John Cole Vann is one of just a few leaders remaining from last season’s district champion Lampasas team, and has watched his team struggle to a 1-4 start. But, coming off a bye week, the senior defensive end, who leads the Badgers in tackles for loss, sacks, pressures and both caused and recovered fumbles, feels Lampasas can rebound and become a District 8-3A contender.
What are your feelings heading into your District 8-3A schedule?
“We had a rough start to the season, but we also had a lot of juniors coming up, so I think they’ve had time to settle in and everything, and I have a lot of confidence for the first game (at Gatesville) and all of our district games. We will see what happens this Friday.”
You open district play against the Hornets, who have been playing really well of late. What kind of game are you expecting?
“It is going to definitely take the juniors stepping up, along with some of our secondary and our seniors; everyone is going to have to step up on that game. But I think they are definitely a beatable team, and I think our team has a good chance. I think we can beat them. It is not impossible, I know that. It will just take a really good game out of us.”
They have a great offense. As a defensive player, how do you slow them down?
“They obviously have a real good quarterback (Cole Edmiston), and he has most of their running yards. And they have a real fast running back (Jake Kee) too. Those will be the two main guys we are keying on, especially the quarterback, but we will be able to take care of them. We’ve got some new packages in this week for this team especially.”
Defensively, how do you feel the unit has progressed over the non-district portion of the schedule?
“On defense, we’ve definitely made some big changes. Going back to the first game (against Smithville), they scored in the first couple of minutes because our defense just wasn’t ready at all. We’ve had a rough start to the season, but our defense has improved, and the same with the offense. We still need to get better in the secondary, and some of our linebackers need to be ready to get downhill.”
Looking forward, what is it going to take for the Badgers to turn their season around and make the playoffs?
“Everyone wants to make the playoffs, and we are in a pretty tough district this year, so it will be interesting to see what happens. We’re just going to have to take it one game at a time, and it definitely has to start this week by beating Gatesville.”
Outside of football, what are some things you do in your free time?
“I show steers in FFA, so in between school and practice, I’m always taking care of them. Then, I’ll head over to football practice. That takes up a lot of my time. If it is not football, then its down at the barn.”
How long have you been doing that?
“I’ve been showing since I can remember, really.”
What about it is so enjoyable for you?
“It teaches you a lot of responsibility, and you get miss school, so that is fun too. But it is fun working with the animals, and you get to learn about where your meat comes from and how they raise it.”
You are in your senior year of high school, so what is something you want to accomplish before graduating?
“I’d really like to make the playoffs, and I think we have a chance to do it. Personally, for me, I got honorable mention last year as a junior, so it would be pretty cool to get first team all-district and maybe even better than that.”
What are your plans for after high school?
“I’ll probably go to Blinn College and then transfer over to Texas A&M or, if I could, just go straight to A&M. I’m not really sure what I want to do yet, but probably something sports related, physical therapy or something like that.”
Do you want to play football after high school?
“If I got the offers, (I might), but I’m not going to go out and look for someone. But, if I got offered, I’d definitely have to think about it. It would be pretty fun to go play football at the next level.”
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com