Cotham family donates 'Friday Night Howl' to area libraries
Thanks to the generous donations of anonymous Lobo benefactors, 'Friday Night Howl' is a gift that keeps on giving.
A labor of love for Lobo grad Jeremy Cotham, the comprehensive historical work lives on even after his life was tragically cut short. A 2004 Longview High School graduate — who also wrote for other local sports media — Cotham worked on the book until his death from leukemia in March 2015.
Friday morning the Cotham family donated a copy to the Longview High School library, a gesture that Jeremy's father David Cotham said was made possible by a "generous former Lobo."
"We've had several LHS alumni express an interest in purchasing copies (of Friday Night Howl) to be donated to local libraries, in the hopes of instilling generations of young Lobos with the school spirit and love of alma mater that motivated Jeremy in this project," he said. "For his next project, Jeremy wanted to do the history on the marching band, so maybe someone in the next generation can take that up."
Prior to his passing, Jeremy enlisted the aid of his former Kilgore College journalism instructor, Bettye Craddock and her husband (noted East Texas historian) Van Craddock to finish the book. The 180-page hardcover edition sells for $40 and features more than 300 photos covering the 106-year history of Lobo football teams, as well as a preview of the 2016 season. It features game summaries, information, and photos of players and coaches, team rosters and Lobo trivia.
LHS student Alpha Gonzalez said she appreciates the donation and plans to be a regular reader when she has spare time at the library.
"Just in the quick look that I had of it, it made me curious to read more," she said. "I'd definitely like to have my own copy, but it's great that [the Cotham family] and the donor made this copy freely available to students," she said. "It definitely gives me a better appreciation of Lobo history."
Lobo athletic director John King, who received the first copy of the book, said he hopes more students follow Jeremy's example in taking pride in their school "and strive to leave their community better than they found it."
"We always say 'once a Lobo, always a Lobo' and Jeremy Cotham is the epitome of that," he said. "Though his time with us was cut far too short, his legacy at Longview High will live on forever."
"Friday Night Howl" will be sold at the Lobo Athletic Office during August season ticket sales and at 2016 Lobo home games. To reserve a copy of the book, email David Cotham at Cotham75605@yahoo.com or call (903) 736-4637.