Rockwall Yellowjackets: 2013 football preview
New head coach Rodney Webb wants to do something in Rockwall that hasn’t been done in over 20 years - win a playoff game.
"That’s sort of ultimately our goal for the year,” Webb said. “We want to not just make the playoffs, but we want to advance in the playoffs.”
Webb comes to Rockwall from Mesquite Horn, where he coached the Jaguars from 2008 until last season.
“Well let me say first that I loved my job at Mesquite Horn, and I’m very proud of the program that we built there and what we accomplished during the time I was there,” Webb said. “Rockwall is my home, my wife works at and my daughter attends Rockwall High School. I know a lot of the kids and families in this community, so this is home for me.”
Because of his connections with the Rockwall community, Webb is already very familiar with most the students who will be playing for him, and expects big seasons from a few of them.
“Offensively we’ve got a couple of guys that I think could be difference-makers,” Webb said. “We’ve got a running back named Chris Warren, just going to be a junior. He’s a very, very gifted and talented running back with a tremendous combination of size and speed.”
Webb also talked about wide receiver Xavier Castille, another junior, saying that though he’s listed as a receiver, “he’s kind of a multi-talented player that we’ll find a lot of ways to get him the ball and allow him to make plays.”
Defensively, Webb says he's confident in linebacker Chris Hinckley and defensive lineman Jalen Beasley. “Hinckley should be one of the top linebackers in the area, and [Beasley] can be a dominant force on our defensive line as well," Webb said.
Rockwall has a difficult schedule, with Rowlett (11-5A bi-district finalist) and Coppell (11-1 area finalist from 5-5A) in the second and third weeks of the season. The Yellowjackets will also face Rockwall Heath (12-5A bi-district finalist), Mesquite Horn (8-4 area finalist from 12-5A), Mesquite (11-1 area finalist from 12-5A), and Longview (9-4 regional semi-finalist from 12-5A).
“Our schedule is kind of a who’s-who this year of good teams. I know non-district wise; everyone we play is really going to be good this year. Coppell is a state-ranked team preseason; we’re playing them at their place and that should be pretty difficult,” Webb said.
“Mesquite Horn, the program I just left, is loaded with talent this year," Webb said. "That team has virtually everybody coming back off last year’s team. Longview is always very physical and tough, so I’d say those three games maybe stand out, but every team on our schedule is quality and they’ve all got a chance to be good this year.”
“What we’re looking to do this year is we’re looking to get to the playoffs, first and foremost, and we want to use our four non-district games to get better," Webb said. "Whatever our record winds up being is what it winds up being; we want to use that time to get better and build depth, and then win the games we’ve got to win in district to get into the playoffs.”
With the district-leading rusher returning and a strong defense, Rockwall is projected to have a good enough season to get the fourth playoff spot in District 12-5A, and it’s up to them where they go from there.
Head Coach: Rodney Webb 2012 Results: 3-7, 2-4 in District 12-5A Top Players: LB Chris Hinckley, Sr., 6-2, 218; 127 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 blocked punt. RB Chris Warren, Jr., 6-2, 214; Rushing 174-1059 yards, 13 touchdowns; 1 sack, 1 caused fumble. LB Josh Rippy, Sr., 6-0, 209; 71 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss. OL Hayden Harper, Sr., 6-2, 265. WR Xavier Castille, Jr., 5-10, 185; Receiving 48-528 yards, 0 TD. LB Luke Termin, Soph., 6-2, 225.