Rockdale,TX Class of 1965
Rockdale TX Sports Hall of Honor
Honoring past athletes from Rockdale High School and Aycock High School
The Reporter has some great pictures of the ceremonies on-line
Thanks to the Rockdale Reporter, Mike Brown, Editor for permission to use these articles and photos
Rockdale Reporter Established 1893
Right On Track
This is the first in a two-part series introducing this year’s six Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor inductees. The public is encouraged to attend the induction banquet Oct. 25 which will be held at the high school cafeteria beginning at 4:30 p.m. The honorees will then be recognized at halftime of the Rockdale-Navasota game later that evening.
Cecilia Holder and Gordon McKee both represented Rockdale at the state track meet after setting several school records in the events they dominated.
HALL OF HONOR
McKee, Holder continued to thrive after high school
While a standout at Rockdale High School, Gordon McKee literally soared when he left high school, thriving in track on the collegiate and national stage.
After attending Blinn, McKee (RHS ‘85) was a two-time All-American at Southwest Texas State and the three-time Southland Conference long jump champion in which he still held the school record at the time of his induction.
He was named the outstanding track performer at the 1989 Southland Meet as the high point man.
McKee was second in the long jump in the NCAAs and also participated in the Olympic Trials in 1988.
He was an international track performer from 1990 to 1995 where he was ranked in the top 10 in the world. His best measurement of 27 feet, 2 inches put him in the top 120 jumps of all-time.
McKee was chosen by Track & Field News for the all-time long jump team along with Eric Metcalf and Carl Lewis.
At Rockdale, he captured a silver in the high jump and a fourth place finish in the long jump at the 1985 state track meet.
At one point, he owned school records in the long jump and high jump.
In football, he was named first-team all-district as a punter.
Blazing new trails, like being inducted into the RHS Athletic Hall of Honor, isn’t anything new for Cecilia “Ce” Holder Pryor. She’s been doing it since she was 10.
That’s the age she became the first girl to play Little League baseball - not softball, baseball — in Rockdale.
It was in the LL’s major leagues (ages 10-12) and she wasn’t a late inning, sneak-’em-into-theoutfield when nobody’s looking player either.
By her 11-year-old season she was a starting pitcher. Selected an all-star the next year, she started on the mound in a classic two-day, 11-inning affair against a South Austin team, a game Rockdale eventually won.
In junior-high she excelled in multiple sports, then moved on to RHS and literally began rewriting the girls track record books.
By graduation time in 1983, she held four records, the 100, 200, 400 and long jump. Her 400-meter record, 57.1, still stands 30 years later. It’s been tied once, by Crystal Anderson in 2002.
Pryor was second in the 400 meters in the 1983 state track meet, still the highest running event finish for a Lady Tiger and tied for the highest finish ever in any girls track event for RHS. (Leslie Starnes finished second three times in the pole vault and Sue Peterson was second in shot put.)
Pryor was first team all-district her junior and senior years in basketball after working her way into the lineup her sophomore year for June Owen’s bi-district champs.
She was named outstanding female athlete at RHS both her junior and senior years, the first Lady Tiger to ever win the award more than once.
After graduation she went to Mary-Hardin Baylor on a basketball scholarship, started three years, was All-Heart of Texas Conference, all-academic conference and won the conference free-throw shooting title.
A career in girls sports coaching followed at Alvarado and Moody. In Moody she was a coach of the year in 1992 after taking a Lady Bearcat team that was 0-10 the previous season to the Class 2A playoffs.
Ironically, softball may have been her best sport and RHS did not offer girls softball in her era.
She was a standout on citywide and countywide women’s teams which took the place of UIL softball in that era.
A pitcher and slugging shortstop, she played key roles on teams which won pennants in three different leagues and on a Rockdale all-star team which defeated all-star squads from Cameron and Caldwell in tourney action.
Rockdale Reporter - October 17, 2013
Cecelia Holder Pryor
Brothers & Keepers
Cookes, Brooks Success All In The Family
Rockdale Reporter - October 24, 2013
This is the last in a two-part series introducing this year’s six Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor inductees. The public is encouraged to attend the induction banquet Friday, Oct. 25 which will be held at the high school cafeteria beginning at 4:30 p.m. The honorees will then be recognized at halftime of the Rockdale- Navasota game later that evening.
All for one and one for all, My brother and my friend, What fun we have, The time we share, Brothers ‘til the end. - Author unknown.
No time is that quote more appropriate than at this year’s Rockdale Hall of Honor ceremony, where a special set of brothers left their mark on the Tiger athletic program will be recognized.
