Gold ball chasing

Yellowjackets rise through ranks to state semi-finals


Brittany Taylor

Yellowjackets move on to Regional Semifinals and to final eight.

Alfonso Moreno

Tension rises as Stephenville faces undefeated Argyle in the third round of playoffs. The Yellowjackets have played well the past few games with little errors but they hope to keep it up going into Friday’s game. Although they are facing a big opponent, winning is still the biggest focus of every player and coach who runs out onto the field at the start of the game. The pressure is on for both teams knowing it’s a win or go home.

  Head coach, Greg Winder, is ready for the game and understands what is on the line. Knowing their facing a team that’s good on both sides of the ball, he keeps the team prepared with hard work in practice.

  “Everyone knows the way it is in playoffs,” Winder said. “You either win or go home. It’s a one and done kind of a deal. The pressures out there, the coaches and kids feel it, but that’s what you get prepared for at practice everyday.”

  Offensive lineman Jacob Poston knows the pressure is out there but doesn’t let it get to him, instead he focuses on his tasks before the game.

  “I really don’t let the pressure get to me,” Poston said. “I do my best to just block it out and focus on doing my job by running my assignments through my head so I’ll be sharp by game time.”

  The mindset he has during the game is described as “controlled chaos” and he keeps it that way to make sure he’s playing at his best.

  “My mindset is always the same,” Poston said. “I stay ticked off and keep the thought that I’m the toughest guy on the field. I have to control my temper though, otherwise, I could cost my team.”

  This season has been great so far with a 10-2 regular season record. Winder and Poston are very pleased on how it went considering last season.

  “I really don’t think you can compare this year’s team to last years,” Poston said. “We ended last year with a record of 3-8 which is unacceptable. We stay focused on becoming a team and bonding as brothers. We really have worked our tails off to get to where we are at and plan to keep this revenge tour rolling all the way until we get to the top.”

  “Revenge tour” is the new saying the Yellowjackets have which started in the offseason. It describes the bounce back they have had since last year.

  “Revenge tour was one of our many mottos that we took on at the beginning of the season,” Poston said. “We looked at last season and how rough it was. It put a sour taste in our mouths and we quickly found that we needed revenge from last season. We started revenge tour to get back at the teams that ruined it for us last year. This is our year.”  

  Although the team had some key injuries, Winder also agrees a big contributor that’s helped this team become better is not only the hard work they have put in, but the way they have come together as a team and the great leadership that has been shown.

  “The group of kids here have a very tight connection,” Winder said. “They all believe in each other, and their leadership is great. Any team you have a regular season that’s 10-2 is always above expectations. We fought through injuries and overcame some adversity of some games but have played well.”

  The game stayed intense from start to finish. With a short lead in the final seconds of the game, Winder was preparing for overtime while Argyle lined up to tie the game with a field goal. Although the game was a “nail biter”, Winder kept the team calm by making them stay focused and take on one play at a time. The Yellowjackets won with a 31-28 score. They played in the the state semifinal game and lost to Kennedale 54-28.