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Showing posts from October, 2007

Buckeyes Homecoming features upstart Mineola

By JOE DODD

Most schools try to schedule one of the weakest teams on their schedule for homecoming. For the last 17 seasons Mineola has been the guest at many homecomings across East Texas. Gilmer hosts the Yellow Jackets Friday night in their homecoming at Buckeye Stadium, but this is not the same old Mineola team.

This year the Yellow Jackets are 5-2 and undefeated (2-0) in district 15-3A play. The last time Mineola had a winning season was 1989 when the Jackets went 6-5. Since then, the Jackets won a total of 43 games. When Mineola head coach Steve Wells was named the Yellow Jacket’s coach before the 2006 season, he brought a winning tradition with him from Hooks, where his resume contained a win against Gilmer in 2000.

“Steve Wells is a great coach,” praised Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor. “He’s done a wonderful job. He just does a good job of building a program. He already has made Mineola a lot better; and he’ll continue to make them better.”

After a 3-7 season in his first year, in…

Buckeyes blow past Roughnecks, 63-7

By JOE DODD

The Gilmer Buckeyes found inspiration from an unlikely source and used that motivation to dominate the White Oak Roughnecks 63-7 in a district 15-3A game Friday night at Roughneck Stadium, keeping their perfect season alive at 7-0.

Buckeyes’ running back Justin Johnson led the way with 189 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries. Johnson also provided the source of inspiration. “I got motivated for this game when our girls played them in volleyball and their football team was there taunting us,” said Johnson. “I made up my mind then to play this game for them.”

That was Oct. 2 when White Oak beat the Lady Buckeyes’ volleyball team in straight sets on Gilmer’s home court. Johnson thought it was only fair to return the favor on the Roughnecks’ home field.

Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor was happy for the motivational help against a team they were favored to beat by 40 points. “Whatever it takes to get them going,” chuckled Traylor. “If it takes a girl’s volleyball game to get…

Buckeyes travel to White Oak during Yamboree

By JOE DODD

The East Texas Yamboree used to be a time of great concern for Gilmer Buckeyes’ coaches who worried about the seductive lure of greasy food, soda pop, and late night fun for the players enjoying two days away from school.

“Traditionally that was when you wanted to play Gilmer,” admitted White Oak head coach Tracy Blankenship, who graduated from White Oak in 1981. “But I think that’s the old Gilmer; that’s not been the case the last several years.”

The last several years just happens to coincide with Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor’s return to his alma matter in 2000. Traylor knows all about playing football during the Yamboree, having played in six Yamboree week games before graduating from Gilmer in 1986.

After losing to a superior 12-1 Daingerfield team his first season as Buckeyes’ head coach, Traylor’s teams have won six straight Yamboree games. “Our kids really handle the Yamboree well,” said Traylor. “I think because I’m from here, I don’t overreact.”

“I know I’m going to …

Buckeyes clip Cardinals for 30th straight district win

By JOE DODD

The Gilmer Buckeyes Black Flag Defense dominated the Sabine Cardinals in the District 15-3A opener Friday night at James Bamburg Stadium. The Buckeyes forced five first-half turnovers, returning two for touchdowns, as Gilmer jumped out to a 52-0 first half lead before settling for a 59-7 victory; their 30th consecutive win in district play.

The Cardinals also discovered how to slow down the Buckeyes’ offense in the second half, as press box officials were instructed to change the game clock from 12 minutes to 10 minutes for both the third and fourth quarters and run the clock non-stop the second half. That limited the Buckeyes to only nine plays and one touchdown after halftime.

That tactic left Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor concerned after the game. “We had 34 plays the entire game on offense. A normal game is 60; so our kids got short-changed by 26 plays,” explained Traylor. “We played about a half of football, and I’m really concerned about what it’s going to do for us in…

Buckeyes open district play at Sabine

By JOE DODD

When the Gilmer Buckeyes take the field Friday night at Sabine’s James Bamburg Stadium for the start of District 15-3A play, they will face a Cardinals program that is an opposite of themselves.

The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary describes opposite as meaning, “Something or someone that is completely different from another person or thing.” Gilmer went 10-1 last season; Sabine went 0-10 last season. Gilmer is 5-0 and ranked fourth in Class 3A; Sabine is 0-5. Gilmer has a 19-game regular season winning streak; Sabine has a 17-game losing streak. Sabine has scored a total of 73 points this season; Gilmer scored 71 in one game against Tatum.

