That's why he has spent much of his retirement from the United States Army Corps of Engineers researching high school football. He was working on a long-term project on the history of Clinton football when he stumbled onto the fact that The Oklahoman picked an All-State team long before anyone else in Oklahoma.
“I just kept pulling them up to see how far back they went,” Reinke said via telephone from his home in Portland, Ore.
The more he looked, the more fascinated he became.
“Once I got started,” he said, “I figured I'd get 'em all.”
And we're glad that he did.
Reinke's book is a reminder of not only how our All-State team has endured but also how strong high school football is in Oklahoma. It's not just the stars who sparkled under the Friday night lights. It's not just the prepsters who later became legends. It's not just the stories that you'll read and the names that you'll recognize — suggestions and help are being sought on the Varsity page of our website — as we reprint every All-State team leading up to the unveiling of this year's squad.
It's also the Cecil Reinkes.
A vast majority of kids who play high school football in our fair state never make an All-State team, but many are forever changed by the experience.
The 79-year-old holds four degrees — a bachelor's from North Dakota, a master's from Houston, a juris doctor from North Dakota and a Ph.D. from Portland State.
“But if anybody asks me where I got my education,” he said, “I got it at Clinton High School.”
The experiences Reinke had there made him the man that he is today, and football was prime among them.
His name might not be on any of the All-State teams that are in his book, but he feels fortunate and lucky to have simply been a part high school football in Oklahoma.
The honor was all his.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. You can also like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.