Reflections From The 1981-87 Cameron Yoemen Football Reunion
COACH TOBY YORK
The 1981-87 Cameron Yoemen Football Reunion was so much fun! I truly enjoyed my visits with our former players and staff. It is easy to see the impact some 40 years later that a talented school administration and faculty had on these men. In my entire tenure in Cameron ISD, I could not have had a more supportive group of parents. Our successes on the football field were attributed to so many, all pulling in the same direction.
This group of men have become good husbands, fathers, and productive citizens. Easy to see the close bond these men share. I have no doubt they will answer the call if another is in need.
Thank you, Cameron, Texas, for your efforts in sending these young men, at the time, into the world prepared to succeed.
COACH JOE OLIVER
I was at the State Championships at Jerry World this past December, and saw YHS Principal Brian Stork, from our conversations, it inspired me to call Coach York right then, and make a pitch to have a Reunion in June of 2022.
I remember arriving in Cameron in the spring of 1981, just a few weeks after Coach York was hired, and our goal was to bring a State Championship to Cameron, just like our staff did at Temple a few years earlier.
We were blessed to have such a great group of young men who embraced the standard we gave them. But what really made things special, was the community support and the family atmosphere of the school staff and administration. I could share so many stories of people who did things in an extraordinary way.
Being at the Reunion, brought back a flood of memories of why my time in Cameron was so special. On the drive back from Baylor Stadium after the State Championship, Rosebud-Lott put on their marquee sign , Congratulations to the Cameron Yoemen, 1981 State Champions. After reading the sign, Coach York shared something on the bus ride home, that I will never forget. He shared; Guys I don’t know if we really realize what we just accomplished today.
What we accomplished during our years in Cameron continued to impact everybody’s life and career in such a positive and meaningful way. Decades later, the memories are still strong…
COACH EDDIE DUNN
What a blessing when our Yoemen gathered June 4th to celebrate seven seasons of play. From here in Texas and Colorado, Arkansas, and El Paso, from all over they came.
A State Championship; Winning 18 of 20 vs. 4A teams; and 7 - O vs. the Rockdale Tigers. Holding Gilmer to 52 total yards; in the playoffs every year; yeah it’s hard to reach much higher.87% winning percentage; 77-11-2 record overall; 32-5-1 Coach York together with Coach O. But it’s not just the number of wins, it’s not just what the record of victories shows.
It’s the respect and affection they have for each other; their loyalty and admiration that is clear. It was there all-day Saturday and into the night, for all to see and hear.
Yoemen laughing and hugging, and breaking bread like only a real ‘Team’ will.
A ‘Band of Brothers’, forged in the Yoe locker room and on beautiful Yoe field.
White and brown, black, and mixed, it didn’t matter to them at all
They came together as a family in Yoe High and Simon George Hall.
They teased and joked, never cutting each other any slack.
It is true, for these Yoemen what counts is having each other’s back.
Many raising a family now with the same values, and that’s more than enough
Work hard, don’t quit, be smart and play fair, and lend the fallen a helping hand up.
We know all good things come from our Father above.
It was He who rewarded these Yoemen with the gift of each other’s love.
How much greater America would actually be,
if everyone lived up to Yoemen values, every American would truly be free.
For Marilyn, Jacey, Tyler, and me, we will always be grateful for His plan.
He led Marilyn and me to His spirit in this Texas country town called Cameron.
Tyler and Jacey were born as Yoemen and we were blessed beyond all measure.
Our son and daughter learned Yoemen values, and that is our true treasure.
“Once a Yoemen, Always a Yoemen”
I had the great pleasure of getting to attend the Toby York Era reunion. It’s always great to see old teammates and coaches that you haven’t gotten to see in a while. I am so proud to have been a part of such a great group of guys.
The hard work and tough love that our coaches provided created a bond and love for each other that will never go away. It’s so great to see the type of men that we have all
become. Thanks to all our coaches, families and community for supporting us through those great years.
Yoe Pride Never Dies.
