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Back in '47, there was only 1 coach

In 1947, Del Norte High School was in its second year of returning to 11-man football after the end of WWII.

Phil Crawford was brought in from Southwest Missouri State College to head the program. Phil was taking over for Clarence Kruger, who was responsible for restarting the 11-man program. Coach Kruger was only here for one year, replacing Hall of Fame coach Ed Fraser, who had led the Warriors in all sports for 20 years.

When Coach Crawford took over he inherited a very inexperienced bunch of football players. It is interesting to note that he was the only coach, no assistants — that had to be a very challenging experience. That may be why he only stayed one year.

The Warriors had a five-game schedule, which were all league contests. The football league at that time consisted of Del Norte, Arcata, Eureka, Fortuna, Hoopa and Ferndale.

The Warriors were able to defeat Ferndale on the local gridiron for their only win, 14-0. Eureka was scheduled to play here but the Warriors forfeited the game so Del Norte only played four games. This was  some change from the 10-game schedule it plays now.

The Warrior squad consisted of 28 players, two of which I got to have as teammates when I became a Warrior: Leslie Horn and Leland Fike.

Many others, like Bud Pyke, Wayne Miller, Allen Stater, Jim Presler and Leslie Conner, I have written about because of their many contributions to Warrior athletic history.

There was one other that I had as a baseball teammate at Del Norte and then again when I played baseball at Humboldt State, and that was Dick Harmer, a very special person who helped me as a freshman at Del Norte  and as a freshman for the Lumberjacks.

My Warrior memories are a real treasure.

Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High sports. He played football for the Warriors and graduated in 1951, later serving as the school’s football coach for a number of years.

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