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Hallettsville's culture of success will continue despite quarterfinal loss (w/gallery)

By Keldy Ortiz
Dec. 6, 2013 at 6:06 a.m.

Hallettsville's Dalton Herrington drives the ball during Friday night's Class 2A, Division I quarterfinal game against Cameron Yoe at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos.

SAN MARCOS - It only made sense that Dalton Herrington caught his fourth reception to give Hallettsville a chance to tie the game against Cameron Yoe.

Four plays later, the Brahmas scored with four seconds left but failed to convert a two-point pass play as the Brahmas (13-1) were defeated by Cameron Yoe 28-26 in the Class 2A, Division I quarterfinals.

The Yoemen (13-1) will play White Oak in the semifinals next week.

Hallettsville walked into Bobcat Stadium on Friday night with the success only four previous Brahmas teams had. Though down 28-20 with 1:50 left, the Brahmas didn't quit.

"We never quit all year," Herrington said. "That's not what we're all about. We just battled till the last second."

Brahmas coach Tommy Psencik knew his team could make it back to the same point they were last season: back to the quarterfinals.

"We just gave it our all," Psencik said. "That's all you could expect."

But Hallettsville's success hasn't been limited to the gridiron. The Brahmas advanced to the regional basketball tournament and won the Class 2A state baseball championship last spring.

After losing to the Yoemen in the state football quarterfinals last season, several Brahma players, including Trenton McGee, Jimario Grounds and Herrington turned their attention to basketball. It was an opportunity to wipe the pain away of being two wins away from playing for a state championship.

Brahmas coach Scott Cottenoir accepted the players with open arms.

"They were disappointed," Cottenoir, who is in his second season as the boys' basketball coach, said. "It gave them something to prove. Much people didn't give us much of a chance. We had a lot to prove."

Similar to the football team's success, the Brahmas continued their winning ways on the hardwood floor. In March, the Brahmas made it to their fourth Class 2A regional tournament. It was, however, short lived, as they were eliminated by Aransas Pass, finishing the season with 24 wins and nine losses.

"It was their drive and mine that Hallettsville is going to the regional tournament," Cottenoir said. "We're hoping to get there again."

Basketball, however, has not been brought up in regular conversation between Cottenoir or any of his players this school year. The Brahmas have not started their basketball season yet. Nine football players also play basketball, including four returning starters. Hallettsville's expectations are high after being ranked 10th in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state poll without even playing a game this season.

"The kids are focused right now," Cottenoir said. "We have a task at hand."

Even school administrators are taking notice of the impact the sports teams' success is having in the classroom. Living in a town such as Hallettsville, the community becomes dedicated to watching the teams, said Hallettsville principal Darrin Bickham.

"When you go into the classroom, they are leaders there, too," Bickham said. "It's impressive to watch. I'm impressed with how the kids handle it with class. It's an awesome thing to be a part of."

For Cottenoir and the other Brahmas on the basketball team, the road to more success will begin Dec. 17, when their first district game is scheduled to be played.

"Success breeds success," Cottenoir said. "We'll transfer how successful they are on the football field to basketball."

Walking off the field at Bobcat Stadium Friday night, McGee knows he has a chance to be back in the same position.

"We've got good coaches; they taught us well," McGee said. "We have a winning program."

GAME NOTES

• Penalties hurt Hallettsville during the game. They had nine penalties for 91 yards, one of which included a 15-yard face mask penalty on third-and-7 for the Yoemen. Two plays later, the Yoemen scored a 25-yard touchdown by Traion Smith.

Cameron Yoe 28, Hallettsville 26

Cameron Yoe001414--28
Hallettsville07136--26

Second quarter

Hallettsville: 11-yard pass to Jimario Grounds from Nate Kowalik; Brannen Caraway kick good, 9:44

Third quarter

Cameron Yoe: Jason Kopriva 2-yard run; Michael Evan kick good, 7:34Hallettsville: 11-yard pass to Dalton Herrington from Kowalik, Caraway kick good, 6:12CY: 33-yard pass from Jason Kopriva to Aaron Sims, Young kick good, 4:23Hallettsville: 45-yard pass to Trenton McGee from Kowalik; kick no good, 1:16

Fourth quarter

CY: 21-yard pass to Justin Pratt from Jason Kopriva; Evan kick good, 5:56CY: Traion Smith 25-yard run, Evan kick good, 1:50Hallettsville: 22-yard pass to Grounds from Kowalik, 2-point conversion fail, 0:04

HALCAM
First Downs1416
Yards Rushing16-5437-118
Yards Passing345154
Passes36-19-2-021-15-4-1
Punts31.340.3
Fumbles-lost1-11-0
Penalties-yards9-916-50

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING-- Hallettsville, Jason Kopriva 9-(-6), Traion Smith 22-121, Aaron Sims 3-(-5), Michael Geiner 2-7, Jalen White 1-(-2), Cameron Yoe, Kaden Hardt 9-29, Nate Kowalik 5-8, Tim Sheppard 2-5,

PASSING-- Hallettsville, Jason Kopriva 21-15-154-1, Cameron Yoe, Nate Kowalik 36-19-345-0,

RECEIVING-- Hallettsville, Colton Shuffield 5-66, John Washington 4-14, Justin Pratt 3-29, Cameron Yoe, Kaylon Massey 1-(4), Jimario Grounds 8-114, Dalton Herrington 4-115, Trenton McGee 6-120,

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