A brand new offensive scheme, new district rivals, and a chance to start the new season with a win for the first time since 2015, this time against a completely new opponent playing its first varsity game in school history.
Leander and head coach Tim Smith look to kick the season off with a win on Thursday when Smith and the Lions travel to Pflugerville to take on Weiss at 7 p.m. at the Pfield.
The debut of such an offensive scheme is highly-anticipated, with Leander expected to come out in a much slower offensive pace than in past years.
With a combined record of 3-17 over the past two seasons, something had to change, and the offense is just a start. Leander's offense averaged just 17.5 points per game last season, a far cry from the 41.5 points-per-game the defense allowed on average in their 1-9 2017 season.
The strategic effort of Smith and the coaching staff is not the only thing different on offense, as the Lions embrace the return of three-year varsity athlete, quarterback Rashad Carter back under center.
Carter had missed most of last season with a nagging hand injury.
"(Rashad is) a great athlete, but he’s also a great decision maker," Smith said. "This offense fits right into him. He can really run. It’s exciting and he’s dong a good job."
On the Weiss side, this is a team with zero varsity games under its belt as a new school. However, the junior varsity team under head coach Thomas Aultman posted an 8-2 record with a 4-0 district mark in 2017. In a tough District 13-5A-D2 featuring schools like perennial challengers Brenham, the Wolves will come out with something to prove on Thursday night.
Weiss boasts the largest enrollment of any school in the new District 13-5A-D2 at 1,768. With their inaugural varsity game taking place before a rowdy hometown crowd, the challenge Leander faces in winning a season opener is only amplified.
As the smallest school by enrollment in District 13-6A, the odds are stacked against Leander as the season progresses. The Lions could use the confident surge of an opening weekend victory, starting what could be a promising season out on the right foot.
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