Brooks and Cookes lead Hall honorees

Brothers bring focus to tennis and track

While track and tennis take a back seat to other sports most of the time, when it comes to the newest class of the Rockdale Hall of Honor, they move front and center.

The six 2013 inductees include Gordon McKee, Tony Brooks, Donny Brooks and Cecilia Holder, who while participating in several sports, made their names predominately in track.

As far as tennis is concerned, the brother duo of Ken Esten Cooke and Kevin Cooke are still the only Rockdale tennis players to capture a state title in the sport.

While a standout at Rockdale, McKee (RHS ‘85)soared when he lef t high school, thriving on the collegiate and national stage.

He was a two-time All-American at Southwest Texas State, the three-time Southland Conference long jump champion in which he still holds the school record.

McKee was second in the long jump in the NCAAs and also participated in the Olympic Trials in 1988.


Ken Esten Cooke (left) and Kevin Cooke (seen here in 2007) still account for the only state championship in tennis in RHS history. Ken Esten Cooke (left) and Kevin Cooke (seen here in 2007) still account for the only state championship in tennis in RHS history. He won a world championship in the long jump in 1991.

McKee was chosen by Track & Field News for the all-time long jump team along with Eric Metcalf and Carl Lewis.

The Brooks brothers also left their mark on Tiger track by making a combined five trips to the state track meet and bringing home five gold medals.

Tony Brooks (RHS ‘85) harvested three gold medals at the state meet, including two in one trip on one magical day in 1985.

Brooks sprinted to wins in the 110-and 300-meter hurdles and his clocking in the 300s still stands as a state record to this day.

Brooks also grabbed a gold in the 110s the previous year.

His school hurdle records still stand.

He was also a standout football player, joining the 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.

Brooks played football at TCU where he was a three-year letterman.

Donny 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.

Brooks played football for Texas Tech and was signed as a free agent by the Chicago Bears.

Another set of brothers—the Cookes—set a high standard for all future Tiger tennis players.

In 1985, Ken Esten (RHS ‘85) and Kevin Cooke ( RHS ‘ 86) teamed up to nab a state championship in doubles, annihilating opponents along the way.

It remains the only state championship in tennis in RHS history.

Ken Esten Cooke, who made it to state the previous year as a singles player, went on to play tennis at Odessa College and was ranked 34th in the nation.

Kevin Cooke, who earned a trip to the state tournament the following year, played tennis at Temple College.

Cecilia Holder’s silver medal in the 400-meter hurdles remains the highest running event finish ever by at Tiger female.

Holder excelled in several sports, including volleyball and basketball

Holder (RHS ‘83) attended Mary Hardin-Baylor on a basketball scholarship where she was a three-year starter.


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2013-06-20 digital edition



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