A look back at the Yoe assistants

Always like to remember assistant coaches over the years. Most were just passing through, but you probably know Cameron stayed on their mind throughout their career. You know “Once a Yoemen, Always a Yoemen”.


I picked a twelve-year period starting with head coaches Hal Stanislaw (68-71), followed by Ed Cauley (72-76), and Max Graham (77-79). Hal and Ed still reside in Cameron while Max came with Cauley as his top assistant for five years before taking over when Ed took the Lufkin job. After his three good head coaching years, he rejoined Cauley at Lufkin.


My last article two weeks ago highlighted Ron Murdock’s great four years leading the Yoe roundball to great results, but he also served Stanislaw as JV coach (2 years) and freshmen (1 year) with better than average success on the gridiron.


Ernie Laurence (Rockdale native, as was Hal) had one year as JV football, a couple as basketball JV and two great freshmen basketball district champions (16-4 and 17-4). He also coached the Yoemen baseball varsity team to a district championship in 1972. He had brought baseball back to Yoe High the year before (1971) after a long layoff. The 72’ team was (16-7) and played Bastrop a three-game series for bi-district. The Yoemen won the opener (4-2), but dropped the next two (8-3 and 8-7). Great players were Gary Thweatt, Craig Friemel, John Barron, Pat Sheguit, Lonnie Scott, David Hornung, Ricky Sapp and Mike Trdy. Laurence went to Hutto and after retiring from coaching, had a great administrative career.


Price Minter (offensive coordinator) and Donnie Robinson were other varsity and JV coaches for Stanislaw, while Junior High was Maxie Morgan, Roger Williams, James Petty, and David Siler. When Ed Cauley and Max Graham arrived on the Yoe campus, the UIL had just moved Yoe High up a notch to class 3A and split our district into two zones. We had Belton, Gatesville, Copperas Cove, and Lampasas in our zone, while Taylor, Rockdale, Georgetown, and two others were in the south zone. Graham was a tremendous defensive coordinator whose teams would be the best in class 2A in 1974 and 1975.


But he also showed he could coach basketball, as his two years on the hardwood would be north zone champs (20-9) in (72-23) and (22-7) in (73-74). Both years the Yoemen dropped the district titles to Taylor. He would also coach some district champions in the shot and discus during the spring. Graham would give up the basketball duties to Ken Poole and his great 14 year career. Nelson Huffman came the same year to lead the Yoe track team. He would have great success, except for a train wreck of a district track meet at Rosebud-Lott in 1976 when a potential district title team had everything go wrong. He did have a lot of individual champions and was an adequate “JV” basketball and football coach.


Of course, Coach Cauley actually would coach baseball zone champs in 73 and 74. In 73 with players like of Gary Thweatt, John Barron, Ernie DeLaRosa, Ricky Sapp, Pat Sheguit, Joe Trdy, Gene Kopriva, and Jeff Smitherman. They went (16-0) before losing the zone playoffs to Taylor. He then would turn the baseball team over to Jon Forsythe and then Roy Knight. Note: Jon Forsythe had zone champs in 74, also losing to Taylor for district. Players included Joey Mondrick, George Whiteside and Lorenzo Majors.


Other assistants were Johnny Parker, Roger Williams, Maxie Morgan, Bob Nance, Jeff Webster, Harold Schwake and James Petty.


When Max Graham took the head job in 1977, he had Ken Poole, D.A. Swope, Paul Hoelscher, Nelson Huffman, and Tommy Dittmar on his staff. Besides Poole’s success, Tommy Dittmar would lead the baseball team to three successful years, ending with a district championship in 1980. He had only an overall mark that year of (13-9), but they not only won the district title, but also took bi-district over Pflugerville (4-3), before losing the regional title to Crockett.


Others on the staff were Jerry Bethell, who had coached girls basketball before Linda Puckett (now Richter) took over. Bethell had and would be a great track assistant over the years. Also Richard Tucker, John Goodwin among others. Go Yoe.