Rockwall kicks off football season Friday hosting Naaman Forest

ROCKWALL – The Area’s ninth-ranked Rockwall Yellowjackets will open their 2011 football season tonight when they host the Naaman Forest Rangers in the second game of the second annual “Ralph Hall Honor Before Victory Classic” at 7:30 pm at Wilkerson-Sanders stadium.

Rockwall-Heath won the first game of the Classic last night, defeating West Mesquite, 19-7.

According to Rockwall’s Head Coach and RISD Athletic Director Scott Smith, Naaman Forest will pose a challenge. Rockwall (6-5 last year) defeated the Rangers (2-8 last year) in both teams’ opening game in 2010, but it was close, 35-28.

Naaman Forest is coached by former Rockwall head coach and RISD Athletic Director Mark Elam.

“We have a fine group of kids to work with,” said Coach Smith. “We had a good scrimmage last week and have had real good two-a-days.”

“During these non-district games we’re looking especially for new players to step up,” he added. “Most of the improvement takes place between the scrimmage and first game and then the second game.”

“Some kids will play both ways, on defense and offense.”

He said by the time the Yellowjackets play highly-ranked,  District 10-4A defending champion Highland Park in their fourth game, “is when we’ll really need to be humming and pulling all together.”

The Yellowjackets will employ a 4-2-5 defense and are returning six starters on defense.

“Junior linebacker Jared Farrow (5’8,” 185 lbs) should make some big plays on defense,” said Coach Smith. He also expects big things from junior linebacker Garrett Fikes (5′ 8,” 170 lbs.), a tri-captain.

On offense, senior quarterback Wesley Davis (6’5,” 190 lb) and senior wide receiver Coan Calabrese (5’7,” 145 lbs.) are also co-captains, expected to be team leaders.

“Wesley is a fine young man, good leader and a joy to work with,” said Coach Smith. He was converted to quarterback this year.

Senior center Colin Way and offensive guard Garrett Lilly (6’2,” 265 lbs) should be among the team’s best players.

Senior running backs Baylor Black (6′ 0,” 180 lbs.) and Alex Ntchobo (5′ 9,” 165 lbs.) should provide good depth at running back.

Last year the Yellowjackets finished in second place in District 10-4A with a 5-2 record. This year they are expected to be just as good, if not better.

“We’re anxious to play now and see where we’re at,” said Coach Smith.

By J.J. Smith (no relation)




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