Lampasas begins the 2014 football season at home on Friday night against Fredericksburg.
“We’ll be tested right off the bat,” said Lampasas second-year head coach Brian Emerson. “Fredericksburg went three rounds into the playoffs last year and they return their whole offensive line. Plus their starting quarterback, Kyle Grona, returns and he’s excellent.”
Emerson, who has coached high school football for 33 years — 25 as a head coach — said Grona is a handful.
“They’re a balanced team offensively,” Emerson said. “But what makes them especially difficult is that when they run, it is Grona doing their running.
“They use many different formations but they don’t run that many plays so the key for us on Friday is that we must line up correctly. And we can’t give up the big play. We must make them drive. We can’t have any two-play drives against us.”
Last year, Fredericksburg defeated the Badgers 24-6.
“Our defense played pretty well in that game last season,” Emerson said. “But we turned the ball over five times. Last year, we were putting in a new offense. On Friday, we can’t turn the ball over.”
Emerson will start 6-foot-2, 190-pound sophomore Cohen Cockburn at quarterback.
“He’s very mature for a sophomore,” Emerson said. “He’s got a great arm. He understands football. He’s a much better runner than we expected he’d be. He has the potential to become a great high school quarterback and have a great career.”
Cockburn, quite often, will be handing off to senior Cale Walker.
“Cale is a good runner for us but he’s equally good at receiving,” Emerson said.
Cockburn’s principal target via air will be Charlie Woods, a senior tight end.
“Charlie is a good all-around football player,” Emerson said. “He’s great at catching the ball, and then he runs real well with it. Plus, he’s a very good blocker.”
Emerson heaped high praise on senior offensive lineman Laine Wiggins.
“Laine is the leader of our offensive line,” Emerson said. “He has tremendous ability and so much toughness.”
Emerson said his team is excited about opening night.
“We want to be a team that can run the ball and throw the ball,” Emerson said. “Of course we want our fans to see a team that scores more points than our opponents.
“But, most importantly, we want our fans to see a team that plays hard, plays with class and represents this community with class.”