When I returned to Del Norte High School in the fall of 1980, I had almost forgotten how crazy Warrior fans were about basketball. It didn’t take long to remember.
When I went to the first basketball game during the 1980-81 season, the gym was packed with screaming Warrior fans. That first season only ended with a 6-6 record in league, but the team was very competitive in every game and we enjoyed watching Joe Gutierrez set a league scoring record.
This reminded me of how history had been and what to expect in the future. The next year the team coached by Dale Thomas and led by two juniors, Brad Bieber and Dean Jones, provided Warrior fans with even more to cheer about.
The regular season ended with the Warriors tied with the Eureka Loggers for the league championship. This made a playoff necessary to see who would advance to the CIF Section playoffs in Santa Rosa.
The Warriors were able to best the Loggers in double-overtime 64-60 to take the league championship and earn the right to make the trip to Santa Rosa.
Bieber and Jones were both named to the Humboldt-Del Norte All League First Team.
The Del Norte team composed of seniors Jay Sarina, Steve Romero, Mike Amos,Mark Yamor, Tom King, Richard Kuhns and Gordon Raleigh and juniors Brad Bieber, Dean Jones, Jeff Slayton, Bruce Stotter and Den Rankin were a really fun group to watch. This group of juniors provided the nucleus for an exciting 1983 season, when the Warriors posted a 20-5 record.
Warrior basketball is always fun to watch and Warrior fans are the class of the league. When you attend an away game, the stands will be filled with loyal Warrior supporters.
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.