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September 21, 2022
Straits enters the Hall of Fame
By Jacob Stock
The Cuero Record
It’s not so often that you see a players career get acknowledged decades after his contributions have been made, but for Robert Strait, it’s much deserved. Strait was inducted into the Cuero Gobblers All Sports Booster Club Hall of Fame this past Friday, Sept. 16, before the Gobblers home game against Calallen.
Strait’s time in the great Green and White is engraved up there among some of the very best. Surrounded by his family and friends with tons of memories to reflect on last Friday was a special moment.
“It means everything,” said Strait on the honor of being inducted into the Gobbler Hall of Fame. “When people recognize you for the sport that you love and put you with some of the best to ever do it from your school, I mean it’s just absolutely amazing.”
Growing up in his early days the dream was always to become a Cuero Fightin’ Gobbler. The potent rich tradition had been formed far before he took the field from 1985-1988, but during his hay day the Gobblers tradition continued to grow.
“Everybody wants to be a Gobbler,” said Strait on Cuero’s tradition. “It’s a dynasty down here. We win, we love the game, we come up as kids going to football games. When I was young we used to play football behind the stands with a cup. We would pick a player saying I am so and so and we would go from there. It’s in our blood, it’s going to forever be in our blood in Cuero. Once a Gobbler always a Gobbler, that’s just the way it is down here.”
Robert Strait also suited up on the Gobbler basketball team and ran track. Every year in High School Cuero won the Regional track meet. During his senior season, the Gobblers went 4-5 during football, but they brought home a state championship in track and field (1988). Strait competed in the high jump, long jump, shot put, the 4X400 meter relay, and the 4×100 meter relay.
Strait’s Gobbler football career saw him tote the ball 1,131 times racking up a total of 8,411 yards on the ground. His fierce running style is etched in the minds of many that got the luxury of watching him ground and pound.
“Powerful, explosive, dominating, and my coaches used to always say get out there and run the ball with a reckless abandon,” worded Strait on his running style.
Through all of his accomplishments and records set on the field, Strait credits his teammates and offensive line units he ran the ball behind.
“I can’t say enough about my offensive line. I mean my whole team, my fullback Rodney Pedraza, Adam Arroyo, Elvin “Kojak” Johnson, Kirk Laging, Cory Pargmann, I mean those guys were hogs up there. None of what I accomplished could have been accomplished without those guys. My quarterback Wayne Mathis, he was absolutely amazing. He was probably the best option quarterback in the country at that time. Everything had to come together to make any magic, you have to have everybody.”
Although Strait had many of games where he feasted on the ground (41 100-yard games, nine 200-yard games, and five 300- yard games) he always played to win games no matter his stat line.
“It’s never a one-man operation it’s always a team effort. I have always given credit to my teammates,” said Strait. “We didn’t play to break records, we played to win games. I don’t care if I had two yards and no touchdowns, if we were one point ahead of our opponents that was the goal.”
During his four-year career as a Fightin’ Gobbler, Strait played in a total of three state championship games. In 1985, they knocked on the door and were defeated by Dangerfield 47-22. They returned back in 1986 and were shut out by Jefferson 24-0. With a sour taste in their mouth heading into 1987, the Gobblers finally beat the door down and brought home their third state title after winning a dog fight with McGregor 14-6.
“You had to be there, it’s just indescribable,” said Strait on the feelings of winning it all. “You put in some much hard work during summer, during two-a-days, and then you have that grind of the season. Once you make it to the playoffs it’s win or go home. You just stick together like a family and always play your best. Then at the end when you finally capture that goal, it’s just such an exhilarating feeling that you can only describe in the moment.”
Read the full story in this week’s edition of The Cuero Record. Call 361-275-3464 to subscribe.
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