Big Three Poised To Lead Tatum To Three Straight Titles - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/3/07-Tatum

Big Three Poised To Lead Tatum To Three Straight Titles

Last season in Tatum it was all about the number two. The team won their second straight state title.

Now it is all about three as Tatum goes for their third straight. The Eagles are led by three seniors who once joined varsity as three sophomores looking to make an impact. They have been the constants through the Eagles state title wins: quarterback Cashas Pollard, receiver Chance Blackmon and running back Bryce Beall.

"You shouldn't be afraid of challenges," Bryce said. "By us being young we weren't afraid and when Coach Evans gave us the opportunity we just took what we had."

In 2005 Cashas Pollard took over as starting quarterback. He faced the challenge and pressure of filling the big shoes of now TCU horn frog Stephen Hodge.

"Coming in to my sophomore year it was a lot like, 'Hodge isn't here anymore.' At first that was discouraging but I kind of used that for motivation. Steve was a great player but I was like, 'no I'm not Hodge, I'm going to play the game I know how to play.'"

Cashas has since gone 41-3 in his high school career and helped the Eagles know what it feels like to be two time champions.

"I want to feel that again," Cashas said. "I want the younger guys to feel that and I'm going to do all that I can to bring that third title back to Tatum."

"I'm feeling really lucky to be honest," Bryce said. "I'm just blessed to have the opportunity to go all three years."

Chance has contributed nine touchdowns this year, Bryce 17. This talented trio's skills may be genetic.

They are cousins.

Chance's older brother Carson played with him in 2005 when they won state. "It's real great playing next to your cousin, brother, second cousin," he said.

"We'll have stories you can share as you grow older," Bryce said. "By us being family and close friends we will always be there together and love each other."

Coach Andy Evans said he spotted something special in the three early.

"They were freshman my first year here and you could tell they were going to be special football players," Evans said. "But what I think is more important to me about all three of them is the fine young men I think they've become."

This will be Cashas, Chance and Bryce's last high school season together. They said they have two trophies in the case, but hope to clear some room this week for a third.

Tatum will play Salado in the state semifinals in Corsicana, Saturday night at 6 p.m.
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