Jerry Zottola is a really fun guy for me to write about because I feel like I have known him forever. I had the chance to play baseball against him when he was in college and with him when he played for the Crescent City Merchants.
I had the privilege of working with him for several years while he was teaching at Del Norte High School. Jerry finished high school in Grants Pass, Ore. During World War II he served in the Navy in their air division. After leaving the Navy, Jerry enrolled at Humboldt State, where he played baseball for four years.
After graduating from college he taught in the San Francisco Bay Area for a couple of years before coming to Crescent City where he taught and coached at DNHS. While at Humboldt State, Jerry roomed with Wally Maciel, who became a lifelong friend.
While at the high school Jerry coached the baseball team for four years, winning one league championship. It is interesting to note that the pitcher on that team was a young man named Rom Hendricks. Most Del Norters remember Ron mostly for his outstanding wrestling career, but he was also an excellent baseball player.
Jerry also coached the tennis team for a period of time. He took over the program after it had been dormant for some time.
He said it was a challenge just finding a place to play but was a lot of fun. When Jerry was playing for the Merchants baseball team, he was an outstanding center fielder. If the ball was hit anywhere in his area we knew it was going to be caught. He was a guy that was just fun to be around. Jerry married a Fort Dick ranch girl named Gertrude Jepsen. They have seven Zotts: five girls and two boys. This happy couple still live in Hiouchi where Jerry keeps himself busy in his garden. He is a great ex-Warrior.
Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors, had an illustrious career on the gridiron at Humboldt State University. Trone was head football coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.