I am so grateful that our coaches and members of the Yoe community took the time to make this Reunion happen. These great men and women - coaches and their families, teachers, community leaders, and Yoe supporters - created an environment that offered structure, instilled confidence, and made us feel that anything is possible with enough hard work. As the comments from former Yoe players affirmed, the Yoe fire continues to burn deeply for many of us who were lucky enough to be a part of the journey.
When I arrived in college my new friends described their high school football experiences. For most of them, football involved loud, profane coaches, near constant chaos, no meaningful structure, and very little winning. My Yoe experience could not have been further from that. Coach York and his team always acted professionally and created an environment that fostered discipline, structure, and confidence. It might sound bad out of context, but I thought we were better than everyone we played. Not just at football; we were better at everything. We were better conditioned and better prepared. We looked better. Our field looked better. Our coaches were more serious. We polished our white game shoes. We had uniform discipline (no individuality). We wore nice clothes to away games. We didn’t take our helmets off on the sideline. We had most teams beat before we stepped off the bus.
If the Reunion did nothing else, it ratified (at least for me) a few simple truths. Cameron will always be my hometown. I will always be a Yoemen. And our collective experience as a community during the Toby York Years was unique and special. No one can take that away from any of us Yoemen. The hugs, laughs, and few tears are concrete proof of that. Once a Yoemen - Always a Yoemen.
The reunion was a great time to connect with old friends, teammates, coaches, fans and the Cameron community. For me, being a Cameron Yoemen set the foundation for how I talk, act, treat others, excel in my career, support my family, etc.
In a world where I often ask myself “am I out of touch”, it was great to revisit my foundation and realize that as a Cameron Yoemen and Huffman, what we had, who we were, how we acted, etc., is still relevant today.
A big thank you to those who coordinated, supported in attendance or acted in the background to make this a success! Once a Yoemen - Always a Yoemen!
It was an amazing event and fun to see all the coaches and players again. The videos, stories and memorabilia brought back great memories and all the exciting times we shared playing football for Yoe High. The community support was overwhelming and made it that much more special.
The bond this group of players, trainers, managers, and coaches have will remain for the rest of our lives.
It was such a fine gathering, many thanks to all hands involved with organizing.
Personally, there are fewer, if any better rooms to stand and sit within rooms filled with my teammates and coaches. A community of my brothers and sisters. Fantastic!
I am Yoemen.
SETH DOCKERY III
Three things come to my mind.
1 - I am blessed to have two wonderful sisters, but I didn’t have a blood brother growing up. This reunion reminded me how these guys from Ben Milam Elementary to Varsity Football and Beyond have been my Brothers for Life.
2 – Being raised in the Dockery household; Teachers, Preachers, and Coaches were my Heroes growing up, and this Elite Yoemen Coaching Staff showed they still know how to Motivate, Encourage and Inspire. After all these years, the impact these coaches made on us is Legendary.
3 – I mentioned that some at the Reunion were in their 3rd Quarter of Life, some in the 4th Quarter of Life, and the Tradition of lifting 4 Fingers and playing the school anthem before the 4th Quarter at each game, recognizes that the 4th Quarter Belongs to The Yoemen. So, Let’s Finish Life Strong.
Once a Yoemen, Always a Yoemen. The foundation was laid many years before us. The fruition was realized in 1981. The bonds forged in our formative years were reinforced by a common goal of if you can’t always be fastest and strongest, you can always be the toughest.
This philosophy was instilled in us by a coaching staff who set the tone and walked the talk. Among many other life lessons, we were taught how to handle adversity plus to relish victory and despise defeat. We were Yoemen.
At the recent reunion, I was greatly pleased to see that the bonds forged many years ago have remained strong. With apologies to Vince Lombardi, some the best memories are the days you were able to lie exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.
The Yoemen came together for a meet and greet fellowship on June 4, 2022. After many years of being away from Cameron, it was like we never left.
Coaches, wives, players, and family had a wonderful time catching up with each other. The Coaches did an outstanding job putting together an excellent program just like they were getting ready for another State Championship Game.
One thing that stood out the most was how many were thankful for being a Yoemen, and what that means to all of us. Those 48 minutes on that field has touched all our lives for a lifetime. We want to thank all of Cameron for everything you have done along the way. Without you it would be no us. Yoemen Forever, and Thank You.