These two programs are about as opposite as can be. But if David Feaster has his way, the Cardinals will make a u-turn and join the Buckeyes on the road to success. Feaster is Sabine’s new head coach; the Cardinals third in just four years. But Feaster has something the other two coaches didn’t have; experience turning around a losi…

Buckeyes roll over Rabbits, 42-14

By JOE DODD

The Gilmer Buckeyes wasted no time in crushing any hopes the visiting Atlanta Rabbits had in upsetting Class 3A’s fourth ranked team, as the Buckeyes jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead on their way to a convincing 42-14 victory.

The win extended Gilmer’s home winning streak to 23 games at Buckeye Stadium, and improved the Buckeyes’ season record to 5-0.

The Buckeyes received the opening kick and promptly established the running game with Justin Johnson’s 38 yards on two carries, before Darian Godfrey hit Houston Tuminello for a 14-yard touchdown with only 2:25 off the game clock. Jake Ashley kicked the first of his six straight extra-points for a 7-0 lead.

Gilmer’s Black Flag Defense came up big on Atlanta’s first possession, when the Buckeyes’ Paul Chesnut recovered a Rabbits’ fumble at Gilmer’s 25-yard line. Behind a 24-yard run from Johnson and a 29-yard reception from Tuminello, the Buckeyes scored 40 seconds later when Godfrey found Zach Jones in the end zone for a 1…

The Next Level

This is a feature which ran in The Gilmer Mirror about former Buckeyes who are now playing on Saturdays or Sundays, as the case may be.


Courtesy Photo / Dolly Robison
GILMER’S CURTIS BROWN (3) defends against a Rice University receiver. The true freshman led the Longhorns in solo tackles (5) in Texas’ 58-14 win over Rice last Saturday night.

UT's Curtis Brown shines against Rice

Curtis Brown says goodbye to his freshman redshirt as the Texas Longhorns (ranked No. 7 nationally) made a statement with a decisive 58-14 win over Rice at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Thus far in the Longhorns’ pre-Big XII season, Curtis has been adjusting to his new defensive role as a cornerback and special teams regular. He has seen action and recorded tackles in every game for the Longhorns this season, but saw his first action at cornerback in the second half of the Rice game, where he broke up a pass in the fourth quarter. Curtis led the Longhorn defense with f…

Buckeyes host Rabbits in final non-district game

By JOE DODD

When the 4th-ranked Gilmer Buckeyes (4-0) take the field Friday night at Buckeye Stadium against the Atlanta Rabbits (1-4) they will be defending more than just a 22-game home winning streak; revenge will be on their minds.

How could revenge be a motivating factor for the Buckeyes who dominated Atlanta 49-12 last season?

Leave it to Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor to explain. “You could almost say Atlanta cost us the state championship last year for two reasons,” figured Traylor. “One, they went and made Liberty-Eylau madder than a hornet by beating them in week 10; and two, they beat us to death physically.”

That would be the same Liberty-Eylau team that upset the number one ranked Buckeyes a week later in the first round of the playoffs before eventually claiming the state championship trophy.

Traylor claims his team never fully recovered after their physical game against the Rabbits. “The last time the Gilmer Buckeyes played healthy was that night. And a lot of the reason we …

Buckeyes destroy Roughriders, 63-6

By JOE DODD

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If the Gilmer Buckeyes win a game in the forest and no one is around to see it, does it count? The piney wood forests that surround Center may hold the answers to both questions.

In front of an estimated crowd of under 1,000 people, the Buckeyes chopped down the Center Roughriders 63-6. Gilmer fans largely stayed at home, instead of making the 100-mile drive south for fear of a Buckeyes’ blowout. That’s exactly what happened as Gilmer piled up 405 total yards to take a 50-0 halftime lead.

The small crowd was just one reason Buckeyes’ head coach Jeff Traylor felt like he was in a time warp. “I felt like I was coaching in a junior high football game,” admitted Traylor. “We had a small crowd, there was no pregame music. We expected it to be like this, so we worked hard on trying to be real focused on doing our job, because there was not going to be any high school game excitement. It was like a …