Rockdale Reporter, October 22, 2009
67 Tigers were just one break away

Guest, Marion, Speer, Chmelar went on to standout college sports careers

Vernon Guest, H.Earl Marion, Mike Speer and Glen Chmelar all went on to spectacular
successes in college after graduating Rockdale High School in 1968.

And they were one break away from being members of Rockdale High School’s second
football team to post a 10-0 regular season record.

Chemlar was named a member of Baylor’s all-decade football squad of the 1970s, Speer was on two national championship football teams at the University of Texas.

Marion set national junior college football records at Blinn College and Guest held the Arkansas State record for the 100-yard dash.

All four will be inducted into the Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor in ceremonies Friday in the high school lunchroom.

One for all time
The 1967 Tigers were 9-1, a record that would have easily punched their post-season ticket today.

Rockdale outscored its opponents in the nine victories 369-55. The Tigers beat district foes San Marcos 48-6, New Braunfels 54-14 and Lampasas 62-0.

Their only loss was 13-10 in a classic contest against district rival Seguin that drew 6,000 to Tiger Field and in 2000 was named one of Rockdale’s 10 best games of all time.

Both teams were ranked in the state’s top 10.

There were three huge breaks and Seguin got them all:
• Rockdale had a 38-yard TD by Guest called back for clipping. It was the Tigers only penalty of the game.
• Tiger fans screamed for a flag when Seguin was all over Chmelar in the Matador end zone on what otherwise would have been
   a TD reception to end the first half. RHS didn’t get one.
• Big Blue was apparently driving to the game-clinching score late in the contest when a hit by Matador Charles Davis sent a
   Rockdale pitch bouncing backwards for a 32-yard loss. Seguin held.

H. Earl Marion
His 22 TDs in 1967 is still an RHS single season record and his 1,274 yards rushing that year is still third all-time.

He finished his RHS career with 1,944 yards on 361 rushes, a 6.05 yards-per carry average. Marion scored 186 points.

His 17 carries for 245 yards and 4 TDs against Cameron remains an all-time best for an RHS back against Yoe.

Marion was a first-team all state selection after his senior year.

At Blinn Junior College-Brenham his 32 points in one game was at the time a national junior college record.
After graduating from Blinn he completed his college football career at the University of Tulsa.

Glen Chmelar
A devastating tackler and blocker, Chmelar was first team all-state team at linebacker (even though he played defensive end) and second-team all state at offensive end.

Even though teams seldom ran his way, he posted 13 solo tackles and 67 assists. He also intercepted 10 passes.

After a freshman year in which he was All-Southwest Conference at Baylor, he stepped right into a starting defensive end slot, was the Bears’ captain in 1971-72 and won the team’s sportsmanship award in 1972. He also kicked off.

He was named a member of Baylor’s All Decade team of the 1970s.

Chmelar was drafted by the Houston Oilers and played a preseason with them before choosing a career in education over accepting an assignment to the Canadian Football League.

Mike Speer
Speer played offensive guard and linebacker.

On defense he logged 46 solo tackles and 359 assists in a threeyear varsity career.

As Big Blue’s place kicker he booted 63 extra points and two field goals.

He was named All-Centex all three years and went on to accept a football scholarship to the University
of Texas.

Speer kicked the winning field goal against TCU for the Longhorn freshman team. He went on to earn a letter and was a member of Texas national championship teams in 1969 and 1970.

He was a second-team offensive guard at UT and was backup place kicker to Longhorn great Happy Feller.

A multi-sport athlete at RHS, Speer threw the shot and discus for the Big Blue track team and was a regional qualifier in shot put his senior year.

A catcher for the Big Blue baseball team, Speer was all-district his senior year.

And he once caught future Oakland A’s superstar pitcher Vida Blue during a summer major league tryout camp at the RHS diamond.

Vernon Guest
Running on cinder tracks, he logged a pair of 9.7s as a junior in the 100-yard dash, then had one of the most memorable track seasons for any Tiger as a senior.

He ran 9.9 or better nine times that season, setting many meet records.

In Marlin he ran a 9.5, setting a school record that lasted 31 years, not falling until its metric equivalent
was bettered in 1999.

