Don’t be fooled by winless Yoe

Like Rockdale, young players still finding their way

Josh Smitherman (left) and Edgar Luna give the Yoemen some much needed stability in the offensive and defensive lines. 
Reporter/Marie Bakken Josh Smitherman (left) and Edgar Luna give the Yoemen some much needed stability in the offensive and defensive lines. Reporter/Marie Bakken Rockdale is coming off an exhilarating come-from-behind victory on the road in which it scored 52 points. Cameron is having trouble finding the end zone and hasn’t entered the win column as of yet.

Which team do you think has the advantage as they face each other Friday?


In one of the state’s longest running feuds, the Tigers and Yoemen butt heads for the 84th time, 57 times in the Battle of the Bell at Tigerland Field where statistics and records are of little consequence.

“ You have to ig nore t heir record,” says Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller, participating in his sixth Battle of the Bell with a 2-3 mark. “They have played two very good teams.

“I know they lost a lot, but they are still the most athletic team we will see.”

With an inexperienced quarterback and just two starters returning on offense, the Yoemen have had trouble putting points on the board, logging just 35 points, while allowing 47.

Just a sophomore, Jason Kopriva has taken over for Class 2A player of the year Jack R hoades at quar terback and has been effective, throwing for 330 yards and four touchdowns while completing 58 percent of his passes.

“He’s getting thrown into the fire pretty quickly,” Rhoades said.

All- star wide receiver D.D. Westbrook has hauled in 10 passes for 136 yards.

Like Rockdale, the Yoemen’s running game is still a work in progress, averaging just 60 yards a game, led by junior Keaton Denio’s 123 yards.

Cameron appears to be generating enough offense, it just can’t find the end zone.

The Yoemen are led on defense by sophomore linebacker Somari Wright who had made 17 stops.

The last time Cameron has started a season at 0-2 was in 2004 on the way to seven straight losses and a 1-9 ledger.

Bell Battle

In the past five years, the Battle of the Bell has bounded back-andforth between the two schools, with Cameron winning in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

The Tigers have taken it home in the odd years of 2007 and 2009.

There hasn’t been a close game since the Tigers were victorious 25-22 in 2003, ending a seven year Yoemen winning streak.

Cameron, of course, holds a substantial lead in the series 60-22-2 overall and 39-17 in the Bell series.

According to recent trends, it’s Rockdale’s turn and the Tigers are the team with the most momentum game entering the annual rivalry.

Should Miller’s squad emerge as winners Friday night, he would become the third coach in RHS history to defeat Cameron three times, behind Ray Birchfield (1960- 66) and Fred Johnson (1973-80).

In last year’s contest, the Yoeman broke open a close game by erupting for 28 second half points to put the game out of reach.

“The Bell battle is always a big game for these kids,” Rhoades said. “Our goal is to reach the post-season and we should do that if we keep working the way we are.”

“Both teams are desperate for a win,” Miller says. “They don’t want to start out 0-3 and we want to validate our win Friday. A win here is really huge for both teams.

“Both teams will play hard. We’ll be ready.”


• Week one opponent Abilene Wylie fell to Stephenville 42-14.

• The Tigers dominated possession of the ball Friday night, 26:30 to 21:30 with 17 minutes of that coming in the second half. Salado had the ball just 5:44 in the fourth quarter.

• The Tigers scored twice on fourth down Friday night; once on a 27-yard hookup on fourth-and- 4 in the second quarter and again on the game winner on a 17-yard effort on fourth-and-goal. Rockdale was 3-of-3 on fourth down efficiency and 8-of-11 on third down.

• Sophomore linebacker James David led the Tigers in tackling for the second straight week with 12 stops. Markus Hayes was again second with eight.

• Besides the safety punt from Salado, both coaches gave their punters the night off and conversely, that meant both starting quarterbacks. The Tigers went for it three times on fourth down, while Salado tried for firsts five times.

• District 23-3A went 5-1 this past week, with the lone setback coming from Navasota which lost to Willis.

• Rockdale leads the district in total offense, averaging 394 yards per game.

• The Tigers are not running through the inflatable Tiger head this season because no one wanted to take responsibility for its upkeep.


