Rotan coach Dale Means is hoping that the experience his young team gained last year will pay dividends this season.
“We had 15 players last year and only three were seniors,” he explained. “We had 12 freshmen and sophomores.”
The Yellowhammers went 6-2 last year but were 0-2 in District 7-1A Division I (six-man).
“The key is to stay healthy,” Means added. “We’ve got a ways to go. We are still not very big. We are pretty quick, but when we play bigger teams we wear down. That cost us last year in district. When we played Ira and Hermleigh, we couldn’t match up. But we will be better this year. Our strength is our experience.”
Rotan returns all of top skill-position players, including QB/LB Zac Flores, who completed 53 of 90 passes for 905 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and carried the ball 21 times for 74 yards. He also had a team-high 81 tackles.
Both running backs are back, too. TB/S Jordan Daniel (43-793, 13 TDs rushing) and RB/DL Juan Garza (58-579 rushing, 4-80 receiving) give the Yellowhammers a potent 1-2 punch in the running game.
“Jordan is our fastest player,” Means stated.
WR/DL Jaxon Warren is Rotan’s top receiver. He had 11 receptions for 233 yards and five touchdowns last season also recorded 39 tackles.
“Freshman (RB/DB) Grayson Jeffrey is coming up and should help us, too,” Means noted.
Other key returnees for the Yellowhammers include C/DL Hunter Harris, E/DB Kaeden Krebsbach, SB/DB J.J. Perales and DB Hilliday McCall.