2017

The 2017 Rockdale Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony was held on Friday, November 10, 2017 at Rockdale High School.

The 2017 Hall of Honor Inductees:
Blade Bassler '01
Lani Morton Reese '98
Coach Terry Pope 91-99
The Rockdale Reporter

Jerry Throckmorton

Rockdale Hall of Honor 2017-0035

Blade Bassler '01
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 All-State team as a punter and 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 was ranked as the #4 quarterback in Texas and signed with the University of Houston where he lettered 3 years as a quarterback and tight end. As a basketball player, Blade was named to the All-District team 4 times and was a two-time RHS basketball MVP. He also was a three-year regional qualifier in track. It is no wonder that Blade was named the Rockdale High School Outstanding Male Athlete after his junior and senior years.

Blade Bassler
Blade Bassler

Lani Morton Reese '98
As an accomplished softball player, Lani Morton Reese, a 1998 graduate of Rockdale High School, rewrote to the Lady Tiger Softball record books both as a pitcher and a hitter during her 4 years at RHS. Lani was 1st team all-district all 4 years in high school and received the district MVP award twice. She was also an All-State selection three times while also earning All-Brazos Valley honors those same three years. 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 4 years with an overall batting average of .446, a career slugging percentage of .615 and a .507 on base percentage.

Lani Morton
Lani Morton Reese

Coach Terry Pope 1991-1999
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 Athletic Hall of Honor. His track teams enjoyed the greatest extended success of any sport in Rockdale history to date. During his 9 years at the helm, Coach Pope's Tiger Track teams won 48 of 54 meets, including every Rockdale Relays. They won 7 straight district championships and 2 regional championships. He was an intense motivator and a great recruiter that had a "Team 1st" mentality. Coach 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 7 different years. At those 7 state meets his athletes competed in 16 different events and captured 10 medals: 5 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze.

Terry Pope
Coach Terry Pope

The Rockdale Reporter
From Bill Cooke to Bill Martin and Mike Brown in-between, the Rockdale Reporter had been providing award winning coverage of Big Blue athletics for 125 years at the time of its induction. 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 remained in line since then. Cooke faithfully attended Tiger football games for 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 its induction in 2017, the Reporter sports section 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 cited for its sports photos and sports columns as well. In 2017, the Reporter was named the best weekly newspaper in Texas by the Texas Press Association.

Mike Brown, Bill Cooke, and Bill Martin
Mike Brown, Bill Cooke, and Bill Martin

Jerry Throckmorton
When Rockdale Tiger fans are discussing who the number one Tiger fan of all time could 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. 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, 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. It was particularly exciting for him as an Aggie football player ran with him as he carried the torch.

Jerry enjoyed being a part of the excitement of sporting events whether as a spectator, participant or volunteer. He took his job running the clock at Rockdale Community Education youth basketball games very seriously. The games began at 9 in the morning and were not over until 2 p.m. but he would not let anyone else handle his clock duties. He volunteered to help with the chains at youth football, junior high, freshman and junior varsity football games.

After he retired from his job at the school, his family wanted to move to their farm in Winchester. Jerry had another idea. He told them they could go live at the farm but he was staying in Rockdale and would move in with neighbors. There is no doubt they or many other of his neighbors would have welcomed him. 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.

Jerry Throckmortonbw
Jerry Throckmorton

Hall of Honor 2017 Program

Blade Bassler '01
Blade Bassler '01

Lani Morton Reese '98
Lani Morton Reese '98

Coach Terry Pope 1991-1999
Coach Terry Pope 1991-1999

The Rockdale Reporter
The Rockdale Reporter

The Jerry Throckmorton Family
The Jerry Throckmorton Family

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