Yoemen aiming to join elite company














Football is the most popular sport in the United States of America.  From the National Football League to college and down to high school football, fans of the game are always eager to watch their favorite team. 


Football, along with may other things, is bigger in Texas.  In Cameron, it’s taken to another level.   


When the Yoemen step on the field this Friday night, they will not only be going for a district opening win, but they will also be vying for the 700th victory in program history.  That is a mark only six other schools from every classification in the state have eclipsed.  


“It just shows what Cameron has been in the past, what Cameron is, and what Cameron will be in the future,” said first-year Yoemen head coach Tommy Brashear.


Highland Park, Amarillo, Plano, Temple, Mart, and Brownwood are the only other programs to have reached that level, and Highland Park and Mart are the only two that have been playing football for fewer seasons than Cameron.


Cameron will also be the second smallest town behind Mart to accomplish the feat.


How did we get here?


Coaches Ed Cauley, Randy Sapp and Tommy Brashear, to go along with former Yoe player and announcer Bertie Shuemate have seen a good portion of the success from the 1950s up to this point.  These men are more qualified than any to explain why this program is truly one of the more elite in the state. 


Ed Cauley

“Tradition, good athletes, and just tremendous community support.  The kids have always believed that they were going to win.  You couldn't work them too hard and you couldn't discipline them too hard.  That is exactly what the parents expected and that is what the kids expected.  Whether we had great talent or not, we were going to get a great effort.  They made coaching just a wonderful experience.”


Randy Sapp

“It starts with talent.  Cameron has had consistent talent.  I think the community just demands a winner out of Cameron kids.  Our kids feel that and winning is important to this community, and that is a good kind of pressure on kids when they feel it is important to be real successful.”


Tommy Brashear

“This is a community that loves their sports and loves their football and supports it like no other.  We have some of the best supporting fans in the state.  Kids respond to that and play hard.  They don't want to be the team that lets the community down and I think that is a big part of how we got to this point.”


Bertie Shuemate

“We’ve had some pretty good coaches over the years when you put them all together.  We have also had some dedicated players and a great following.  They are at home games especially, but it’s good to go to other people’s stadium and look up into pretty full stands.”



Along with excellent tradition, talent and community support, this town has been fortunate to have some good coaches come through the system.


The Yoemen found great success under Leo Jackson, which led the Yoemen to a 39-5 record from 1945-1948.  After spending three seasons in Greenville, Jackson returned to coach the Yoemen six more seasons from 1952-1957. To this day, Jackson is the longest tenured head coach with a total of 10 years at the helm in his two stops.


Cauley took the reigns in 1972 and wound up with a 38-12-5 record in his five seasons as head coach.  The Yoemen were in the state quarterfinals in both 1974 and 1975.  Today, he serves as a football analyst for the radio. 


“Cameron has always had good coaching,” said Cauley.  “The community supports them, the administration supports them, and it’s just a great atmosphere for anyone who is in a competitive nature.”


Aftering serving on the staff as an assistant since 1981, Sapp took charge of the program in 1996 and had the Yoemen in the quarterfinals on two occasions in his seven years as the head man.  Sapp retired after the 2013 season. 


“I think Cameron has had some great coaches come through,” said Sapp.  “I was real fortunate to work with some great head coaches and assistant coaches when I worked in Cameron.”


Toby York (1981-1987) won the school’s first state championship in 1981 and finished with a 76-11-2 record.  Rick Rhoades also spent seven years (2009-2015) with the Yoemen, racking up three state championships and finishing with a 82-17 mark. 


Being a Cameron Yoemen


From the outside looking in, it may be difficult for some to understand truly why this town and football program is so special.  However, for those that have been here, it’s evident.


“Kids grow up and they want to be a Cameron Yoemen and that makes a difference when they get into junior high,” said Sapp.  “They try to get to the varsity level and they know that wearing that jersey means something.”


Tradition and a want-to also plays a huge part into the success.


“A lot of places say they want to do this and they want to do that, but the young people that grow up here want to be a Cameron Yoemen,” said Cauley.  “It infiltrates everything that they do. I don’t care if it’s the band, agriculture, or athletics, they expect to win.”


Most importantly, win or lose, you know you're going to get a Yoemen’s effort each and every time the players step out on that field and represent the community. 


“It's not always about how big or fast you are but it's about how big your heart is, and in Cameron our kids have big hearts” said Brashear.  “In Cameron, our kids believe and our community believes.  It is something special.”