By John Stepp For the Times-Tribune
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets had a successful 2011 campaign, compiling a record of 9-4, only to lose to the eventual Class A state champions, Hazard, in the regional finals. With all but four players returning from last year’s squad, Coach Jerry Herron and company are looking to make a splash in the 2012 season.
With a high powered offense (4,956 total yards; 55 TDs) and an aggressive defense, the Jackets bring back several players who have game experience, and who are eager to take their program to the next level.
“We’re very excited. We have a lot of players coming back who contributed last season, and their ready to take the next step for our program,” said Herron. “Last year we lost to the eventual state champions in Hazard. They’ve been to the state finals three of the past four years, and won one of them. That’s where we want to be – competing for regional and state championships.”
Despite returning one of the best QB-WR duos in Class A, in Dalton Sizemore and Skyler Griffith, Herron said his team’s success will be predicated on the offensive line.
“The key to our team this year is going to be our offensive line,” said Herron. “In order for our offense to continue to be successful, we need our offensive line to lead us. They have to block well, improve on their run and pass blocking, and be leaders for us.”
Although most of the hype around the Williamsburg football program stems from their passing game, Herron said his squad has really turned up the dial on defense. Herron credited defensive coordinator Von Hatcher with improving his side of the ball.
“Defensively we are trying to run to the ball and play hard-nosed. We just want to try to get after everyone,” said Herron. “Coach Hatcher has done a great job improving our defense and preparing our team. He preaches to the kids to stay aggressive and to play full speed.”
But no matter the passing numbers, the amount of touchdowns, nor the aggressive defense, the Jackets will not be satisfied unless they make a run in the postseason.
“What we want is to continue doing is making runs at the district championship and to keep competing for the region, and hopefully take that next step,” said Herron. “Our goal is to keep getting better and make a run at the state championship.”
And Herron said this could be the team to make that happen.
“This team knows that they have a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead of them, but they are willing to do what it takes,” Herron said. “It’s going to take a lot. We got a taste of the third round last year, but we want to go farther. We have a lot of potential on this team. We just got to do it.”
Herron believes key to Yellow Jackets' success will be O-Line
By John Stepp For the Times-Tribune
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