Herman steps in as new
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
EUSTACE–Eustace High School athletes engaged in summer workouts
had their first meeting with new head coach and athletic
director Brian Herman Thursday morning.
Herman also met briefly with his coaching staff as he spent a
whirlwind day learning his way around the innards of the
cavernous E.L. Kirk gym.
A Minnesota native, Herman, 35, grew up just outside Houston,
graduating from Kingwood High School in 1994.
An offensive tackle in high school, Herman attended Sam Houston
State University on a football scholarship until a severe
shoulder injury (requiring reconstructive surgery) ended his
Herman and his wife, Nicole (a 1994 Humble High School
graduate), both graduated from the University of Texas at
Austin, he with a degree in kinesiology and a minor in
Eustace is the first head coaching job for Herman, who was the
offensive coordinator for the Liberty Hill High School Panthers
of District 25-3A last year.
While at Liberty Hill, Herman was a part of a state championship
team (2007), and the Panthers are projected to compete for their
third district championship in four years this fall.
During a noon-hour interview Thursday, Herman said he was
interested in moving from a large and growing school district to
a smaller district where students are encouraged to play every
“I went to a large high school – there were almost 800 kids in
my class – and I’ve seen too many kids make that decision (to
specialize in one sport) too early,” he said. “I’m here because
I want the kids to do as much as possible.
“As a football coach, I want my players to get bigger, faster
and stronger,” he added. “As an athletic director, I want our
athletes to participate and compete – I want my football players
playing basketball, basketball players playing baseball and
everybody running track. That will make everybody better.”
Herman said he had been “amazed” at the level of support he has
already received from school administrators, noting he
specifically was looking for a smaller community to raise his
“What I’m seeing and hearing about the kids here is what drew me
to Liberty Hill, back when it was small,” he added. “I wanted
the opportunity to be a head coach and athletic director and
have a focus on school and family, without all the extra stuff
(at a large district).”
He and his wife, Nicole, have three children – Faith, who will
be entering fifth grade; Isabella, who will be entering third
grade and 4-year-old Brody.
Under now-departed coach Doug Wendel, who has returned to
Oklahoma (see related story), the Bulldogs became very
successful in a run-oriented triple-option offense, and the
players Herman spoke with Thursday “seemed pleased” that
approach won’t change.
Herman said he’ll be using a Slot-T offense, which is very
similar to what the Bulldogs have been using.
“We are going to run the ball,” he said. “There are some plays
with an option look, but we’ll be using a power offense with a
lot of misdirection – traps and sweeps.
“It’ll be a hard-nosed, smash-mouth, old-school type of
football,” he added. “I’m not about fluff or flash – I’m about
Texas Football projects
lake-area team success
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Three of the five lake-area football teams are
projected to be playoff contenders this fall in the 51st annual
issue of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine.
For Mabank and Kemp, this fall marks the second year in District
13-3A, while Eustace enters its second year as a 2A school in
District 6-2A Division I.
Nearby Malakoff is in District 11-2A Division I (but Eustace and
Malakoff are in the same district for basketball, softball and
baseball – go figure), while Trinidad’s six-man Trojans enter
their second year in District 12 Division II.
An enrollment “snapshot” will be taken in October for the
biennial UIL realignment to be announced next February.
Unless there’s some major change – such as the UIL creating a 6A
classification for schools with enormous enrollments – everybody
probably will stay about where they are, although the respective
districts’ makeup likely will change.
Texas Football doesn’t see a lot of success for Mabank and Kemp
in 13-3A, as last year’s playoff teams, Crandall and Ferris, are
projected to be joined by Kaufman.
The Lions battled a rash of injuries last year, but return five
offensive and six defensive starters, including big, fast
tailback Je’Mikal Jobe (6-2, 190, 4.5), who missed three games
of the 2010 campaign.
Crandall and Ferris, who both finished district at 4-1 last
year, also have small groups of returnees – the Pirates are
projected to have four offensive and five defensive starters
back, while the Yellowjackets are projected to have three
offensive and five defensive starters.
Mabank’s Panthers had a lot of first-year players going both
ways last year, but defense should be a strength, with six
starters projected to return, joining three offensive starters.
Kemp’s strength has been its defense for a couple of years now,
but the Yellowjackets were hit hard by graduation, losing both
starting running backs (who also started on defense) and leading
linebacker Johnny Kilgore.
The Panthers’ or ’Jackets’ success this year will depend on the
new players coming up from the junior varsity and freshman
squads, and Mabank likely will have the edge there – but whether
it will be enough to break into the playoff trio remains to be
Eustace also suffered through an incredible rash of injuries
last year, forcing many young players into starting roles on the
varsity. However, that means the Bulldogs welcome back five
offensive starters, including their entire backfield.
The key for the Bulldogs will be the development of the
offensive line, particularly at center, following the departure
of three-year starter Owen Babcock.
Six defensive starters also return, headed by three-year starter
Blake Ward at linebacker.
Texas Football projects the Bulldogs to again finish third,
behind last year’s champion Grandview and runner-up Maypearl.
The Bulldogs will be working under a new head coach Brian
Herman, following the departure of Doug Wendel, who returned to
Oklahoma (see related stories, page 1B).
At Malakoff, Tiger fans are hoping the turnaround that brought
the team from 0-10 to two straight playoff berths can continue
in a newly renovated stadium behind third-year coach Jamie
Many of the players who sparked the back-to-back playoff runs
are gone, however, as the Tigers welcome back only three
offensive starters – but one is all-district quarterback Jacob
Teague, who accounted for more than 2,500 yards of total offense
and 30 touchdowns last year.
The Tigers also have six defensive returnees, so the defense
will be expected to carry the team until the offense starts to
A perennial playoff team, the Trinidad Trojans are again
expected to be one of two playoff teams (along with Milford’s
Bulldogs) in their four-team six-man district, and return three
starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s 8-4 squad,
which reached the regional semifinals.
Junior RB/DB Zach Spencer returns after being an all-region
selection as a sophomore, when he was the Trojans’ top rusher