White was major cog in Tiger glory days

BILL MARTIN
If you wanted someone to get you somewhere in a hurry, you had to look no further than Garry White.

The speedster White was a major cog in leading the Tigers to state championships in football (1976) and track (1977).

White passed away Saturday night after battling lung cancer. He was 51. He was 51.

Along with the late Don Wesley and Robert Luetge, White gave the Tigers a triple-threat running attack that was hard to chase down in that championship run. White scored twice in the title game against Childress.

Fighting off an injuryplagued senior season in which he missed five games with an eye injury, White still managed to roll up over 700 yards and a team-high seven yards per carry. He finished his career with over 1,300 yards rushing. His 20 career touchdowns ranks 10th in RHS history.

“Garry was a power runner even way back then,” said former teammate Randy Morgan. “If you were going to tackle Garry, you better bring something with you. You weren’t going to just wrap him up. Garry ran as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen.”

White White He was also a starter in the defensive backfield where he had a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown and was an All-Central Texas selection.

White, along with Wesley, Don Miller and Sammy Ray Branch raced to a state championship at the state track meet in the sprint relay in 42.1, still a school record 33 years later.

As a solo performer, White earned a bronze medal in the 330-yard hurdles during that championship year and in his junior year, he was fifth in the event.

White caught the eye of Big Ten school Minnesota and he was whisked off to the great white north.

White made an immediate impact and was second in the Big Ten in rushing his junior year.

He saved his biggest games for the largest stage. He ran for 201 yards against Michigan State, 221 versus Ohio State and 230 against Illinois.

His big-play status earned him first-team All-Big Ten accolades.

He still holds the Minnesota school record for 200-yard rushing games in a career.

His efforts caught the eye of the San Francisco 49ers who snatched him up in the eighth round of the 1981 draft.

Former Tiger great Vernon Guest tells the story of how Garry sought him out at last year’s Hall of Honor ceremonies when track star Guest was inducted.

“He stood in line behind everyone else and when he stuck out his hand for me to shake it, he said ‘Mr. Guest, you don’t know me but when I was seven or eight, I used to get my mother to take me up to the track to watch you run and I just want to say thank you’.”

White is scheduled to be inducted into the Hall of Honor himself next Friday, which would have been his 52nd birthday.

Guest will be there.

“Garry was as happy, likeable, talented and responsible as any high school athlete I have ever been around,” said former Rockdale coach Lew Simmonds.

White is survived by mother Sallie Mae, sisters Theresa, Angela and Wanda and sons Kolby and Kortlin and two grandchildren.

Vistitation is scheduled for Thursday at Phillips and Luckey from Noon until 8 p.m.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Phillips and Luckey Funeral Chapel with burial following at I.O.O.F. Cemetary.


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2010-10-28 digital edition



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