History of Yoe Football

Following their close loss to Daingerfield in 2010, I should remind you of the spring of 2011. It was the greatest spring ever at Yoe High. It started with the girls basketball team. They won three straight playoff games before falling in the regional finals. The boys team won a couple of games before falling in the regional semifinals.


That brought on track. The girls took home the state championship for Coach Linda Richter after so many district and regional victories. On the same day, the boys took home the third place plaque. The girls had a good playoff run in softball, but the Yoe baseball team matched the girls track victory by winning in their first trip to the state tourney. They were coached by present coach John Broussard.


Add all this to the runner up trophy in football, and another great year by Coach Dale Keen’s cross country team, and the great Yoe High Band, plus a good showing in UIL events, and Yoe High was awarded the prestigious Lone Star Cup for the 2010-2011 school year for class 2A.


Back to the 2011 football season. Coach Rhoades saw 28 seniors graduate in the spring, so he had a major rebuilding job. With a large number of sophomores starting, the team lost all four non-district games. The first three were all close loses to Waco Connally (28-21), Waco La Vega (19-14), and rival Rockdale (11-10). They stayed with powerhouse Navasota until late in the game, losing (42-21).


Their first victory was over the hapless Hearne Eagles (60-12). Then they squeaked by Marlin (21-14) and McGregor (24-20). They breezed through the final three games over Academy (34-17), Florence (20-7), and Troy (38-7).


They earned a first round bye for winnings the district title (6-0). We would face the Winner of Tatum and Woodville, which was played in Lufkin. Of course Anton Kopriva, Joe Reyes, and myself went to witness it. Woodville kept it close until the final minutes, but Tatum pulled it out.


The game versus Tatum was played in Palestine. The game went back and forth until the Tatum QB (a UT commit) led them to a (21-14) lead. The Yoemen did not give and drove down to the Tatum goal-line, only to have a perfect pass go through our receiver’s hands and be intercepted. That ended the season (6-5). Tatum lost in the semifinals to Hempstead.


The Yoemen played the final four games without star player D.D. Westbrook, who went out in the McGregor game with a torn intestine. Other great players were Edgar Luna, Josh Smitherman, Keaton Denio, Jason Kopriva (1841 yards passing-22 TDs), Somari Wright, Juan Casillas, Martin Rodriguez, Zach and Dylan Riola, Randle Lane, Tyler Vrazel, Michael Gelner, Kylen Harrell, Cameron Mueck, Jalen White, Colton Shelton, Tyler Sapp, Zach Felts, Reid Nickerson, Colton Shuffield, Patrick Spells, Denzel Haynes, Jonathan McAnulty, Austin Christy and Jonathan Riggs.