Injuries kept Guest from getting to the state meet during his RHS career but he went on to Arkansas State on a track scholarship.

As a college freshman he clocked in at 9.3, holding the Arkansas State school record at the time, before additional injuries ended his track career.

Guest was a running back for Big Blue’s football team, ending the 1967 season with a 6-yard per-carry average and scoring four TDs.

Rockdale,TX Class of 1965
Rockdale TX Sports Hall of Honor
Honoring past athletes from Rockdale High School and Aycock High School
Thanks to the Rockdale Reporter, Mike Brown, Editor for permission to use these articles and photos
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Rockdale Reporter, October 9, 2009
Grubbs, Laurence were perfect players
Hall honorees played on 10-0 teams in high school, college

This is the third in a series of articles on the 13 athletes who will be inducted into the Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor Oct. 23.

When you say Eddie Grubbs and Ernie Wayne Laurence were perfect, you’re not tempting fate.
In fact there are statistics to back that up.
Grubbs played on the only undefeated, untied football team in Sam Houston State Bearkat football history.
Laurence was key player on the 1963 Rockdale Tigers, the only RHS team to ever go through a regular season with a perfect record.
(This year’s Tigers are over halfway there. Big Blue is 6-0 after Friday’s win at Madisonville.)

Edward Grubbs
Edward Grubbs, a 1956 RHS graduate, did just about everything for the Tigers of that era.
Grubbs won all-district honors in football as a quarterback and basketball as a forward and made several all-tournament teams in basketball, including the Bryan High School Invitational Tournament.
An outstanding track athlete for the Tigers, Grubbs won district and regional titles in the high and low hurdles, long jump and 440-yard dash (now the 400 meters), qualifying for the UIL state track and field meet
in Austin.
While still in high school, he won the batting title in the American Legion Summer Fast-Pitch Softball League in Rockdale, a trophy he was unable to accept until he graduated because of UIL rules.
He accepted a scholarship to play football and run track at Sam Houston State University.
In 1956 SHSU made school history, posting a 9-0 regular season mark and accepting an invitation to play Middle Tennessee State in the Refrigerator Bowl in Evansville, Indiana, then known as the “refrigerator capital of the United States.”
The Bearkats beat the Blue Raiders 27-13 to complete what remains the only perfect football season in Sam Houston State history.
Grubbs wasn’t finished. In 1957, while running track for the Bearkats, he qualified for the NCAA National Collegiate Track and Field Meet in the high hurdles.
Grubbs interrupted his college athletic career to serve two years in the U.S. Marine Corps and played football in the Marines before resuming his athletic career at Sam Houston State.

Ernie Wayne Laurence
Ernie Wayne Laurence was a key player on two of the greatest Rockdale High School football teams of all time.
He was named an all-stater in three different polls after his senior year.
A two-way starter at offensive and defensive end, he made huge contributions to the 1962 state finalist team and the 1963 squad which was undefeated in the regular season and ranked No. 1 for much of the year.
Those two teams combined for a 23-3 record and outscored their opponents by more than 500 points.
A 1964 RHS graduate, Laurence ended his senior year by being selected all-state in three different polls, AP, UPI and the Texas Coaches Poll.
During those two seasons he caught 27 passes for 301 yards and nine touchdowns.
His senior year, at defensive end, he made 19 solo tackles and logged 78 assists.
A multi-sport athlete at RHS, he also lettered in basketball, track, softball and volleyball, which was then offered as a men’s sport.
Like his brothers Donnie and Ronnie, Laurence went on to an athletic career at Baylor, playing football and baseball.
After graduating college he coached for seven years with stops at Waco Reicher, Cameron and San Antonio Thomas Jefferson. Laurence earned his doctorate and went on to a 27-year career in education before retiring, the last 18 as superintendent of the Hutto Independent School District
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2009 Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor Inductee Ernie Wayne Laurence
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Edward Grubbs
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Rockdale Reporter, October 15, 2009
Seasons to be cherished forever

Versatile Perry starred in all sports; Heflin remembered for life, career

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the 13 athletes who will be inducted into the Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor Oct. 23.

One posted what could have been the greatest all-around sports year in Rockdale High School history. 

