Christmas came early for Lincoln Junior High 8th grader James Thompson. Because of the quick action of fellow 8th grader John Harkins, he will be enjoying the holiday with his family instead of what could have been a much different outcome.
On the weekend of Dec. 12th, Thompson and his friends Harkins and Jarrett Turner, also in the 8th grade, waited for a break in the rain to go fishing together near Lake Livingston. As they set off for their fishing spot, James decided to take a shortcut across a familiar pasture. In an area where the rain usually only pools about a foot deep, Thompson stepped off into a sink hole and disappeared under the water. Harkins and Turner watched in horror as their friend was carried away by the current of a nearby creek that had flooded its banks.
Thompson managed to get his head above water for a brief second before he was plunged under again. A second time he was able to come up for air before the current dragged him down. On his third attempt to come up, Thompson found himself being grabbed and pulled to safety by Harkins, who said the only reason he could spot him was because of his brightly colored shirt.
Tragically, only three years ago, Thompson’s older brother Tyrek drowned in a swimming accident on Lake Livingston the summer before his 8th grade year. Harkins’ ability to locate and grab Thompson saved him from suffering the same fate as his brother.
Thompson’s mother, Nikita Harrison, was overwhelmed with gratitude for the heroic action Harkins took to save her son. She will thank him in person at an assembly honoring his courageous act at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 18, at the Lincoln Junior High gymnasium.
Harkins will also be honored by the Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Board of Trustees at the next meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the Jones Educational Complex.
Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated ISD is proud to announce Athletic Director Mark Byrd was named District 8-4A Football Coach of the Year for the 2015 season by his fellow district coaches.
Coming out of a 9-year tenure at District 20-6A Houston Westside where he had a successful run as head coach over the past eight years with a 59-24 record, Byrd faced a challenging start to the season. As the new COCISD athletic director and head football coach, his players had a short training season, all-new coaching staff and an entirely new system to learn.
In spite of these hurdles, Coach Byrd and his staff lead the Trojans to 5-0 district record, district championship and bi-district championship wins for the sixth year in a row.
“Coach Byrd has brought a great level of integrity and character to our athletic program,” said Superintendent Dr. Jerry Gibson. “I am excited by the results we have seen on the field and in the players. We are blessed to have Coach Byrd and his entire coaching staff working with our students.”