Superfan Jerry leads Hall of Honor class

Newest class spans sports of all kinds

There is little doubt that Jerry Throckmorton was the Rockdale Tigers biggest supporter. There is little doubt that Jerry Throckmorton was the Rockdale Tigers biggest supporter. The 2017 Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor inductees will be honored at a banquet Nov. 11 at 4:30 at the high school cafeteria and the public is encouraged to attend. They will also be recognized at the Rockdale-Jarrell football game. The 11th Hall of Honor class increases the number of inductees to 96.

Jerry Throckmorton

When Rockdale Tiger fans are discussing who the number one Tiger fan of all time would be, the answer is always Jerry Throckmorton.

Shortly after graduating from Rockdale High School, Jerry began working in the high school cafeteria. He loved his job and enjoyed all the students at the school but was particularly fond of the athletes.

Jerry loved sports. Rarely, would he miss a Tiger athletic event. You could spot Jerry briskly walking from his home on Murray Street to attend football, basketball, baseball and other sporting events.

Pope Pope He enjoyed visiting with spectators but once the game began he was in his seat ready to cheer on the Tigers.

Jerry had his own views about athletic events. It was not unusual for him to say to an athlete after a game, “If you had caught that pass, we would have won the game.”

Or, “If you had made that tackle, they wouldn’t have scored the winning goal.”

Jerry did not mind sharing his views with the coaches either. Of course, no one was quicker to praise the athletes and coaches when the Tiger teams won.

Not only was he an avid sports fan, Jerry was an athlete in his own right. He won numerous medals at Special Olympics in College Station and at the state meet in Austin.

His favorite moment from all his years with Special Olympics was the year he was selected as a torch bearer at the opening ceremonies in College Station.

Morton Morton It was particularly exciting for him as an Aggie football player ran with him as he carried the torch.

When Jerry became too ill to attend sporting events, he listened to them on the radio.

The number one Rockdale Tiger fan passed away in December of 2001.

Terry Pope

Terry Pope served as the head track and field coach and assistant football coach at Rockdale High School from 1991-1999.

The dominance that his track and field teams showed during his tenure as the head coach is the reason he is being elected into the Rockdale Sports Hall of Honor.

His track teams enjoyed the greatest extended success of any sport in Rockdale history to date.

During his nine years at the helm, Coach Pope’s teams won 48 of 54 meets, including every Rockdale Relays.

Bassler Bassler They won seven straight district championships and two regional championships.

He was an intense motivator and a great recruiter that had a “Team First” mentality.

Coach Pope was blessed with some great athletes and he obviously did a great job of training them, but his greatest trait may have been his ability to recruit kids to participate.

His teams were known for having such an insurmountable lead after the field events that it was virtually impossible for them to be caught during the rest of the meet.

Rockdale athletes were also a fixture at the state meet during his tenure as they were represented seven different years.

At those seven state meets his athletes competed in 16 different events and captured 10 medals: five gold, three bronze and two silver.

Lani Morton

As an accomplished softball player, Lani Morton Reese, a 1998 graduate of Rockdale High School, rewrote to the Lady Tiger record books both as a pitcher and a hitter during her four years at RHS.

Lani was 1st team all-district all four years in high school and received the district MVP award twice. She was second team All-State in 1996 and also All-Brazos Valley.

As a pitcher, she ended her career with a 35-10 record and an amazing 1.13 ERA while recording 306 strikeouts.

Twenty of those strikeouts came in one game against Lampasas in 1997.

As a hitter, Lani led the Lady Tigers in batting all four years with an overall batting average of .446, a career slugging percentage of .615 and a .507 on base percentage.

Blade Bassler

As a multi-sport athlete for RHS, this 2001 graduate excelled in everything he participated in.

Blade Bassler epitomized the true meaning of versatility in regards to athleticism in football, basketball and track.

In football he was a standout quarterback, safety, kicker and punter. He was named to the second team All-State team as a kicker, was named to All-Brazos Valley team multiple times as a quarterback, punter and kicker and was the District MVP twice.

At the end of his high school career he held many RHS football records including most touchdowns in a season and career, most points in a season and career and most field goals made.

He signed with the University of Houston where he lettered three years as a quarterback and tight end.

As a basketball player, Blade was named to the All-District team four times and was a two-time RHS basketball MVP. He also was a three-year regional qualifier in track.

Rockdale Reporter

From Bill Cooke to Bill Martin and Mike Brown in-between, the Rockdale Reporter has been providing award winning coverage of Big Blue athletics for 125 years.

When Cooke returned home with a journalism degree from North Texas State in 1958, he elevated the Reporter’s sports coverage to a new level which has remained in line ever since.

Cooke has faithfully attended Tiger football games for over 70 years in one capacity or another.

Brown, who began covering the Tigers in 1974, had a streak of covering 320 straight football games and it took a severe case of the flu to stop it.

Cooke and Martin have come full circle as former Tiger athletes themselves.

From 2005 to 2017, the Reporter sports section has claimed first place awards 12 times by three different press associations including the Texas Press Association and the Lone Star Journalism Awards.

The Reporter has also been given first place awards for its sports photos and sports columns as well.

In 2017, the Reporter was named best weekly newspaper in Texas by the Texas Press Association.

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