The other dedicated his life to helping youngsters reach their full potential in sports, right up to the moment he died far too soon in a tragic highway accident.

Art “Copie” Perry and Ronnie Heflin will be enshrined in the Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor Oct. 23 at Rockdale High  School.

Art “Copie” Perry

What would you call an athletic career that included leading your football team in most categories, being named basketball district MVP and winning state in one track event and placing third in another?

Copie Perry called it his senior year.

Perry had already established himself as a top athlete before his senior year of 1964-65 started.  He was one of the district’s top offensive ends his sophomore and junior football seasons.

But in 1964 he was moved to quarterback, while retaining his defensive starting position at cornerback.

He responded by rushing for 410 yards, completing 29 passes for 359 more, added 30 punt and kick returns for 597, was in on 87 tackles (15 unassisted), intercepted five passes and recovered three fumbles.

Perry was even called upon to return to his old offensive end position for the season’s final two games.  He caught 10 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns.

He was Rockdale’s leading scorer with 63 points. The next highest total was 12.  Perry was all-district and all-Centex.

In basketball he was the leading scorer for a team that missed advancing to district by one point. He was named district MVP.

In track he won state in the 120-yard high hurdles and was third in the 330-yard intermediate hurdles.

Perry was named the most athletic boy at Rockdale High School.  He also played baseball, volleyball and tennis during his RHS sports career.

He accepted a track scholarship to Texas Tech and was a member of the Red Raider track team for two seasons.  He then transferred to the University of North Carolina and, after a redshirt season ended his athletic career with a season on the Tarheel varsity football squad.

Ronnie Heflin

An RHS and Southwest Texas State University standout athlete, Ronnie Heflin touched many young lives through his dedicated coaching career which was cut tragically short.

A 1966 RHS graduate, Heflin was a two-way starter at center and linebacker for the 1965 Tiger football team.

An all-district selection at linebacker, he logged 13 solo tackles and 86 assists. He was the 1965 football team captain.

He was also a member of Duane Vincent’s 1965-66 RHS basketball team which went to the state tourney and placed third.

Heflin also participated in track his junior and sophomore years.

He went on to SW Texas (Texas State), played on the Bobcat football team and graduated in 1970.

Heflin’s coaching career began in Weslaco where he stayed two years and coached JV football and basketball.  He moved on to Alice, coaching football for one year.

A one-year stint as head coach at Lexington followed, then Heflin moved on to Mt. Vernon as an assistant coach for one year.

He coached football and track at Mt. Pleasant for two years, was defensive coordinator at New Braunfels High School for two years and coached football two years in Sulphur Springs.

Heflin then went to Como-Pickton as head football coach for 1980-81.

On May 1, 1981, Heflin was killed in a highway accident near Winnsboro as he and some Como-Pickton athletes were returning from a regional track meet. He was 33.
Sports Hall of Honor 2009 - Art Copie Perry - Rockdale, TX
Sports Hall of Honor 2009 - Ronnie Heflin - Rockdale, TX
Ronnie Heflin
Art Copie Perry
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Glen Chmelar - 2009 Inductee - Rockdale TX Sports Hall of Honor
Vernon Guest - 2009 Inductee - Rockdale TX Sports Hall of Honor
Mike Speer - 2009 Inductee - Rockdale TX Sports Hall of Honor
H. Earl Marion - 2009 Inductee - Rockdale TX Sports Hall of Honor
H. Earl Marion’s 22 touchdowns in 1967 is still a single season
rushing record for Rockdale High School. His 1,274 yards rushing
that season, on 187 carries, is still the third best single season
rushing mark in school history. In the 1967 Cameron game Marion
rushed 17 times for 245 yards and four touchdowns in a game
Rockdale won 39-0. That remains the best rushing game ever by
a Tiger back against Yoe.
H. Earl Marion
Mike Speer was a member of two national championship teams at
the University of Texas after his Rockdale High School career
Vernon Guest ran the 100-yard dash under 10 seconds 11 times in his RHS track career.
All-state on offense and defense at RHS, Glenn Chmelar went on to Baylor where he was a star.
Thanks to the Rockdale Reporter, Mike Brown, Editor for permission to use these articles and photos
Rockdale Reporter - Established 1893