Is Smithville the real deal?
But for a team that hasn’t had a successful ledger since a 5-4 showing in 1999 and has had just 23 wins since, you’ll have to excuse the Tigers if they enjoy the moment.
“ This is the most depth we have had since I’ve been here,” said Smithville Coach Justin Wiley who is 15-27 at Smithville. “ The difference in what a kid does as a junior than as a sophomore is tremendous.”
Par t of the reason for the Tigers surge is they returned 19 starters—nine on offense and 10 on defense—this year, which is the most for any team in District 23-3A.
“They have been thinking that this was going to be a good year for the past three years,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. “The scariest thing about them right now is that they are a confident team.”
However, before Smithville starts getting blisters patting itself on the back, consider this: the five teams they have beaten have a combined record of 9-25 and only one, Class 2A Lexington, has a winning record at 4-2.
Smithville has been a study in futility for the past 30 years, posting just three winning seasons in that time frame and participating in just three playoff games.
From 2001-2004, the Tigers lost 31 straight games and had a resurgence of sorts in 2009 and 2010, posting 5-5 marks.
However, they slipped back into the darkened depths of losing a year ago with an 0-10 mark.
The Tigers are the only team in Class 23-3A that has not made a playoff appearance in the past two seasons.
Since they first played in 1954, Rockdale leads the series 20-1- 1, with the only loss coming in 1990.
In the last 12 times they have played, Rockdale has outscored Smithville 400-45.
A loss to Smithville would be a serious setback for Rockdale’s playoff plans as Smithville is one of the District 23-3A teams they need to beat along with LaGrange and Caldwell.
Wiley sees the success in other Smithville sports rubbing off on the football team
The Tiger baseball team made the playoffs for the first time in school history and the boys basketball team went two rounds in the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
“A lot of the same kids that played basketball and baseball last year are on our football team,” he said. “Most of them are young, and with young kids when they see success, it stays with them.”
Smithville is second only to Navasota in district in putting points on the scoreboard and total offense as well.
They favor the run and ball control and quarterback Coltyn Brown has thrown for just 433 yards.
“This game gets into where we match up a little better,” Miller said of the opponent Tigers. “But we’re still going to have to be able to throw.
“Both options should be there for us, but we need to establish the passing game early.”
THE STARTING LINEUPS
|8||QB||Ethan||Brinkley, 6-||2, 180||Jr|
|23||TB||Dailynn||Ramey, 5-||7, 165||Fr|
|7||WR||Clayton||Gibbs, 6-||0, 170||So|
|72||LG||Josh||Pelzel, 6- 6,||270||So|
|52||C||Ty Kirk,||5-9, 185||Sr|
|50||RT||Patrick||David, 6-||1, 230||Sr|
|55||DE||Gabriel||McQuinn, 6-1,||240 Jr|
|51||DT||Steph.||Schneider, 6-1,||220 Sr|
|48||DE||Patric||Trejo, 6-1, 205||Jr|
|20||CB||Dillon||Goodman, 5-10,||140 Sr|
|5||CB||Zach||Garza, 6-1, 175||Sr|
|7||S||Clayton||Gibbs, 6- 0,||170||So|
|33||LB||Bryce||Helmcamp, 6-2,||240 Jr|
|36||LB||Jeremy||Kedlecek, 5-||10,||170 Jr|
|5||S||Cody||Hlavaty, 6- 0,||190||Sr|
|6||CB||Jimmie||Gonzales, 6- 0,||170||Jr|
|25||S||Khalil||McCathern, 6-||3,||180 So|
|23||TB||DaAaron Jackson, 5-9,||190 Jr|
|36||FB||Jeremy Kadlecek,5-10,||170 So|
|32||X||Keith||Jaynes, 6- 0, 160||Sr|
|33||TE||Bryce||Helmcamp, 6-2,||240 Jr|
|71||RG||Mason Morris, 6-2,||275||Sr|
|70||RT||Kyle||Stovall, 6-3, 200||Sr|
SMITHVILLE AT ROCKDALE
What: Rockdale Tigers (3-3, 0-1)
vs. Smithville Tigers (5-0, 1-0),
Where: Tigerland Field (1,850
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Favorite: Smithville by 8.
Last week: Navasota 53,
Rockdale 14; Smithville 46,
Last year: Rockdale won 48-7.
Series record: Rockdale leads
District outlook: Smithville is
picked 6th in District 23-3A.
Tiger to watch: No. 12, Sr. QB
Tickets: General admission: $6