There's something funny going on here

You may have noticed in our Hall of Honor story in this week's edition, that there was an honoree's name that had not previously appeared in print.

It wasn't a mistake, it was done on purpose.

Last spring, the honor committee decided that Reporter publisher Bill Cooke was worthy of induction in the hall, if not for his athletic accomplishments, but for promoting what's good about Tiger athletics for the past 50 years.

The only quandary was, how do you keep it a secret from a trained newshound for six months? Especially when he is on the actual committee?

It wasn't easy.

First off, the committee met a half an hour earlier than usual—without telling him of course.

His family was notified so they could make plans to be in attendance, but were sworn to secrecy.

We took odds on which family member would spill the beans first and the former cheerleader—his daughter Kathy—was the odds on favorite, just ahead of his grandson Will.

The most difficult of the clandestine operations was trying to print the actual banquet programs with him in it and without him seeing it.

Billy Cooke Billy Cooke That fell on the shoulders of Reporter printing experts Sammy Summers and Cliff Dungan.

Bill is so excited about the Hall of Honor that he pays particular attention to the programs. He wants everything to be perfect and he wants to see them as soon as they slide off the presses.

That in itself presented a problem.

So, when it came time to print the programs a couple of weeks ago, Sam and Cliff made several copies of a fake program— without Bill in it—and stacked them on his desk and hoped he wouldn't ask for any additional copies.

When it came time to print the actual programs, that became a duplicitous operation that resembled the tunnel digging scenes in the classic war movie, The Great Escape.

Should Bill show up unannounced, there was a series of check points and signals to announce his arrival.

Watch outs were posted in strategical spots, trash can lids were switched, noses were tweaked, Morris codes were tapped out on the floor.

Last Monday at our weekly breakdown of the previous game, Jeff Miller asked me if I thought he knew something was up.

I answered with an emphatic no.

"I know he doesn't know anything because if he did, he would try to put a stop to it."

When I asked master of ceremonies Mike Brown who was going to be responsible for keeping him from running out of the building when his name was announced, I was informed it was me.

The secret society worked, he never knew a thing and his entire family, including his grandkids, got to see him go in the hall.

So, if I were to use today's vernacular, I'd say, "Bill Cooke, you just got punked!"

But in this case, no one got hurt.

One more RHS coach

Omitted from the list of former RHS standouts now in the coaching ranks was Andre Johnson (RHS '01) who is now on the staff at Lockhart.

Not only was Johnson a football standout as a firstteam all-district guard, but he was a monster on the powerlifting team, establishing several school records that still stand today.

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2009-10-29 digital edition

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