Yoemen begin 2016 season with top 10 Bellville














Once the non-district schedule was released for the Yoemen, everyone in Cameron knew there were going to be some very tough challenges in the early going.  That first challenge begins this Friday night at the "Pasture of Pain" in Bellville as the Yoemen kick off the 2016 season.  Bellville, coming off a state quarterfinal appearance a year ago, enters this season ranked inside the top 10 of most major 4A DII polls across the state.  "Bellville is a lot like Cameron," said Yoemen head coach Tommy Brashear.  


"They have a lot of tradition.  Their kids step on the field and believe they are going to win every game just like the Cameron kids.  I think it is a good matchup and it will be exciting.  They've got a good team." The Brahmas finished 2015 with an 11-3 record, falling to perennial power and eventual state champion West Orange-Stark (42-3) in the quarterfinals.  Bellville returns a total of ten starters (six offensive, four defensive starters) from that 2015 squad. Headlining that group and the offense will be running back Mac Briscoe, which rushed for just under 1,900 yards and 23 touchdowns a year ago. 


Briscoe is also a returning district MVP.  Bellville, under former Troy coach Grady Rowe, will be operating out of the run-heavy slot-t offense.  "Their game plan is going to be to keep us off the field and control that clock and shorten the game," said Brashear.  "We have to show up and play a good game and limit our turnovers and penalties.  We have to be discipline and play a solid game and I feel like we can. They run the slot-t and they run it very methodically.  They are very disciplined at it.  Our defense also has to be very disciplined and keep their eyes on the key and not worry about all the movement going on in the backfield and all the faking going on."


There may be a few more questions of the defensive side of the ball, as four out of the five first team all-district members have been lost to graduation. One of the top defensive players to watch will be Briscoe, which will be a two-way starter and will play linebacker.  "They run a 4-3 and the outside linebacker, which also starts at running back, is a good player for them," stated Brashear.  "Their middle linebacker is also a good player for them.  Their defensive front also starts at tight end.  They like to keep all seven in the box if they can.  We have to make sure we get them out and that and get those outside linebackers spread out.  That will open up the run game a little more for us."  


If you have followed Cameron the past several years, you will have noticed that the teams have gotten better as the season has gone on.  So far, there have only been two scrimmages, but there were improvements on both sides of the ball in the short time frame. "I was pleased with our kids effort in the scrimmages," said Brashear.  "They made some mistakes, but they are fixable mistakes.  By the second scrimmage we were a week better.  Offensive timing between the quarterback and receivers was better, route running was better, and protection was better. "Both of these teams are expected to have multiple playmakers on each side of the ball. 


When it comes down to a key matchup, Brashear is sticking with the trenches. "I am a traditionalist.  I think the game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage with the offensive and defensive line.  They have a solid defensive front, so our offensive line has got to step up and do their job this week."


Elsewhere in 10-3A, the Franklin Lions will travel to Navasota for a big opening week showdown, Rockdale will host upstart West, Troy will take on Salado, McGregor will travel to Groesbeck, Jarrell will battle Johnson City, and Academy will see rival Rogers on Thursday from Mary Hardin-Baylor.  Kickoff for opener in Bellville is set for 7:30 p.m.