With the summer 7-on-7 season wrapped up with the conclusion of the Texas State 7-on-7 tournament last weekend, the Stephenville Yellow Jackets are looking good and head coach Greg Winder has admired the work the team’s players have put in.
Coming off a somewhat strange season where the Yellow Jackets finished as bi-district champions with a 4-7 record, the coaching staff and players knew heading into the summer months that there was room for improvement.
According to Winder, improvement has been aplenty.
“Right now we feel pretty good about where we are,” he said. “The majority of the young men have shown up to performance course this summer and also the other activities that we’ve had, like 7-on-7. The turnout was really good for those two things and they both help out the younger kids a lot. I also think that we competed really well in 7-on-7, especially in the state tournament.”
Not only is the team in a solid position, but there also hasn’t been any huge changes to the coaching staff. The only change to-date was assistant coach Blaze Pendleton leaving to go to Granbury.
Apart from that, the Yellow Jackets hard work in the summer could pay huge dividends come the 2016 season.
“Now you have to understand that football, even in high school now, is a year round thing,” Winder said. “If you don’t have a great summer then you’re already starting behind a lot of other teams. You need to have a good weight, speed and 7-on-7 program. Especially with 7-on-7, which has become something really important in the last several years. It allows the kids to play catch and be out competing which is exactly what you want.”
As the summer programs begin to close, several players have made strides to stand-out, whether that be in 7-on-7 or in the weight room.
“There have been guys like Holden Haile, Blake Aragon, Easton Jones, Mason Holstein and several others who have really stood out in 7-on-7 and did a great job and have been improving,” said Winder. “Some other guys who are on the interior offensive and defensive lines have also been great for the most part. Some of them are Ragan Wood, Austin Northcutt and Jacob Lopez to name a few. I like where we stand.”
Stephenville begins their season on Aug. 26 when they travel to take on Cleburne.