Jr. 'Horns ready to make another run

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com
After coming within one game of being crown conference champs the last two seasons, the Johnson County Jr. Longhorns try to make it over the hump in an effort to win the title.
The Longhorns have fallen victim to Happy Valley the last two years in the conference championship match, and there is no sign that they can't contend once again.
"We had a pretty good showing in the jamboree last week, and I think we're going to have a fairly good season this year," said Johnson County coach Delza Noble, whose team opened the regular season with a 6-0 win over Cloudland.
Johnson County should be strong on the line, and have a heads-up quarterback in Austin Phillips and Tyler Leonard getting the call in the back field.
"The strongest part of our team is probably our line," said Noble. "We have a good quarterback who makes smart plays, and Tyler Leonard is tough coming out of the back field."
The defense looks to be strong also with a couple of brothers playing the ends to lead the charge.
"We have two brothers, Dakota and Travis Grindstaff, who do an exceptional job playing the defensive end position," said Noble.
Johnson County doesn't quite have the size it did last season, but they have talented athletes which should stabilize its status as being on of the teams to beat in the conference.
"We don't have as many big players as what we had last season, but the one thing we have going for us is we have some good athletes," said Noble.
The Longhorns have been at the top of the list when asked who the team to beat was in the past couple of years.
"We've made it to the championship game the past two years, and we try to at least finish first or second every year," said Noble.
It won't be easy this time around, for there are several teams which could make a break for the top spot.
"This conference has become so good and equal that just about any team has a chance of winning it this season," said Noble.
Look for Johnson County to be right there in the thick of things when the season ends. They've been so close yet so far away in their last two season finales.
"We have a great group of athletic kids who work hard in practice everyday," said Noble. "Hopefully, we can win the championship this year and will be there when the season ends."