I saw his picture in the paper Sunday morning….That was a good old tune from the Statler Brothers, and it actually went, “I Saw Your Picture in the Paper Sunday Morning”….
Well I saw his name in there Sunday evening, and it was a name online in the News and Record Obituaries and I said to myself, “I know that name.”
The name was that of Jesse Cocklereece, and his name was in Obituary section of the N&R late Sunday night and then his picture showed up, when I went to the online obit, at the Forbis and Dick Funeral Service website..
When I saw that photo, I knew it had to the former QB/quarterback for the Northeast Guilford Rams, from back-in-the-day….
That photograph had him wearing either a #12 or #14 NEG Ram jersey, and by this morning they have taken his football picture down at the Forbis and Dick site, a more recent photo of Jesse Cocklereece has replaced the previous picture…..
The thing I remember about Jesse Cocklereece was his long hair…..He played QB for NEG and when the team I was with, Western Guilford, played the Rams and the Rams had Jesse Cocklereece at QB, you not only tried to tackle him as their QB, you also made sure to try and grab a handful of hair in the process, just to make sure the tackle stuck…
Jesse Cocklereece was a very good QB for NEG, and I remember seeing and facing him right around late October/early November of 1973…Our team defeated NEG and Jesse Cocklereece on that Friday night, but Jesse Cocklereece was a fine high school QB….
Again, I will never forget that name, and maybe never forget that game….We beat NEG pretty bad and they had a running back that kept running his mouth every time I hit him…He kept saying, “You hit me and I ain’t even got the ball”…If this RB knew the true definition of “assignment football”, with that being, “You hit anything and everything that moves”, if it comes your way, you hit/pop the man every stinking time….You make the opposition pay the price…
But, the memories of Jesse Cocklereece still linger along with those ‘Northeast Guilford Nights’…
Trying to grab a handful of that long hair when the QB came your way, or when you were able to impose your will and infringe upon his premises/rights, and enter the world of the quarterback’s spot in the offensive backfield…
A handful of that hair might be a nice memento to take home and add to your football collection….
Jesse Cocklereece did a good job of making sure we didn’t get too many chances to steal his hair….He stayed on the move and much of that night, if my memory is serving me correctly, he was running for his life and dodging Hornets, as they were trying to apply the sting….
Excellent athlete for NEG back-in-the-day, Jesse Cocklereece, and he has name that you won’t soon forget…..
I would feel certain many of the old Rams from back in that time of NEG football and basketball, are remembering him this week….
People like Rusty Lee, Bobby Coltrane, Ricky Apple, Tim Rich from down at Sprinkle Oil #1 and many others are for sure thinking about their old friend Jesse Cocklereece, as the news soaks in…
Jesse Cocklereece may have been leading Northeast Guilford to a football or baseball 3-A State Championship, if the redistricting didn’t happen/occur about that timeframe, with many of the Northeast Guilford students, and some of their better athletes being sent over to the new school, where they all then became part of the Eastern Guilford Wildcats’ teams….
If they still would have had the players that they lost to Eastern Guilford back around 1973-1974, Northeast would have been playing right up there with the State Champion Ragsdale Tigers and their football bunch that included Ricky Adams, Harold Odum, John Turner, Roscoe Friday, Mitchell Johnston, Barry Sykes and the likes….
When NEG got split up, it sort of killed the Rams charge for a while….
But Jesse Cocklereece was still getting the job done, with the best possible talent still being assembled around him, and we remember him for that….
If you knew him, hope you got a chance to say “so long”, before he was gone….
We see so many of the local talents from the past passing away, and we dropped a line in here last week, about the death of former Grimsley Whirlie Cessie Love, who played football and wrestled for the Whirlies back in the 1970’s…
Better tell them before they leave, “If you get there before I do, don’t give up on me”, I’ll be seeing you soon……
Gone is Jesse Cocklereece and last night I was watching the ‘Football Life’ of Steve “Air” McNair, another fine QB on the high school, college and pro football levels….McNair was shot and killed by his girlfriend in a murder-suicide…McNair was a married man and left behind 4-5 kids/children….
You never know when your time will be up and your number will be called….
Still thinking that Jesse Cocklereece number on his NEG Rams football uniform was either #12, or #14…I wish Forbis and Dick was re-post that football photo…That is how many of us will remember Jesse Cocklereece….
The man is gone, but he will not be forgotten…And you might be thinking or saying sometime, “how does GreensboroSports know all of these people from the past”???
We might not know them all personally, but we sure did know of them, and we remember their athletic exploits…..
RIP Jesse Cocklereece….A fine NEG Ram QB and NEG baseball pitcher….Like so many of our local greats from the past, we knew they wouldn’t last and they might be gone, but again, they are not forgotten here….
**********from the Forbis and Dick Funeral Service online Obituary section:**********
Jesse F. Cocklereece, 63 of Brown Summit, NC passed away on Sunday, July 28, 2019 at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro.
A Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, August 1, 2019 at the Forbis and Dick North Elm Street Funeral Chapel in Greensboro. Interment will follow at Lakeview Memorial Park Cemetery.
Jesse was born in Guilford County on October 31, 1955 to Mickie Sands Cocklereece (Sisk) and the late Floyd Franklin Cocklereece. A member of the Class of 1974, he was known as a gifted athlete and was a star Pitcher and Quarterback for the Northeast Guilford JR. & SR. High Schools, helping lead both the JR Varsity and Varsity teams to numerous victories. Jessie also played baseball for the Cone’s American Legion Post Team. He was offered a scholarship to play college ball but threw his arm out and was unable to take his talents to the next level. He went in business with his father Floyd at Cocklereece Construction and they were both respected home builders in our area. He was an avid Ford Mustang collector in years past and had recently turned his attention to collecting Tractors. Jessie was an avid golfer and enjoyed spending time in the North Carolina Mountains.
He is preceded in death by his father Floyd F. Cocklereece and his sister Frankie Cocklereece. He is survived by his wife Christine Cocklereece of the home, and his mother Mickie Sisk of Brown Summit. The family will receive friends from 1:00 – 1:45 PM on Thursday just prior to the service at the Funeral Home. Flowers are welcomed but memorial contributions can also be made to: the American Heart Association ,7029 Albert Pick Road, Suite 200, Greensboro, NC 27409.