The year had its fair share of ups and downs

The year 2012 was full of resurgence, comeback, setbacks, upsets, heartbreak and surprise.

Take a walk through the past to remember how your favorite teams and players performed over the past year.

JANUARY—Daniel Brooks transfers back to Rockdale after a semester of playing football at Port Lavaca Calhoun... Milano’s John Jentsch is named first team All-State as a punter and defensive lineman by two different associations... The Tigers’ win over Caldwell assured them their first winning season since 1997.

FEBRUARY—Daniel Brooks officially signs with Oklahoma on national signing day... Rockdale linebacker James David and receiver Cody Skubal are named All- State... In the UIL’s bi-annual realignment, Taylor rejoins Rockdale in District 18-3A... Thorndale returned to Class A after a two-year stay in 2A... The Tiger roundballers clinch their first playoff berth since 1997 with a 51-41 win over Giddings. They lost to Smithville in a playoff for second place behind Navasota... The No. 3 Thorndale Lady Dogs fell to Poth 51-39 in the Class 2A, Region IV finals... After a oneyear absence, the Thorndale Bulldogs fell in the first round of the playoffs to Hempstead... Rockdale was knocked out of the playoffs in bi-district by Ricky Seals-Jones and Sealy 81-75 in bi-district. Jones, one of the top athletes in the country and a Texas-commitee, scored 27 points and grabbed 13 boards.

MARCH—In a backyard brawl featuring friends and former teammates, No. 2 Mumford pulled away from No. 6 Milano 64-47 in the Class A, Region IV finals in New Braunfels... Mumford lost in the Class A finals at the state tournament to Clarksville... Daniel Brooks injured his knee on his first long jump attempt and is out for the remainder of the year... The Caldwell boys and Cameron girls captured the 54th Relays crowns... Hall of Honor member Lee Earl Gadison passes away at age 82... John Jentsch is named first-team All-State in basketball to accompany his firstteam football honor... Milano resident and sophomore Aubrie King was named All-State for the second straight year... Thorndale’s Olivia Atkins was named first-team on the Class 2A squad... Rockdale hoops coach Dusty Loewe announced his retirement after 34 years on the bench and just two wins short of 500 wins.

APRIL—Led by senior Kirk Williams, the Rockdale golf team bagged its third straight district crown and fourth in five years by an impressive 60 strokes.

MAY—Rockdale mixed doubles team Ginny Flores and Nick Gonzalez took the district title and then placed second in regional to earn a trip to the state tournament where they lost in the first round. They were the first Tiger netters to play at state since 2004... Juniors Juan Rubio and Emily Brinkley placed second at the regional meet to reach the state track meet for the first time where they both placed eighth... Milano sent pole vaulter Brandon Garza and Thorndale was represented by the 1,600 and sprint relay teams. The 1,600-relay team grabbed a silver medal... The Milano boys golf team made the first trip to the state tournament in the school’s history and finished fourth... The Rockdale Lady Tigers’ softball team recorded their first playoff series victory since 2006 by whipping Columbus 12-1. They were topped by No. 5 Huffman Hargrave 7-3 in area... After losing the series opener to Sealy 3-0, the Rockdale baseball team rallied with clutch hitting for 7-6, 13-8 wins to take the series in College Station, their first threegame series win since 1999... No. 2 Bridge City pitched the Tigers out of the playoffs in area 10-0, 3-0 in New Caney... Hunter Hamrick becomes the Tigers new offensive coordinator replacing John Kovar who was leaving to take the head job at Normangee. Kovar would later resign from Normangee and return to Rockdale as a junior high coach... After a three-year hiatus, the Lady Tigers’ Powder Puff game returned... Rockdale resident Cindy Jerman’s horse Bok Man raced to the Texas Distance Challenge win at Sam Houston Park.

JUNE—Former Rockdale standout Andre Johnson was hired as an assistant coach after six seasons at Lockhart... Hall of Honor member Kirby Owens- Wright dies at age 71... Tiger baseballer John Stewart was named to the All-State team.

JULY—The winningest football coach in Milano history Chad Lagrone returned to the school as an assistant. Another former Eagle head coach Brad Jones was also hired... The Rockdale 7-on-7 football team made the final eight at the state tournament.