Two on their own, the other two as a team.
Just because he was down, doesn’t mean he was out.
Tony Brooks (RHS ‘85) harvested three gold medals at the state track meet, including two in one trip on one magical day in 1985.
Brooks proved he was the best hurdler in the entire state of Texas by sprinting to wins in the 110-and 300-meter hurdles, leaving his competition to watch in amazement.
His 36.44 clocking in the 300s was the third fastest time in the nation in 1985 and it still stood as a state record in the year of his induction, 2013, almost 30 years after the feat. His school hurdle records still stands as well.
To reach state in the 300s, Brooks had to overcome a spill he took at regionals, get up and play catchup to place second.
Brooks also grabbed a gold in the 300s the previous year after he stumbled after the final hurdle and then dove across the finish line to nip rival Bobby Jack Goforth at the tape. He was also third in the 110s as Goforth grabbed the gold.
He was also a standout football player, joining the Tiger career list with 2,145 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns. He turned in one of the top performances in RHS history with 238 yards and four touchdowns against Caldwell in 1983. His 97-yard kickoff return against Caldwell in 1984 set a school record that has not been bested.
He was selected first-team all-district as a running back and defensive back and was named All-Centex as a defensive back.
Brooks had 27 scholarship offers to play football from the likes of Nebraska, Texas A&M, Ohio State, USC, Iowa, LSU and Tennessee. He chose to play at TCU where he was a three-year letterman.
Donny Brooks made the state track meet his own personal playground.
In three trips to Austin, in three different events, Brooks (RHS ‘88) captured two gold medals and a bronze at state in the 110-meter hurdles. He was also fourth in the long jump. His senior year, Brooks defended his 110-meter hurdles championship, while grabbing a fourth in the long jump. He claimed his first gold medal in the 110s as a junior and in his first trip to the state meet as a sophomore, was third in the 110s.
At the time of his induction in 2013, Brooks is the only male Rockdale athlete to make three trips to the state track meet. Brooks led the Tiger football team in rushing, receiving, kick returns and interceptions his senior season and was named first-team all-district.
Brooks played football for Texas Tech where he was a three-year letterman and played in the Senior Bowl. Brooks best moment came against Baylor in 1991, when in a driving rainstorm, he recovered a fumble in mid-air as 20th ranked Baylor was about to tie the game in the 4th quarter and returned it 99 yards for the winning touchdown as the Red Raiders claimed a 31-24 victory in Waco.
He received the J.T. King Award as the Red Raiders most improved player in 1991. After college, he was then signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears.
Ken Esten Cooke
Because of his efforts as a singles player and as part of a dominating doubles team with his brother Kevin, Ken Esten Cooke has made the name Cooke synonymous with tennis excellence in Rockdale.
With his younger brother Kevin, Ken (RHS ‘85) captured the Class 3A state championship in doubles, annihilating weary opponents along the way. At the time of his induction in 2013, it remains the only state championship in tennis in RHS history.
As different as tennis players as they were in personalties, the brothers teamed up to become one perfect tennis machine, disposing of opponents in makeshift time.
After dropping their opening set at state they captured six straight sets including a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Aransas Pass in the semifinals and a 6-3, 6-1 win over Marble Falls in the finals.
Cooke had made it to state the previous year as a singles player, finishing in the top four. He also led the Tigers to a third place finish in team tennis.
His career singles record was 50-8 and his doubles mark was 26-6.
He went on to play tennis at Odessa College and was ranked as high as 34th in the nation.
Cooke came full circle and as publisher of The Rockdale Reporter, covered Tiger athletics with award winning stories and photography. He also continued to mentor young tennis players in Rockdale and played tennis himself on a regular basis.
Kevin Cooke, along with his brother, Ken Esten Cooke set the standard when it comes to tennis in Rockdale, which no one has yet to equal.
In 1985, Kevin (RHS ‘86) and older brother Ken teamed up to nab a state championship in Class 3A doubles, and did it in convincing style.
“It was a tremendous level of intensity and team work and they took charge of the net,” said Rockdale tennis coach Rick Spencer. The duo claimed a 26-6 record that year.
Cooke, who earned his first trip to the state tournament in doubles the previous year as a sophomore, led the team tennis squad to a third place finish in 1985, capturing seven of his eight matches.
He was 19-5 as a singles player his senior year and finished third at regional.
At Rockdale, he also played football and basketball and ran on the cross country team.
Cooke, who passed away at age 40 in 2008, played tennis at Temple College and graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Ken Esten Cooke (left) and Kevin Cooke still account for the only state championship in tennis in RHS history.