Cameron, Lexington in quest for the holy grail
Lexington comes out of the chute first, facing 11-3 Idalou at 4 p.m. at 12,000-seat Newsom Stadium in Mansfield.
In the second game of the double-header, Cameron will butt heads with 13-1 Daingerfield at 8 p.m.
Both teams are 14-0.
The Yoemen are trying for their second crown, the first coming in Class 3A in 1981.
The War Eagles have been to the title game just once, losing to China Spring back in 1978 under Mike Organ, who will now be covering the game for the Lexington Herald.
There may be no one who knows the Yoe better than Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller.
“There are many reasons that I think they are good,” Miller said. “First of all, they have 30-plus seniors which is unheard of for 2A. Especially when the seniors are as good as this group is.
“Also, they are very well coached and show a lot of discipline. As I said when we played them, I do not see any weaknesses on this team. The have a good line on both sides of the ball and really good skilled kids.
“Speed k ills a nd t hey a re blessed with a ton of it.”
With its drop down to Class 2A and with the experience laden team, it’s not a surprise to anyone to find Cameron in the title game.
Underachievers the past two seasons with discipline problems, the Yoemen have some good kids in that large senior class, beginning with coach’s son Jack Rhoades, who was just named the first team quarterback on the Associated Press Class 2A All-State team.
The 6-foot-2 senior struck for 3,300 yards and 46 touchdowns, against just 9 interceptions.
Rhoades was also named the first-team punter at 43.9 yards per punt.
Joining Rhoades on the first team were Cameron senior defensive lineman Jairo Campa (133 tackles, nine for loss, six sacks), Lexington senior defensive lineman Anthony Robbins (87 tackles, 57 for loss, three forced fumbles, six sacks, nine quarterback pressures) and Lexington senior linebacker Chance Sherrill (148 tackles, 34 for loss, three forced fumbles, five sacks, five quarterback pressures).
Cameron seniors DeAntana Holt (defensive lineman), O’Neil Spells (linebacker) and Trevion Sims (defensive back) made the second team.
Honorable mention went to Cameron senior running back Damyon Kelley, Lexington senior running back Xavier Ward, Lexington junior receiver Josh Murray, Cameron junior receiver Decrick Westbrook, Cameron senior linebacker Cheyenne Black and Lexington senior linebacker Chace Sherrill.
As you can see by the large number of Yoemen mentioned on the All-State squad, Rhoades has had plenty of help and the Cameron offense has become somewhat of a three-headed monster.
Kelley has run for 1,535 yards and 23 touchdowns and Westbrook has grabbed 69 balls for 1,012 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“They also seem to be playing their best ball right now which is crucial when you get this far,” Miller said. Lexington was also given high marks in the pre-season with a No. 5 ranking despite coming off a 6-5 campaign, but their rise to the top is a bit of a surprise.
“It’s a dream come true,” Lexington coach Jason Holcomb said. “It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work these kids put in. They do it the right way, play great defense and special teams.”
Holcomb returned 16 starters from 2009, including 15 seniors.
“This is one of those classes that’s got a bunch of good kids in it,” Holcomb told the Bryan College Station Eagle. “A lot of them have been playing for us since they were sophomores.
“They’ve always been gutsy, since they were in junior high. We told them a long time ago that they needed to learn the game of football by watching film and watching games on television. They’ve done that, and it helps when they need to make adjustments during games.”
It’s hard to talk about Lexington without prominently mentioning the Sherrill twins, whom you will no doubt notice on the aforementioned All-State team.
“It’s a great feeling,” Holcomb said. “Any time you’re playing into December, that means you’ve got good kids and a good coaching staff and your community is excited.
“Everybody paints their cars up, paints the town up, and rallies behind you. It doesn’t happen every year, so you really relish it.”
Holcomb has won 89 games at Lexington and hopes No. 90 will be one to remember.