AUGUST—The 33rd Rockdale Open Tennis Tournament witnessed the “most talented” draw in men’s singles in the history of the tourney according to tournament director Lee Thomason... Ethan Brinkley, John Stewart and Tate Pounders were pegged to the TSWA All-State baseball team... 81 players showed up for the first two-a-days football practice which were greeted by temperatures in the low 80s... Hall of Honor member Mike Korth passed away at age 49... The annual “Meet the Tigers” cake auction raised almost $8,000. The Tigers opened the season with a 35-21 over Salado as senior quarterback Ethan Brinkley became the school’s all-time leading passer with 239 yards... Thorndale and Milano also captured their openers. Long-time Milano volleyball coach Wendy King registered her 400th career victory. SEPTEMBER—Grabbing 10 passes for three scores, Austin Caffey led the Tigers to a 24-17 win over Burnet in the home opener... Thorndale and Milano also posted wins to remain unbeaten... In the 58th Battle of the Bell and 86th meeting in the series, Cameron dominated Rockdale 34-0 in Cameron... Playing without starting quarterback Riley Schaefer, Thorndale lost for the first time, 20-13, to Florence... Liberty Hill rolled up 611 yards to outdistance Rockdale 76-35... Riley Schaefer returned to toss five touchdown passes in Thorndale’s 66-25 slaughter of Hallettsville Sacred Heart... Milano blanked the Mabank JV 26-0 to move to 4-0 for the fourth straight year.

OCTOBER—Rockdale dropped its third straight game, 27-0, to Smithville... Playing shorthanded, Milano suffers first loss of the season to Chilton... Behind 205 yards from sophomore Darius Brooks, Thorndale ground up Granger 53-14... No. 16 Milano got revenge for an earlier district loss to No. Thorndale by sweeping the Lady Dogs in three sets to knot the district 16A standings... Rockdale snapped a three-game skid with a comefrom behind 27-15 victory over Hillsboro on the road behind Elijah Brooks’ 246 yards and three scores... The defense sparked a 9-6 Thorndale victory at San Saba... In a wild, three overtime battle with rival Taylor, the Tigers were beat 34-28 on the road in the District 18-3A lid lifter... No. 21 Thorndale was defeated in its district opener, 27-9 by eventual league champion Weimar... Milano lost in double overtime to Burton, 36-30 in the Eagles’ district opener... Milano and Thorndale clinched playoff berths in volleyball... Rockdale kept its playoff hopes alive with a 45-13 win over Madisonville at Tigerland Field... Milano dominated Somerville 49-2. NOVEMBER—All-State linebacker James David was lost for the season with a knee injury in Rockdale’s 43-0 loss to No. 1 Navasota... Rockdale junior Juan Rubio logged his third straight district championship in cross country... After defeating Mart in bi-district, Thorndale fell to Blum in the area volleyball playoffs... Thorndale kept its playoff hopes going with a 19-0 blanking of Flatonia... Milano dropped a 26-25 heartbreaker to Granger... Legendary Aycock Coach and Hall of Honor inductee Ralph Johnson passed away... Angela White, Leigh Shepard, Insenell Richards and O.E. Wilhite were inducted into the Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor... Milano’s playoff hopes were dashed in a 28-26 loss to Bartlett... Milano was bumped out of the playoffs by Cayuga in area... Rockdale’s Juan Rubio and Thorndale’s Keon Mays qualified for the state cross country meet. Rubio, in his second appearance, was 39th in Class 3A and Mays was 20th in Class 2A... After a week off, Rockdale KO’d Caldwell 43-12 to earn a playoff spot... Thorndale hung out Holland 45-25 to end the regular season... Milano closed out on a high note with a 37-7 win over Snook to end the year at 6-4... Rockdale squandered a 22-8 halftime lead in a 36-22 loss to Lorena in bi-district in Killeen to finish 5-6... Thorndale disposed of Brackettville 54-22 in bi-district in San Antonio for their first playoff victory since 2006... Trailing 7-6 at intermission, Thorndale reeled off 22 third quarter points for a 28-7 area win over LaVilla... A week after posting their first playoff win since 1965, the Buckholts Badgers were knocked out of the 6-Man playoffs, 83-71, by Oakwood... Facing their former coach Kade Burns, Thorndale was toppled by defending state champion and unbeaten Mason 49-35 in regional in Marble Falls to end


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