W.T. White is coming off a 1-9 season in which it was outscored 258-68 over its final five games, including back-to-back games in which it surrendered 63 points.
This year, the Longhorns will start a sophomore at quarterback and face a schedule that might be even more difficult. Yet second-year head coach Tony Johnson is optimistic.
Jason Salinas will replace graduating senior Marcus McClanahan as the signal-caller. But the youngster should benefit from a well-seasoned supporting cast, such as senior receivers Brennan Hatton and Sammy Hines.
“I believe we have great skill players,” Johnson said. “We don’t have a lot of depth, but our ones are as good as anyone.”
The offensive line includes two talented upperclassmen in Darren Nero and Tim Wyatt. WTW will need to improve on defense against a daunting District 8-6A schedule that includes state runner-up Duncanville.
“Our defensive line will be much improved,” Johnson said. “Jakobe Darden is garnering Division I interest, and Kailen Taylor, a transfer, is looking good at nose tackle.”
“We don’t have a lot of depth, but our ones are as good as anyone.” -Coach Tony Johnson
Success in the trenches on both sides — an experienced offensive line and an up-and-coming defensive line — will be imperative for the Longhorns this season. So will some intangibles.
“The culture here is better than last year. I have been here for just one year, and it takes at least two years to instill the culture and get buy-in,” Johnson said. “I believe this coaching staff is ahead of that curve in some areas. Now it just comes down to the little things, like confidence and belief.”