No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
8 QB Ethan Brinkley, 6-2, 180 Jr
10 TB James David, 6-2, 225 So
22 FB Marco Hernandez, 5-8, 190 So
15 WR Cody Skubal, 6-3, 175 Sr
7 WR Clayton Gibbs, 6- 0, 170 So
48 TE Patric Trejo, 6-1, 205 Jr
57 LT Pedro Ibares, 6-4, 220 Jr
72 LG Josh Pelzel, 6- 6, 270 So
52 C Ty Kirk, 5-9, 185 Sr
51 RG Steph. Schneider, 6-1, 220 Sr
50 RT Patrick David, 6-1, 230 Sr


No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
50 RE Zech Roberson, 5-11, 180 Sr
74 NG Edgar Luna, 6-2, 260 Sr
62 NG Chase Schrader, 5-10, 205 Jr
18 LB Zach Riola, 5-10, 164 Jr
55 LB Juan Casillas, 5-10, 164 Sr
44 LB Somari Wright, 5-10, 205 So
16 LB Michael Gelner, 5-11, 180 So
3 CB Zach Felts, 5-7, 164 Jr
12 S Martin Rodriguez, 5-11, 166 Sr
17 S Decrick Westbrook,6- 0,160 Sr
6 CB Keaton Denio, 5-11, 180 Jr


55 DE Gabriel McQuinn, 6-1, 240 Jr
50 DT Patrick David, 6-1, 230 Sr
51 DT Steph. Schneider, 6-1, 220 Sr
59 DE Kolt. Woolvertoon, 6-2, 220 Sr
23 LB Dailynn Ramey, 5-7, 168 Fr
10 LB James David, 6-2, 225 So
34 LB Markus Hayes, 5-9, 208 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
15 S Cody Skubal, 6-3, 175 Sr


10 QB Jason Korpiva, 5-10, 170 So
6 RB Keaton Denio, 5-11, 180 Jr
12 WR Martin Rodriguez, 5-11, 166 Sr
17 WB Decrick Westbrook, 6- 0,160 Sr
1 WB Elmo Haynes, 5-7, 164 Sr
8 WR Colton Shelton, 5-10, 180 Jr
54 RT Josh Smitherman, 5-9, 195 Jr
64 RG Cameron Mueck, 6- 0, 234 Jr
60 C Tyler Vrazel, 5-11, 250 Jr
66 LG Jonathan Riggs, 6- 0, 234 Jr
56 LT Randle Lane, 5-11, 250 Jr


Wins: Yoe 39, RHS 17

1954—Yoe 13-12.
1955—Yoe 28-9.
1956—No game.
1957—Yoe 38-13.
1958—Yoe 6-0.
1959—RHS 21-0.
1960—Yoe 14-6.
1961—RHS 16-0.
1962—RHS 46-16.
1963—RHS 35-0.
1964—Yoe 16-0.
1965—Yoe 16-0.
1966—RHS 20-13.
1967—RHS 39-0.
1968—RHS 34-7.
1969—Yoe 16-7.
1970—RHS 11-7.
1971—Yoe 16-8.
1972—Yoe 7-6.
1973—Yoe 14-0.
1974—Yoe 10-0.
1975—Yoe 22-19.
1976—RHS 14-6.
1977—RHS 17-12.
1978—Yoe 24-20.
1979—Yoe 14-0.
1980—RHS 28-17.
1981—Yoe 48-7.
1982—Yoe 42-20.

1983—Yoe 14-7.
1984—Yoe 29-7.
1985—Yoe 21-20.
1986—Yoe 31-9.
1987—Yoe 24-8.
1988—RHS 14-9.
1989—Yoe 17-13.
1990—Yoe 43-6.
1991—Yoe 21-14.
1992—RHS 10-7.
1993—Yoe 16-12.
1994—Yoe 29-22.
1995—RHS 28-18.
1996—Yoe 17-0.
1997—Yoe 10-6.
1998—Yoe 3-0.
1999—Yoe 21-20.
2000—Yoe 17-9.
2001—Yoe 34-11.
2002—Yoe 19-7.
2003—RHS 25-22.
2004—Yoe 34-6.
2005—Yoe 34-20.
2006—Yoe 50-12
2007—RHS 43-21
2008—Yoe 41-28
2009—RHS 42-21
2010—Yoe 35-13


What: The 57th annual Battle of the Bell—Rockdale Tigers (1-1) vs. Cameron Yoemen (0-2). Where: Tigerland Stadium (2,850 capacity). Natural grass. When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. Favorite: Cameron by 7. Last week: Rockdale def. Salado 51-42; Cameron lost to Waco LaVega 19-14. Series record: Cameron leads 39-17 in the “Battle of the Bell” and 60-22-2 overall. Cameron won 35-13 last year. District outlook: Cameron is picked first in District 12- 2A (McGregor, Troy, Marlin, Hearne, Academy, Florence) Yoe to watch: No. 17, senior WR D.D. Westbrook.

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