2015

The 2015 Rockdale Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony was held on Friday, October 30, 2015 at Rockdale High School.

The 2015 Hall of Honor Inductees:
Freddie Cates '97
Travis Ortega '96
Theresa Tindle '96
P.J. Williams '95

Freddie Cates '97

An injury could not keep him down and a lack of size could not stop him from outdistancing everyone else.

Undersized for a discus thrower at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Freddie Cates made up for a lack of girth by becoming a throwing technician. The latest in a long line of outstanding Rockdale weight-men, Tiger mentor and teacher T.A. Weems-a state champion himself-described Cates throwing form as 'perfect.'

Cates (RHS '97) injured his knee during the football season of his senior year and it was uncertain whether he would be able to compete again. Hard work and tenacity insured he would.

Cates captured a gold medal in the discus in 1997 at the UIL state track meet while setting the school record of 186 feet, 3 inches which was still in place in the year of his induction in 2015 and had been standing for over 20 years. Cates had won a silver medal in the discus in 1996. Cates received the Dan Yezak Most Conscientious Award and the Jay Bob Roe Most Courageous Award at RHS.

He received a track and field scholarship to Tarleton State University where he took up the javelin, an event that was new to him. His best finish was third in nationals. Cates was a three time All-American at Tarleton and set the school record of 214 feet, 8 inches which still stood.

He earned a masters degree in education with business in administration at Tarleton.

Freddie Cates
Freddie Cates

Travis Ortega '96

As a receiver, if Travis Ortega happened to line up to cover you, you might want to tip toe to the other side of the field. With the body of a lineman or linebacker, Travis Ortega used his size to punish all who crossed his path. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Ortega (RHS '96)-who could run a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash-was an All-State defensive back and district MVP at Rockdale. As a first-team all-district quarterback, Ortega accumulated 1,300 yards of total offense.

He also played in the prestigious Texas High School Coaches Association all-star game and was All-Brazos Valley.

The grandson of Texas coaching legend D.X. Bible, Ortega went on to have a stellar career in college at Rice University where he was a four-year starter and was team captain his senior year. The hard-hitting Ortega was an All-Western Athletic Conference strong safety two times and also an academic All-American. He was named the WAC player of the week after posting a career-high 15 tackles and returning an interception 64 yards for a touchdown against crosstown rival Houston. His vicious hit on a Hawaii receiver-in which Ortego's helmet flew off-is a Youtube favorite.

He was the three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur Ashe Award. He also played in the Blue-Gray college all-star game. Ortega was signed by the Dallas Cowboys twice as a free agent and played three years in the Canadian Football League for Winnepeg.

Travis Ortega
Travis Ortega

Theresa Tindle '96

No matter what sport she chose to participate in, Theresa Tindle excelled at a high level. During her time at Rockdale High School, the talented Tindle pulled off a rare trifecta, being named first-team all-district in volleyball, basketball and softball-three different times.

In addition, Tindle (RHS '96) was a two-time All-State selection in both basketball and softball. She is one of only two Rockdale girls to be named All-State in two different sports.

She scored 1,001 points in her basketball career and was the three-time district most valuable player as well as being named newcomer of the year. During her time, the Lady Tigers won three straight district championships and reached the regional finals her senior year.

Tindle played on the very first Lady Tigers' softball team and in her three years, they captured three straight district titles and were 54-20.

After high school, Tindle received a basketball scholarship to play at McClennan Community College.

Theresa Tindle
Theresa Tindle

P.J. Williams '95

The only problem with inducting P.J. Williams into the Rockdale Athletic Hall of Honor, is that it might require three or four plaques to properly record all his accomplishments.

You wouldn't get a lot of argument in calling Patrick Jerome Williams the greatest athlete in RHS history. His athletic journey has taken him to many venues and many settings.

After a celebrated high school career in which he starred in four sports, the lanky 6-foot-3, 180-pound Williams (RHS '95) chose to play professionally in his first love-baseball. After playing in the minor leagues in the Seattle Mariners organization, Williams switched gears and returned to college to play football for Mary Hardin-Baylor, nine years after graduating from high school and helped turn the brand new program into a national powerhouse.

He set two NCAA return records while there and was named an All-American. While at Rockdale, Williams made two trips to the state track meet, capturing an unprecedented six medals (three gold)-and five alone at the 1995 meet in which he scored 39 points by himself. Williams led the Tigers to the state basketball tournament in 1995 for only the second time in the school's history. He was twice All-State in football at two different positions and set several school records in receiving, some of which stood for almost two decades. Williams has been a head coach in baseball and basketball at the high school level. He joined his father, the great Don Wesley, in the Hall of Honor.

PJ Williams
P.J. Williams

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