play so that when the fate of the season is riding on a game whether that be district, the first round of playoffs, or the state championship game, we are at our very best,” Butchee said.


Photo credit: Vasara photography