For the first time ever, I was fooled by April Fools Day in a newspaper.

The devilishly clever student newspaper staff mixed true stories with some whoppers.

Skimming fast, I read the first paragraph after a headline crying “Campus cats become condemned critters.”

Multimedia Editor Kristen Cabrera’s first paragraph said:

“Earlier this week, 12 university cats were rounded up and charged with public indecency and lewd behavior after witnesses reported them engaged in sexual behavor on campus.”

If only I had read the next sentence, I would have known it was a trick to misquote a campus policeman. They are too smart to talk as he was quoted: “The lewd and unabashed behavior of the university’s feline population has gone on long enough. It is with these arrests that we set a precedent for cat conduct around campus.”

Then Benny Salinas wrote under a big headline saying “UTPA football program to kick off in 2012” and I speed-read that as true, too.Salinas got the past accurately. He wrote, “The school last fielded a team back in 1950 when it was known as Edinburg Junior College.”

So I missed catching the April Fool lies again . . . by remembering that, as a teen-age sports writer in 1950, I had actually covered the last college football game played in Edinburg.

I remember it well, having covered it for The Monitor and the Associated Press, that rainy, muddy night in 1950.

But the idea of reviving college football in the next two years was another April Fools trick. Students were quoted as saying things like “We’re going to get beat really badly by other colleges, but at least now we’ll be able to see Texas and Notre Dame play in our home town for free,” sophomore Jesus Salas said.

Looking back, I realize missing some strange ideas definitely made an April Fool of an old, retired sports writer. Thirty years at UTPA as sports information director, plus 13 years writing sports at four different newspapers, made me punch-drunk like a boxer.

So I slipped through Neena Hernandez reporting that the UTPA sports mascot will be given wings in two years, and Sara Hernandezclaiming that a US-Mexico soccer match will be held in South Texas before the World Cup. Why not?

“Loss of credits to cause havoc” on the front page said FBI agents will affect thousands of findings about fraudulent credits but I looked right over that as something that can happen anywhere. Brian Silva, the editor in chief, had a great story about all the honors the paper has earned this year, and it all seemed completely accurate to me at first sight. However, there were several stories that I never could figure out. And perhaps some false names.

Andrielle Figueroa, arts and life editor, revealed some strange facts that, on second thought, might be fake. So did Kevin Stich, a special reporter and others who could be double agents.

In case all the April Fool edition may be thrown away or burned, try to find one from a friend and see for yourself what was true and what was false. Good luck and congratulations to such a clever newspaper joke that fooled an old reporter. They have done this for many years, but never as well as this one. I am ashamed I overlooked it at first, but proud of them for fooling a lot of people.