Class reunion takes on new focus after historical discovery

Class reunion takes on new focus after historical discovery

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Brenda Posey Knight remembers the day she first heard that two of her classmates had been killed in a car crash.

"Rickey Cooksey and Danny Johns were on the way to the Sugar Bowl and the roads were icy," she said.

Knight has been working for months, along with other members of her graduating class, to re-establish a memorial for the pair of Jonesboro High School linebackers. The discovery of a plaque that once marked Cooksey-Johns Field launched a mission for the Class of 1970.

"The plaque was found in an old maintenance building," Phil Brown, member of the Class of 1970, said. "When we started to do this project, Athletic Director David Daniel gave me the plaque. It was actually my son, Wade Brown, he's a coach there. It was his idea and Foster's Monument did the monument for us. Our classmates went just above and beyond."

"Tomorrow night is our tailgate and then before the game, we get to go and present this on the field," Knight said Thursday. "All of our classmates will be together. Then we have the game and then we'll continue tailgating for a while. Saturday night, we have a get-together at The Elks."

Knight advises class members to gather at Cooksey-Johns Field for the presentation no later than 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16. Tailgating for the Class of 1970 begins at 4 p.m. at the high school. Several class members have worked tirelessly to insure the monument would be something the school could be proud of putting into place again.

"When we brought it up to our classmates, within two weeks time, money just rolled in," said Brown.

"The JHS Class of 1970 is both pleased and honored to have this monument erected at the football field, so future generations will know the history behind the naming of the field," Phareta Calkin, also a member of the Class of 1970,  said. "We wanted a lasting memorial so our classmates would never be forgotten, and thanks to the generosity of Rickey's and Danny's classmates, our dream is finally a reality."

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