Familiarity increases intensity of county rivalry
Oct. 14, 2010 at 5:14 a.m.
Updated Oct. 15, 2010 at 5:15 a.m.
Yoakum junior Rex Kutzer's aunt dated a football player from Cuero, which gave his father even more reason to look forward to playing the Gobblers.
"Her boyfriend was really good and they had to go head to head at it," Kutzer said. "One time my dad would win and the next time her boyfriend would win. In the end, Cuero won, but he was still a winner because he got to knock the mess out of his sister's boyfriend."
Players from Yoakum and Cuero have been banging on each other since 1911 and will do so again when they meet for the 100th time in the DeWitt County rivalry on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Gobbler Stadium.
"We've been rivals for God knows how long," said Yoakum senior Richard Guerrero. "We've always competed and the stands have been filled up."
The Gobblers have had the upper hand in the rivalry. They hold a 65-28 edge and the teams have tied six times.
Cuero has won its last eight games against the Bulldogs, including last season's 26-23 win in Yoakum.
"When you play a town where you know most of the people there," said Cuero junior Colton Jacob, "you always want to play harder and try your best."
Cuero's Terrance Fryer and Yoakum's Lonzel Harrison played against each other and now coach against each other as assistants at their respective alma maters.
"We're all neighbors, we know each other, we've all grown up together," Harrison said. "It's one of those things where you want to beat your neighbor and beat your friend all the time."
"We're 17 miles from those guys and you grew up wanting to beat a Bulldog," Fryer said. "You're friends after the game, but during that week it's pretty intense."
Cuero (4-2, 2-0) comes into the game off its bye week and will be trying to maintain at least a share of the District 28-3A lead. The Gobblers are seeking their 35th consecutive district win.
"Being sharp that's the thing you always dread after a bye week," said Cuero coach Rick Owens. "Keeping that competitive edge. Our intensity was high, but you don't have the urgency of preparing for a game. Now we have that urgency."
Yoakum (1-6, 0-3) has lost six straight games since opening the season with a win over Columbus.
"We cannot turn over the football," said Yoakum coach Brent Kornegay. "That's been the biggest thing. That's the key for us to eliminate turnovers."
The Bulldogs will have a hard time making the playoffs even if they win their final three games. But beating Cuero would help ease the disappointment.
"My dad talks about how both teams get real intense for this game," said Yoakum senior Brandon Thiry "To me he thinks this game is the most important out of all the season. As long as we beat Cuero that's what he'd be happy about."
The Gobblers have other ideas.
"My dad said it's always been a real good rivalry and they've always played great games and always played real, real hard," said Jacob, whose father played on Cuero's 1973 and '74 state championship teams. "He said don't take it like it's nothing. You have to give it your best and play as hard as you can."