Smithville program turns corner
September 07, 2012, 10:00 am by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Smithville’s Barry Stadium is small and confined. It will be a hostile environment when the Marble Falls Mustangs take to the road for the first time Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Smithville.
First-year head coach Wayne Childs of Smithville said spirits are up in the town that rallies behind its high school students after last year’s massive fire that wiped out most of the Lost Pines in Bastrop County.
"Everybody is definitely excited about everything going on here,’’ said Childs, who has been a defensive coordinator since 2005 at Smithville before taking the head coaching position. "We have a chance in every sport and that’s our goal. We are raising both good Americans and solid athletes.’’
The fire last year wiped out two homes of Smithville varsity players and displaced several more including coach Childs.
Childs said the team rallied to earn its first playoff berth last season since making the playoffs in 1998.
Smithville has long struggled competing in districts with the Giddings, Cameron Yoes and the Sealys and Navasotas. Although the school has been bounced around in realignment, they have emerged to compete this year in District 23-3A with Cuero, Gonzales, Yoakum, La Grange and Giddings.
The Tigers won their opener, 14-7, over Lampasas and showed some big-play capability, scoring on 94-yard fumble return and a run by DaAaron Jackson.
The fumble return was by Gray Morris, one of the best athletes on campus, said Childs.
"It’s nice to have some speed for a change,’’ Childs said. "He’s just a good athlete, he’s the top tennis player in the school and he can run.’’
Smithville runs the pistol formation on offense and goes with a 4-3 alignment on defense.
"I love it (the pistol),’’ said Childs. "You can do so many things out of it.’’
What the Tigers like to do is run the football
They will use four backs in a rotation at the fullback position. The back lines up directly behind the quarterback, who takes the snap in the shotgun.
The Tigers’ backs are versatile led by Morris, a speed burner; and powerful Jackson. both are seniors and Jackson plays linebacker on defense.
Also in the mix are junior Jamal Bates and senior Jeremy Kadlecek.
"They have a lot of team speed,’’ Marble Falls coach Todd Dodge said. "La Grange was a more physical team.’’
Smithville has 28 seniors on its roster and all 11 starters on defense are seniors.
The defensive standouts are middle linebacker Bryce Helmcamp, linebacker Jackson and tackle Kegan Bledsoe.
"Last week, we had some big plays, but we couldn’t get Lampasas off the field,’’ he said. "They made a lot of plays to keep drives going.’’
This week, Marble Falls will continue its no-huddle, up-tempo style on offense.
"Marble Falls looks really good,’’ Childs said. "I don’t know how you slow them down.’’
The Mustangs scored 56 points last week against La Grange, scoring on eight of 10 possessions and not giving up a turnover.
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